Thursday, April 26, 2012

Say cheese(cake)!

Ok, first things first. I can't bake to save my life. Really. I do have a big fat oven in my kitchen, but it doesn't work. It has not worked in the last 5 years. In fact, when we moved into this house 5 years ago, it was in the 'to be replaced' list, but it never was replaced because I simply have no use skills for an oven. I do have a toaster oven, which works just fine for making lasagna and garlic bread and stuff. But baking and me do not go together. The one time I tried to bake muffins for my ex-colleagues, I had to tell them they were cookies instead. Yeah. But I do make things, which are otherwise baked in a big fat oven by normal people. For example, I can make muffins in the microwave oven, and I'm proud to declare that they are butterless and soft and spongy and very highly edible. (I should probably put up the recipe sometime).

Anyway, back to this post. We got a recipe booklet with a tub of yogurt we bought, and some of the recipes looked really good and erm, possible. When I saw the recipe for cheesecake, I jumped. You see, cheesecake is pretty much the only type of cake I like, and I really do love it to bits. Plus, there was no mention of an oven in the recipe, so unless it was a horrible typo, it looked like something I could make. Mom-in-law, who loves cheesecake just as much, was thrilled when I told her I wanted to try it out. And yes, the results were fantastic. I must admit though that this is a very jugaad recipe, because I couldn't find some of the items and had to use my imagination and replacements. Also, I realised that because it was a yogurt company's recipe book, they had to go and stuff yogurt into every recipe, but the yogurt actually made my first round of cheesecake a little softer than it should have been, and when I skipped the yogurt in round 2, the cheesecake came out perfect. Also, it was to be a trial so I only bought one pack of cheese which was 125 g, while the recipe called for 500 g of cheese. So I had to use a quarter of all listed quantities, and you try measuring 5 g of gelatin powder without any weighing scales! So the recipe I have below is a mix of what they had plus my jugaad modifications.

Ingredients
5 Digestive biscuits (finely powdered)
4 tbsp melted butter
5 g gelatin powder (I couldn't find this so I used lemon-flavoured jelly crystals instead! In round 2, I increased the quantity to 1 tbsp and it came out better. I suspect gelatin would be the best option though. I'll try it in round 3.)
1 can of peaches in syrup
125 g of cream cheese at room temperature (I couldn't find cream cheese so I used fruit cheese, which is the same as cream cheese except that they add fruit bits that you have to live with)
40 g castor sugar (I just put regular sugar in the mixer.)

Method
1. Mix the melted butter and powdered biscuits and press firmly onto the base of the container you're going to make the cheesecake in. I just used a regular round plastic bowl with a cover. Keep in the freezer. (The recipe asked for it to be chilled, but freezing worked better for me.)
2. Boil the gelatin powder (or jelly crystals) in 50 ml of peach syrup from the can. Keep stirring till all the powder is dissolved.  Leave to cool.
3. Beat the cream cheese and castor sugar till fluffy. (Now here's the thing. Mine wasn't that fluffy because it was fruit cheese. I think if you use plain cream cheese, it would be quite fluffy. Another change to try out for round 3.)
4. Mix the gelatin solution into the cream cheese and sugar mixture.
5. Pour the mixture over the biscuit case. Chill for 3 hours.
6. Decorate the top with peaches from the can.
7. Cut into pieces.
8. Hog.




10 comments:

Bubblegum.... said...

Gold!! Now I go to say cheeeeesee..Opps.. my jaws wont move much :D :D yeyeyeyeyey :) :) Gold!

Bubblegum.... said...

Okay,So... For me( a person who was never interested in cooking when at home and now a bhookhi atma for ghar jaisa khana!) its tough :D

Okay, for cheese cake I can do! But in India, I have never known these things exist :D

1.Cream cheese and fruit cheese?!!! I know only Amul and Britania, My mum knows many though :D
2.Gelatin powder? whats that?Jelly? Please help or I will look dumb in the super market :D I will try!! *Gulp!*
3.Peach syrup, okay I know this one, but I just pray I can get one!

I am smelling the cheesecake now!!Bye! :D

gugun said...

that looks delicious.

but I'll maintain that the best cheesecake is chenapoda ;)

Arun said...

The cheesecake sounds yummy and looks yummy. Will have to try it.

Baking is easy, just follow the recipe precisely. Quite the opposite though of desi cooking, where everything is by andaaz. So I know people with philosophical objections to baking.

nidhi said...

Silver and Bronze are mine...Yay :)
how can you call it a cake if it is not baked/cooked??
honestly i didnt know that cheesecake is not really cake :O :(

~I am not dumb, just brave enough to accept the truth :D

ಅಶ್ವಿನಿ/ Ashwini said...

Absolutely yummy..

I have tried this cheese cake but had used fresh mango for the fruit instead of Peach. Loved that cheesy cake. Gelatin powder can be replaced with a vegeteranian product called agar-agar too. I've been trying to find a packet of agar-agar but I guess they are out of stock..

Now I get a good tip of using jelly crystals instead. Let me try this one coming weekend.

Gurgaonflowerplaza said...

Brilliant stuff!
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Nona shivangi said...

Delicious.......
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poornakatha said...

I tried this recipe! But with mangoes, because there are so many lying around in the house right now.
I managed to get cream cheese and real gelatin powder, and so it was deliciousness all around.
Thanks! I can't wait to try it again.

Sudeep said...

One of the things I realized in US is that I would have been eating better stuff had I known how to use that oven and microwave :|

I never liked cheesecakes, but I could now give a try to the earlier dishes you had posted. Full on experimentation chal raha hai filhaal.