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…
|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