Saturday, December 11, 2010

Anna Olson in Malaysia

Event: An Evening with Anna Olson
Date: 28 November 2010 (Sunday)
Venue: Electrolux Concept Store in Kota Damansara, Selangor

Celebrity chef Anna Olson (host of Sugar and Fresh with Anna Olson in AFC (Asian Food Channel) was in Malaysia for the first time recently as part of her Southeast Asian Tour.

While demonstrating the baking of her signature banana caramel cheesecake, she raves about gula melaka and how she has tried durian ("I have tried the D24!") but she couldn't come to the conclusion whether she loves or hates it. She also relates her funny experiences/disasters in the kitchen.

Xandria Ooi, the emcee of the day also helped Anna in the baking.

The cake was yummy! Here's the recipe for you to try

Banana Caramel Cheesecake Recipe by Anna Olson
(Serve 9-12)

12 Crunchy oatmeal cookies
1/2 cup pecan pieces
1/4 unsalted butter, melted

Banana Layer
2tbsp unsalted butter
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 tbsp rum or lemon juice
3 firm bananas, sliced

Approx. 910g cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
Seeds from 1 vanilla bean
5 Large eggs

Caramel Topping
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup water
1 tbsp corn syrup or lemon juice
1 cup whipping cream

1. For crust, preheat oven to 180'C. Grease the bottom of a 23-cm springform pan and wrap the outside of the pan in foil.

2. In a food processor, pulse oatmeal cookies with pecans to an even crumble. Add melted butter and pulse to combine. Press into the bottom of prepared springform pan (not up the sides) and bake for 12 minutes. Allow to cool while preparing bananas.

3. For banana layer, heat a saute pan over medium-high heat. Add butter and brown sugar, stirring until melted and bubbling. Stir in the rum or lemon juice and add bananas. Stir just to coat and warm. Pour into cooled crust.

4. For cheesecake, beat the cream cheese until fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl often. Add sugar in 2 additions, beating well after each addition. Beat in butter and vanilla bean seeds. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Pour the cheesecake batter over caramelised banana layer in springform pan.

5. Place springform pan into a baking dish and pour hot tap water around it to come halfway up the pan. Bake for 30 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 160'C and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until filling puffs just slightly around edges but still moves a little in the centre when shaken. Remove the pan from water and allow to cool for 2 hours before refrigerating overnight.

6. For caramel topping, combine sugar, water and corn syrup or lemon juice in a pot. Bring to a boil without stirring and cook, uncovered, until it turns a rich amber colour. While cooking, occasionally brush down the sides of the pot with a brush dipped in cool water.

7. Once the sugar has reached desired colour, about 7 minutes, remove from heat and carefully stir in whipping cream (watch out for the steam and bubbling). Return to medium heat and simmer until reduced by a third, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Chill until thickened but still fluid, about 15 minutes. Pour caramel over cheesecak and chill completely. (This can be done up to 8 hours before serving).

8. To serve, run a knife carefully along the inside of the pan to loosen, remove pan and slice with a hot, dry knife.

* photo by Electrolux
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