Saturday, September 27, 2014

No - Bake ~ Blueberry Cheesecake

Many a times my family and friends question my blogging? What exactly it does for me?
I do not answer them straight. I just laugh it off or better still give them some vague answer which keeps them on their toes.

But for me I have always known what this blog started with and where it is taking me. It did take a major turn when I finally wrote it down in an interview for Homegrown Magazine.

For this dream to come true, there are many milestones, many doubts within my mind that needs to be addressed. One of the biggest is..."What if they don't like my cake?"

To overcome my fear, I did what I do best. Put myself on the line and wait for the consequences.
This Blueberry cheesecake was also conceived in similar fashion. I received message on my twitter from an acquaintance if I could make a cheesecake for his dear friends birthday.

As bored as I am at work, the only 'high' I get is from the challenges I set for myself . This was something out of my comfort zone and I took it without overthinking. {thinking leads to missed opportunities} 

And beauty it was!

While I made several with different flavors at home to test the recipe, I was still on the edge and kept waiting for that one text saying that it was awesome ;)

And awesome it was! Yay for recipe follows!

Recipe follows:

For the Base:
12-14 Digestive Biscuits
4 Tbsp Melted Butter
2 Tbsp Granulated Sugar (Optional)
For the Cake:
1 Cup Cream cheese
3/4 Cup Heavy Cream
2 Tbsp Water {normal temp}
2 Tsp Gelatin
1/8 Cup Condensed Milk or Desired Sweetness


Preheat oven to 350 Degree F (170 degree C) and grease eight inch spring form pan.

Crush digestive biscuits to fine crumbs, add sugar (optional) and melted butter to it. Press down the crumbs to a greased spring form dish.

Bake for 8-10 minutes until light brown.

Soak Gelatin in water for 2 minutes and melt on double boiler.

On a medium speed, whip heavy cream until it reaches soft peaks stage. Add condensed milk or desired sweetness.

Add melted gelatin and mix cream cheese beating the mixture until smooth.

Pour this mixture to the biscuit base and refrigerate until firm. (Minimum of 4 hours till overnight)

Move cake mixture to fridge from chiller for 30 min before serving.

Layer the top with desired crush or preserve. Here I have used Blueberry Preserve.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Cardamom Cinnamon Plum Preserve

Anyone makes list here?

I need some tips!

I recently tried giving it a go but its so hard to follow it through, like every good habit. My memory is now rivaling a fish's memory. I travel to the nearest grocery shop twice or thrice a day and yet not have that one essential ingredient while cooking dinner or a late night dessert. 

The strange part is that I love collecting stationary. All sort of post its, stick on, list makers, different color markers, you name it and I have it. :P

Two days before we were due to leave for IFBM and Ooty trip, I thought why not put in a second recipe for a plum contest that I daydreamed about in office. excited and all ready, I started with the preparation only to realize that half of the plums in refrigerator are now down to only 2 pieces. (now you know why I was talking about lists)

Most kids at the age of Ozzy start with tangy and citrus fruits, but this kid never cease to amaze us. Her favorite fruit is Strawberry but you give her a lemon and that's it. Its gone even before you even think of taking it back from her to add it to the salad. 

Plums were no different. As far as I can remember, I have hardly ever had plums with the peels. They are just too sour for my taste. Ozzy takes all the peels first. Like shes savoring the flavor and eating the best first.

Turning seasonal fruits to jams without pectin is turning out to be a new obsession with me these days. I see them rolling in the market and my research to turn them starts.

For Plums, I took the easiest way out. It is the easiest recipe I have ever worked with. And the results were amazing.

This recipe was adapted from Spoon Fork Bacon

Recipe Follows:

12-14 Ripe Plums, Quartered and pitted
1/4 cup Packed Brown Sugar
1 Cinnamon stick 
1 Tsp Cardamom seeds - crushed 
Lemon Peels ( you can use zest)

Toss sugar and plums together in a large pot.
Let it stand for an hour or so until all juices are released.
Add Cardamom, cinnamon and lemon peels and put it on medium flame to boil.
Once you reach a boil, put the pot on slow flame and let it simmer for about 30 mins. Stirring occasionally.
Continue to let the syrup simmer until thickened.
Remove from heat and let it rest for 30 - 40 mins.
Repeat boil on medium and simmer on slow flame until the syrup thickens.
Let the jam cool before pouring into sterilize jars.

To sterilize jars:

Wash the jars and preheat the oven to 160 degree C. Keep the jars in oven for a
bout 20 minutes.
Do Not pour hot jam in cold jars. The glass will shatter. Seal jars when they both reach room temperature.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Poached Plums ~ In wine and water!

I have had Peaches and Plums as my comfort fruit ever since I am back from Delhi.
But that was summers! Come July and it hasn't stopped raining in Pune.
That means more comfort needed. Sigh!

Peaches are now very hard to find and Plums are now becoming scarce...slowly and steadily...

But fear not! I have the most amazing and perhaps the easiest of the plums recipes in hand this time.

Not that I had many options! With a full time job and a toddler who demands me to play ringa ringa roses with her every evening, the luxury of time spent in kitchen is getting questioned. And you would never hear me complaining! :)

I ended up making two batches. First one was in Red Wine by Sula ~ Satori ~ sweet and spicy!
The second batch was in water and brown sugar for our little Ozzy.

This recipe was adapted from The Kitchn

Recipe Follows:

In water

Ripe Plums
3 Tbsp Packed Brown Sugar
1/4 cup water
Few Cinnamon twigs ( you can use whole as well)
1/4 Tsp Cardamom seeds - crushed 
Lemon Peels ( you can use zest)

In wine

Ripe Plums - halved and pitted
4 Tbsp Packed Brown Sugar
1 cup Red Wine { I used Satori from Sula}
1 Whole Cinnamon stick 
1/4 Tsp Cardamom seeds - crushed 
3-4 cloves, crushed
3-4 Pepper corn, crushed


for water:

Combine water, brown sugar and cinnamon in a small pot on slow flame and bring it to boil.
Stir to dissolve the sugar.
Add whole Plums and lemon peels. Cover and let it simmer for 10 minutes.
Remove plums from the pot and continue to let the syrup simmer until thickened.
Allow the plums and syrup to rest for 5-10 minutes.
Serve warm.

for wine:

Combine wine, brown sugar, peppercorn, cloves and cinnamon in a small pot on slow flame and bring it to boil.
Place halved plums facing up into a pot and cover. Let it simmer for 10 minutes.
Remove plums from the pot and continue to let the syrup simmer until thickened.
Allow the plums and syrup to rest for 5-10 minutes.
Serve warm.