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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

A Quick Connection with RashmiDidi

Huh, I always miss mum while experimenting in my kitchen as she was the one who guided me every time I bugged her, who enjoyed each dish I prepared (best or worst), who encouraged me to keep learning :) I never could imagine having a friendly-guide to sharpen my culinary skills - someone Indian and that too in this country… It was simply impossible :(

I keep reading online, I get so many cook-books to learn more n more! With the same purpose, I joined a foodie-group on Facebook just a week back n started interacting with fellow-foodies! Usually I don’t gel well with anyone so quickly, but this time it was totally a reverse case!

Never knew that I will get in touch with someone who is a skilled home-chef n a lovely human-being… I’m truly impressed… the way she makes anyone visualize her story behind any dish, the way she appreciates or guides efforts applied on any dish… n specially I feel so happy when I find her 1st to comment on any of my posts :) I’m really happy to have her on SJ’s Food Court as a guest writer from today itself… 

A very warm welcome to a lovely lady - Rashmi Didi :) 

Here is her first post with very tempting 'CheeseCake'...

Today, I have been honored by a fellow foodie and now friend Shruti to be a guest writer on her blog.  Her request, indeed more than that, her friendship is a testament to the bonds that can spring up over a day in today’s world of social media. She and I connected over a post on a “foodie” FB page and within minutes had established a commonality and rapport that has been ever so wonderful that within a day I feel as if I have gained a younger cousin :)  
Given the Indian tradition of marking everything auspicious with sweetness, I decided to pass on this recipe and the story to her….
I have a Chilled Cheesecake Recipe, which has been a favorite with my family and friends for many years.  In fact, it remains a special favorite of my youngest cousin sister even today. It started its life from the, not very clearly photocopied pages, of an obscure cookbook by the name “Just Desserts” and had something to do with canned mandarins.  I am sure if I dug into my treasure chest of recipes, I will find a much mangled and yellowed page somewhere to authenticate my claim.  Anyway, the canned mandarins were not very nice and very soon the rest of the recipe acquired various other attributes and morphed itself into many avatars including but not limited to Pineapple, Cherry, Kiwifruit, and various other fruits to form its base and proclaim it as “their” Cheesecake.
Through all its Avatars it has maintained the use of some canned juice that has been extracted and used from tinned Pineapples in Pineapple Juice.  That, McVities Digestive Biscuits and full fat Philadelphia Cream Cheese have featured in its creation.  A period of about 25 years has seen this “Cake” evolve and find its way into the stomachs an hearts of many of my guests.
Now that I have turned a new leaf, my new way of life dictated that I translate it into a “Diabetic Friendly” version.   So, I set about with much gusto to do a Strawberry version of this delectable concoction.  Much to my consternation the best result I got was tasty, semi-set slush!!  Of course, I promptly plunked that into the ice-cream maker and made some really yummy Cheesecake Ice cream and it was all eaten up.  BUT it rankled that all I had managed in my efforts at conversion was a Cheesecake, which was rather loose in character…. 
I originally thought the fault lay in using sweetener and convinced myself that this must somehow interfere with the setting of the cake.  But as remembered the beautifully set Mango Mousse, I could see I had to look elsewhere for my answer.  I knew there was no problem with the gelatin and as I had just used it a few days ago and it worked fine. So, I set about researching every aspect of my conversion and turned to my best friend Google Kaur for answers and consultation.  As usual, she thew up a zillion responses to my single query and much to my surprise I discovered that “Pineapple Juice”, specifically the fresh variety, has a major quarrel with all things gelatin and refuses to allow proper setting when used with it!  So my “Oh so very healthy” and well thought out use of Fresh Pineapple Juice was no good!  
I was determined to try and keep the calories as low as possible and remembered the fresh watermelon juice, left over from breakfast and waiting patiently to be drunk the next morning.  You just struck it lucky buddy, you shall become the cornerstone of my translated Cheesecake :) :) :)
So now, I present to you both the recipes and leave you to make the one you want to.  The featured picture is that of the newly added member of my Cheesecake Entourage… The Strawberry Cheesecake which was almost Lost in Translation.  
As always I shall await your comments and critique…

Original Ingredients

Translated Ingredients

200 grams Digestive Biscuits 200 grams Sugar-free Chocolate Biscuits
50 grams Finely Chopped Walnuts 50 grams Finely Chopped Walnuts
100 gms Melted Butter 100 grams Light Butter Substitute
1 x500 grams Can Pineapple Slices(in Pineapple Juice) 300 ml Fresh Watermelon Juice3 x Punnets Fresh Strawberries
2 Tablespoons Powdered Gelatin 2 Tablespoons Powdered Gelatin
2 x Lemons (grated rind and juice) 2 x Lemons (grated rind and juice)
700 grams Full Fat Cream Cheese (Philadelphia) 700 grams Low Fat Cream Cheese (Philadelphia) 
300 ml Heavy Cream 300 ml Light Cream
150 grams Castor Sugar 150 grams Sweetener
4 Eggs Separated 4 Eggs Separated

Use an 8 inch/20 cms Loose Bottomed or Spring-form Pan 


  1. great guest post with a diabetic friendly recipe...

  2. Lovely recipe,something i can easily make at home but one prob,i don have a loose bottomed or spring-form pan. Can anyone suggest me a substitute for that? please.

    1. Hey Akshara, here is a reply from RashmiDi:

      "Substitute to the loose bottom pan would be either to use a transparent glass or any other dish that can hold the entire cake and serve it in the dish OR you could try it with a similar sized cake pan and make sure you line it with cooking paper in such a way that you can lift it out and place it on to your serving platter before you decorate it."

    2. ok, then i will try it. i have never made cheesecake so far.

  3. Yummy recipe Rashmi and Shruthi :)

  4. love the writing...happy guest posting...wonderful cheese cake

  5. Thanks ever so much for the fulsome praise Shruti and all you wonderful guests for your comments. Happy to be here, contribute and comment. Keep your eyes peeled and keep the feedback coming Folks!! Cheers to spreading the joyous aroma of love though recipes :)

  6. Hey Shruti! That's a wonderful and warm initiative ! And Rashmi - welcome to blogsphere! I so admire your commitment to the "new you" and the determination and ease with which you turn dishes into diabetic friendly and very "possible" ones for everyone! Please keep writing more, and let's do a gig together on my blog too! :)

    1. You name it Shruti N and we'll do it together anytime. In fact, am right now giving in to various pressures and working on doing my own Blog, let's see how that pans out :). Will message you separately too xx


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