Notice how the stuff I bake lately keep having kefir in them? Well, the milk kefir grains ferments really fast in our climate, so I always have 1, sometimes even 2, full jars of milk kefir in the fridge.
My dad refuses to drink my kefir products. He drank a strawberry kefir water once, proclaimed it nice and I thought it was all good, that he would be drinking from now on. But…sigh…the kefir water had a laxative effect on him. His exact words:”It’s troublesome and irritating. No sooner have I worn my trousers do I feel I need to release again.” LOL. Regardless of how I kept explaining it was purging his toxins, he promptly refused to drink any other kefir product, be it milk or water.
This cake is a sneaky attempt by me to get him to eat milk kefir. It is a no-bake cheese cake, since heating up kefir kills the good bacteria and yeast.
My original idea was to make a passion fruit jelly on top. But after tasting the filling, I decided it was tart enough. If I had made the passion fruit jelly, it would have made the overall taste too sour.
Vanilla bean kefir cheese cake
- 100 grams digestive biscuits
- 100 grams pecan nuts, lightly toasted
- 2 tbsp castor sugar
- 100 grams unsalted butter, melted
- 50 grams chocolate, melted (optional; if adding, suggest at max 55% cocoa)
- 500 grams cream cheese, room temperature
- 400 grams milk kefir/yogurt
- 200 grams castor sugar (can be increased to 250 grams)
- 125 ml evaporated milk
- 12 grams agar agar powder (can be increased to 18 grams for a firmer texture)
- 50 grams water
- Vanilla beans from 2 pods
- Line a 8 inch square pan with aluminum foil and lightly grease with butter.
- Process the ingredients of the base until fine. Spread evenly onto the prepared pan and place in the fridge for 30 minutes to set.
- Place cream cheese, kefir/yogurt, sugar and vanilla beans in the food processor.
- Heat up evaporated milk until boiling, take off from fire and add in agar agar powder and water. Mix until a paste forms. Scrape all into the processor together with the other ingredients.
- Process for 5 minutes or until smooth.
- Place a sieve over the prepared pan and sieve the filling into the pan.
- Smooth out the top with an offset spatula.
- Chill for at least 8 hours or overnight.
When mixing the agar agar powder into the liquid, it can get really “pasty” and rubbery. At that point, I was thinking if I would succeed. But I continued and just scraped all that into the processor. So glad I did. In fact, the filling passed through the sieve easily and there was no residue of the agar agar paste.
By the looks of my cake, the agar agar powder can still be increased. My dad said it was too soft and had lost it’s form. My mum liked it, though she commented the base was a bit bitter since I had used 72% cocoa chocolate. Ha. I should have left the chocolate out. 😛
I did not strain the yogurt, since I think the whey is very nutritious. Even at 12 grams of agar agar powder, the texture is still a bit soft. Taste-wise, it is just barely sweet, cheesy and with a nice fragrance from the vanilla beans. You hardly taste the kefir. Good way to hoodwink my dad. Anyhow, this cake did not cause him the same effect as drinking kefir water, so it’s all good. *sly smile*
My kind colleague has gifted me with 3 medium mangoes from her garden. Woohoo. Mango kefir cake..that is in the works. *wink*