Chef Wan is a popular television personality in Malaysia. Squeaky,
enthusiastic, and bossy, he has risen to stardom . His shows are not only educational, they’re
hilarious. He was featured on Anthony Bourdain’s tour of Kuala Lumpur’s
Chow kit Market. I loved watching this clip, partly because of Chef Wan’s antics and funny faces, but also because Rob and I have spent a lot of time in the fruit section of Chow Kit. It’s always fun to see exotic places you’ve been on TV.
Durian’s sweet, and fatty, and funky nature is said to be reminiscent of a fancy soft cheese or heavy cream. I’ve never had either, so I can’t say. I’ve actually never tasted cheesecake either, but when I read about durian cheesecake I thought it was the most logical concoction ever. An expensive, smelly fruit in a cake made of cheese? Perfect.
This particular recipe is not at all vegan friendly, but it could easily be made vegan simply by following the directions for a vegan cheesecake, like this vegan strawberry cheesecake recipe. Simply sub in durian for the strawberries. Or better yet, try this raw vegan cheesecake recipe by my favorite vegan chef, the ladies at the Post Punk Kitchen. There are a lot of variations of durian cheesecake, so I’ll be posting a few. I thought this one was worth mentioning, first of all because of his notoriety as THE go-to for Malaysian cuisine, and also because he puts green beans in his cake. Durian and green beans? Okaaay.
Recipe by Chef Wan
- 1 piece 22 cm / 11 inches blind-baked Tart Shell – see below*
- 900 g / 1 ¾ pounds Cream Cheese
- ½ cup / 4 fl oz Sour Cream or Natural Yoghurt
- ¾ cup / 6 fl oz Honey
- 1 Tbsp / ½ oz Castor Sugar
- 4 Large Eggs, separated
- ½ cup / 4 fl oz Fresh Milk
- 1 ½ cups / 12 fl oz Durian Flesh
- 1 Tbsp / ½ fl oz Vanilla Essence
- Castor Sugar for dusting
22-cm Blind-baked Base Ingredients*:
- 150 g / 5 oz Butter, cut into large cubes, chilled
- ¼ cup / 2 oz Caster Sugar
- 1 Egg
- 1½ cups / 12 oz All-Purpose Flour
- ½ cup / 4 oz sliced toasted Almonds
- Green Beans / Chickpeas – enough to cover pan for a layer
1. First of all let’s prepare the crust. In a large bowl, beat the
butter and castor sugar together until thick and creamy. You can use a
whisk but a handheld mixer is faster and less strenuous.
the egg, the flour and roasted almond flakes; fold in with a wooden
spoon until it forms dough. Put the dough aside, chill it for 30 minutes
in the refrigerator and while you’re doing this warm up your oven.
30 minutes of chilling, place the dough in a 22cm (8 1/2 inch)
springform pan and flatten it by pushing it into the base. Cover the
base up with aluminium foil, fill with beans and bake it blind for 20
minutes at a temperature of 180ºC (360ºF) and put aside. FYI baking a
pie crust blind just means baking it without baking its filling too. The
weight of the beans also helps to keep the pie crust flat.
prepare the filling, with a food processor, stir the cream cheese and
sour cream together until smooth. Add in the honey and castor sugar and
continue to stir.
Now add in the egg yolk, one yolk at a time and
stir well each time. Occasionally you will need to scrape the side of
the bowl with spatula to make sure all of the concoction is mixed in
well. Now pour in the milk, vanilla essence and scoop in the durian pulp
and stir until thoroughly mixed through.
In another bowl, beat the left over 4 egg whites until fluffy. Add this into the cheese mixture, scoop and toss back.
in the final lap now – pour the mixture onto the cooled crust (remove
the aluminium foil and beans first of course) and bake for 45 minutes in
a pre-heated oven set at 175C (350F) for 45 minutes.
time is up, switch off the oven but don’t remove the cheesecake yet.
Instead keep the oven door slightly ajar and allow the cheesecake to
gradually cool inside it for an hour or two. Finish by removing the
cheesecake from its pan, place on a serving dish and decoratively dust
the surface of the cake with icing sugar. Now all you’ve got left to do
is to slice it and savour your spoils! Yummy!