One night two weeks ago, as I lay in bed trying my very hardest not to claw my eyeballs out of their sockets, I was reminded of a terrifying night I spent alone all those years ago (wow, it’s almost been a decade).

It was my first experience of a migraine, where the agony in my head is magnified by the stray light that somehow penetrates the pitch blackness that I’m lying in ~ in a dark room, under the blanket with my eyes closed and somehow, somehow, this light fires off microscopic missiles at my eyeballs, sending me into a writhing ball of pain, willing death to come much faster than it apparently wants to.

Last time, the migraine preceeded the crowning and extraction of my wisdom tooth, but we will not go into detail about the amount of pain that involves. This is a G-rated blog afterall.

Oh wait, there is one thing I wanted to say about the extraction. Strangely, one of my most vivid memories from the wisdom tooth extraction (because honestly, being high on Panadeine Forte most of the time, I have very few memories) was that of my ex organising a BBQ days after my extraction, when I was in ridiculous amounts of pain and sucking soup through a straw. The glorious smells from the BBQ (and his apparent insensitivity) elevated me to a new level of OMG-I-HATE-YOU and hence, he is my ex. Good story? Yeah.

fresh raspberries

So anyway, the recent random onset of a migraine reduced me into a corpse of a person, laying perfectly still in my pitch black bedroom not daring to even breathe too hard for fear of the utter pain that would strike me in the back of my eye sockets.

But as I lay there unmoving, my mind was racing at a thousand miles an hour. Oh god. OH GOD. Please, don’t let another wisdom tooth force its way through. I can’t afford to do this again. I can’t – I can’t endure the physical pain, the months of liquids, and work! I can’t not go to work (well, not looking like Theodore the baby chipmunk anyway).

Please. If there is a God (look, hey I even capitalised the ‘G’ for this), please. Don’t punish me, I know I’ve sinned, but I’m only a glutton because… I can’t help myself. It’s a weakness, and please find it in your heart to pity a weak soul. Please.

Last time, mere days after the migraine, my jaw started aching in a way you can’t imagine. I went to the dentist, he did a couple of x-rays and I was in the chair. So this time, I held my breath and waited.


It’s been two weeks, and there’s been no pain, not in my head nor my jaw. I think I’m safe, and in light of not having to survive another wisdom tooth extraction, I thought we’d celebrate by making something devilishly sweet.

Introducing my version of the black and white cheesecake, which is essentially a marbled combination of a New York Cheesecake and Chocolate Cheesecake.

And this ain’t no ordinary cheesecake. It so happened to also teach me about restraint like I’ve never had before. After baking the cheesecake, it requires setting in the fridge overnight, and oh my, the number of times I wanted to sneak a slice early.

In the end, I managed to let it set for a record 14 hours, and in celebration of that (because here at thecattylife it appears we celebrate everything), I had a slice for breakfast.

ps. do you like my black and white photo, in salute to the black and white cheesecake? LOL… sometimes my corniness astounds even me.

Black and white cheesecake*
9oo grams cream cheese
190 grams caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 eggs
100 grams dark chocolate, rougly chopped
cocoa powder for dusting
140 grams plain flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
50 grams caster sugar
50 unsalted butter
1 egg yolk
  1. Grease and line a 23cm round spring form cake tin.
  2. Preheat oven to 150°C/300°F (Gas 2).
  3. For the base: Put the flour, baking powder, sugar, and butter  in a bowl and beat until you get a sandy consistency.
  4. Add the egg yolk and mix through – it will still be sandy but it will be a little more moist.
  5. Press this mixture into the base of the prepared cake tin, using the ball of your hand or a tablespoon to flatten and compress it. It must be pressed down to form a dense base.
  6. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown. It should have lost its sandy texture and come together to form a coherent base. Set aside to cool.
  7. For the cheesecake: Put the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla extract in a bowl and beat on slow speed until you get a very smooth, thick mixture. Add one egg at a time, while still mixing. Continue adding each egg while scraping any unmixed ingredients from the side with a rubber spatula. The mixture should be very smooth and creamy.
  8. The mixture can be turned up to high speed at the end to make the mix a little lighter and fluffier, but be careful not to overmix otherwise the cheese will split.
  9. Separate the mixture into two bowls and set aside.
  10. Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (do not let the base of the bowl touch the water). Leave until melted and smooth.
  11. Taking one portion of the mixture, spoon a little of it into the melted chocolate. Stir to mix, then add a little more. This will even out the temperatures of the two mixtures.
  12. Eventually, stir all the mixture from this portion into the chocolate mixture and mix until well combined and smooth.
  13. Taking the chocolate mixture and the cream cheese mixture, alternately spoon onto the cold cheesecake base. Finish with a layer of white cream cheese mixture on top.
  14. Put the tin inside a larger tin or in a deep baking tray and fill with water until it reaches 2/3 of the way up the cake tin.
  15. Bake for 40-50 minutes, checking regularly after 40 minutes to make sure it isn’t burning. Don’t over cook, it should be wobbly in the centre.
  16. Leave the cheesecake to cool slightly in the tin, then cover and refrigerate overnight before serving.
  17. When ready, dust with cocoa powder and serve.

* This recipe is a variation of the New York Cheesecake and the Chocolate Cheesecake from the Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook.

Serves 10-12 slices.

9 Thoughts on “black and white cheesecake: for there is always a reason to celebrate

  1. hrmm…i feel gipped, i tot u made black sesame cheesecake. am i asking too much?

  2. Old Cow on November 3, 2009 at 12:27 pm said:

    mmmmmmmmmmm cheesecake!! I love it when you post recipes you inspire me no end!

  3. Looks delicious! Love the pictures and the vibrant color of the berries.

  4. Ying: LOL *sorry*.. considering this was the first time I’ve ever made a baked cheesecake, I don’t think I could have done one as extravagant as black sesame. Might try one day though 🙂

    Old Cow: Awww that’s great! What have you baked??

    Bethany: Thanks Bethany 🙂 The raspberries are the real stars I think!

  5. Yutjangsah on November 3, 2009 at 10:38 pm said:

    I’m glad a migraine led u to the cheesecake. Out of pain, comes creation. I ate a steak the day after getting my wisdom teeth pulled. Yeah. I’m ur ex boyfriends soulmate.

  6. lovely photos! cheesecake is one of my favorite desserts that I’ve actually never tried to make on my own, but I’m saving this recipe to try it out soon!

  7. Yutjangsah: you a crazy-mofo-steak-eatin’-biatch! But still, you’re too good for him. 😉

    mayaari: you should try and make one, it’s really not very hard.. and if you do try this one let me know how it goes! 🙂

  8. omg looks so good… even I am inspired to bake! cheesecake and chocolate – there isn’t a better combination in the world! (fyi I had to double take at the black and white photo with the tricky red berries…)

  9. Helen: I know, I was looking at the NY cheesecake recipe. and then I looked at the choc cheesecake recipe. and wondered.. heyyyy why don’t I make both! GENIUS!

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