Saturday, March 22, 2008

Yeh Cheese(Cake) bada hai mast mast !!!

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So, rounding up my cook a meal for your wife day and getting into another one (the weekend has begun), I give you a relatively easy and tasty cheesecake. Cheesecakes occupy a significant place in my life and our household. Much before, my wife fell in love with me, she fell in love with the cheesecakes I made at Hotel Management Training facility. Even though she would hate to catch my sight and interact with me, she would queue up to get a bite of the cheesecake. Time flowed by, and I moved on to a different department in a different city, we met again,fell in love and tied the knot. The Cheesecakes stopped coming. The only cheesecakes we had post marriage were the ones we had every other weekend at the Cheesecake Factory at Beachwood, OH. Thus it was but natural for me to round up the meal with a cheesecake made by me after all these years.

Now cheesecake comes in a wide range of styles on the way it is made, taste and the type of cheeses it uses. For more information on the different styles and sub-styles read this wikipedia thread. It provides a real meaningful and academic insight. Taking a queue from one quote mentioned there, it is indeed a canvas to work on.

I typically made a cheesecake that used a short crust base and was set (with the aid of gelatin). This time however, I used a cracker (biscuit) crumb base and baked the cheesecake. For knowledge sakes, it was a cross between different styles namely, the Ann-Arbor and the New York style. The heart shape again was not by design. I could not get to find a springform pan in the city (I have really searched high ...donations are welcome :D), the heart shaped cookie cutter was the only one available. Needless to say, both mother and son, polished of the whole thing in minutes (and there were 8 batches that were made).


For the Base / Crust
3/4 cup cracker crumbs ( I use either Glucose biscuit or Marie crumbs)
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted

For the Cheesecake:
1 1/2 cup plain yogurt ( hung for 2 hours to drain water )
1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup cream cheese ( I used the amul version available...worked fine)
2 large eggs
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 Cup Strawberry Puree

For the Coulis
1 cup Strawberry puree, chunky
1/4 cup sugar
2 tblsp water

Method: For the Base:

1. Mix butter and biscuit crumbs and blend until crumbs are evenly moistened.
2. Press crumb mixture over bottom of prepared pan ( read springform, else use a big cookie cutter ..easy to remove as base is crumbly).
3. Bake crust until just golden, about 8-10 minutes. Set aside while preparing filling.

For the Cheesecake:

1. Combine yoghurt, sugar, flour, and lemon juice. Blend until smooth. set aside.
2. In a large mixer or a bowl, beat cream cheese on medium speed until smooth.
3. Slowly add the yoghurt mixture, eggs, and vanilla to the cream cheese mixture; beating on low speed until combined.

4. Add in the Strawberry puree slowly, so as not to curdle mixture.
5. Pour into prepared pan over the base.
6. Bake at 160°C for 45 mins, or until the center is nearly set.
7. Cool for 30 minutes, remove the sides of the pan, then cool completely. Chill for 4 to 6 hours.

For the Coulis:

1. Combine ingredients.
2. Put on a low flame. Simmer, reduce a little and remove. 10-15 minutes
3. Chill.

Before signing off ....Happy Holi !!!


ANJALI J. said...

they look delicious..nice pics. hey can i make this without eggs? :D

Kalai said...

Now, if only I could get my husband to cook for me... Kudos to you for making this gorgeous recipe. Thanks for sharing! :)

sowmya said...

that cake looks so good..must have tasted great too!!!

Anonymous said...

check sri venkateshwara agencies in general bazar (M G Road, secunderabad) for spring form cake tins.... he's a wholesaler...i've also seen some at q mart just after they moved to the new place...i have the number for venkateshwara...which i need to fish out...will send by email...

Gaurav said...

Hey thanks...I was just going to add some in my amazon cart. Several failed attempts in Chennai and Hyderabad. Q-Mart did not have any when I checked them out ( just 5 mins frm my am there virtually every weekend)

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