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Happy 2016! Hope everyone had a lovely and relaxing break! My break was wonderful. I got to spend a lot of time with my family back in Ottawa. It was so good to eat home cooked Chinese food again. When in Toronto we do cook with Asian ingredients but we also add bunch of random Western spices in it so its never true Chinese food.

In addition to relaxing and eating, I also baked! It’s not easy baking for my family. They are super health conscious now so they don’t like to eat any sweets – fruits are their dessert! The only sweet thing my mom will eat other than fruits is her favourite – cheesecake. I usually make strawberry cheesecake for her but this time I wanted to do something different. I wanted to use some Asian ingredients commonly found at home so I turned to the red bean.

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I researched via google to see if anyone has made red bean cheesecake before and came across this recipe by The Pudgy Rabbit. I loved her idea of adding a layer of red bean paste between the crust and the cheesecake layer. I altered the proportion of her recipe for an 8-inch cheesecake pan. My favourite alteration was the crust. Instead of graham crackers I used Parle-G biscuits. These biscuits are so addicting, I love their milky flavour! I have no idea what they put in it…but you can’t just eat one. I also added a bit of toasted black sesame seeds in the crust and a milk powder for extra nutty milky-ness. This will definitely be my go-to cheesecake crust recipe from now on!

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I wanted to fancy up this cheesecake so I decorated the top of the cheesecake with some extra red bean paste and pre-made egg roll biscuits I bought from T&T supermarket. Because I wasn’t used to the oven in Ottawa, the cheesecake stayed in the oven a bit longer than I wanted to. While it was cooling, a crack formed right in the middle! Thankfully it was a simple fix, I just crumbled some extra egg roll crumb in the middle.

Adzuki (Red bean) Cheesecake

Makes an 8-inch cheesecake
(Recipe adapted from The Pudgy Rabbit)

Ingredients
For the crust:
1 cup grounded Parle-G biscuits
1/4 cup  milk powder
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 tsp salt
3 tablespoons toasted black sesame seeds

For the cheesecake filling:
2 8-ounce packages of cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups red bean paste, plus extra for decoration (If you think store bought red bean paste is too sweet, go ahead and make your own! I mixed 1 cup of store bought and 1 cup of homemade unsweetened red bean paste)
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 large eggs, room temperature

Directions
For the crust:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 8 inch springform pan, line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper.
  2. Add grounded Parle-G biscuits, milk powder, black sesame seeds, sugar, salt and pulse to mix together.
  3. Add the melted butter and mix until combined and moist crumbs form. Press the crumbs into the bottom of prepared pan and bake for about 8-10 minutes until set and edges are golden.
  4. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Spread half of the red bean paste in an even layer over the crust.

For the cheesecake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Place a kettle of water on to boil.
  3. With a hand mixer beat the sugar, cream cheese, and salt on medium low speed until smooth and creamy.
  4. Mix the remaining red bean paste with the heavy cream and vanilla until smooth, then add to the cream cheese mixture and mix until combined.
  5. Scrape the bowl down and with the mixer on low, add the eggs, mixing well. Pour into cooled crust.
  6. Pour boiling water into a larger baking dish and place it on the rack below the cheesecake pan. Place the cheesecake on the rack above the water bath pan. Bake for about 30-40mins.
  7. Turn off the oven and with the oven door slightly open, leave the cheesecake in the oven to cool for about 1 hr. mins. Remove from the oven and cool to room temperature then chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours. Remove from pan, decorate, and enjoy!