Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Blackcurrant Cheesecake

So today, I finally had a little time to take a peek at this space and yet again, its been a while since I last posted here. I'm still getting my head around the what's where here in Sydney and will post more about my findings soon. In the meanwhile, I found that I still have a few recipes in my drafts, this is all from before we left Mumbai. Things were so hectic then, that I hardly had the time to share some of these recipes with you. Well, now is as good a time as any. So in the next few days, I'll be finally posting some of the stuff I'd whipped up earlier.

This cheesecake was requested for, by my brother. He had a friends birthday to attend and the birthday boy is a big fan of cheesecake, hence the request. This recipe is one I hadn't tried before, so I literally had my fingers crossed while this was coming together. I actually made a second tiny cheesecake, so that we could taste it too.

The cheesecake was a complete hit. We at home loved it too, so I know for sure they weren't just trying to be nice when they complemented it. I heard that at the party there was quite a scramble for it. There were a couple of pieces set aside to take to someone, but apparently a couple of the boys were found in the kitchen gobbling them down. All that was left were crumbs. Its always so nice to hear that. That's what keeps me baking.

I followed the recipe I found on Easy Meal Planning for the cheesecake. I didn't however, have the time to make the sauce for the topping. This cheesecake was originally supposed to be a Blueberry Cheesecake, but my brother who was supposed to pick up a tin for this specific purpose, picked up a tin of Blackcurrant pie filling instead. So we decided to use it anyway. Waste not! Want Not!

This cheesecake had to travel about an hour to its destination, so all I did was use the dull side of a knife to loosed the edges of the cheesecake after it had cooled completely. Then I placed a glass on the table and the cheesecake tin over it just to demould it completely. I simply picked the ring up again and then added the topping. I wrapped it all up nice and securely at the base and covered the top with some al-foil. It reached safe and sound.



Blackcurrant Cheesecake
Yields 1-8" and a tiny 4" one or 1 - 9" cake

For the base
250g digestive biscuits, crushed
60g butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 180ÂșC.

You can either use the food processor and lightly crush the biscuits till it resembled coarse bread crumbs or you can use a rolling pin. I used the food processor to save time.

Tip the biscuit crumbs in a mixing bowl and add the melted butter. Stir till it is incorporated well and starts to look like wet sand.

Press this mixture into the bottom of a loose bottomed cake tin (you could also use a spring form pan if you have one) and let it come up the sides as well. How high you let it come depends on how you like your cheesecake crust. Avoid making the crust too thick where the base meets the sides.

Bake for 7-10 minutes till it has lightly browned.

While this is happening, you can start mixing your filling.


For the filling
250g cream cheese
450g cottage cheese
200g light brown sugar
6 eggs, separated
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 tbsp. lemon zest


Make sure the cream cheese and the cottage cheese is near room temperature and not chilled to get a nice, creamy texture.

Blitz the cottage cheese in a blender with some milk / cream till smooth and creamy. Do not over beat.

Beat together the cottage cheese, the cream cheese, sour cream and the sugar. Add the egg yolks and continue to beat. Add the zest and the vanilla essence and beat till it has been incorporated well into the mix.

Beat the egg whites till they hold soft peaks. Fold the beaten whites into the cream cheese mix.

Pour the mix into the baked biscuit shell.

Wrap a large piece of heavy duty aluminium foil around the base of the tin and up the sides. Place the tin in a roasting tray. Carefully, pour boiling water in the roasting pan till it reaches halfway up the side of the cake pan.

Carefully place the roasting pan in the oven and bake for about 40 minutes or till a skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes out just clean.

Remove the foil from around the tin and let the cheesecake cool completely.

Now you can demould the cake and add the topping. I used a tin of black-currant pie filling/cheesecake topping.

(Note that the original recipe calls for 450g cream cheese and 250g cottage cheese. I had just about 250g cream cheese and the local store was out of cream cheese so I used the quantities above and still ended up with a cheesecake that had beautiful texture.) 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Notes from Sydney!!!

So we're here in Sydney in the middle of winter and its absolutely beautiful. It does get a tad cold from time to time, but we're enjoying every minute of it. Walking through the grocery isles over here is amazing. There is so much to choose from, whether it is fresh produce, meat and seafood or baking ingredients and accessories :) I've been a happy camper just looking through stuff, like a kid in a candy shop. I haven't really got down to serious cooking or baking yet, as we are still in the process of settling in, finding a place to stay, job hunting and the like.

We're moving into our rental home in another days time. Its a cozy little place and has a tiny little kitchen. Not something I'm used to, I must admit. Cooking here will be a little challenging but I know I'm going to work my way around that. Maybe, I'll start noting down a 'chronicles from a little kitchen' series while I'm at it :) It just may encourage others with limited space to try their hand at a home cooked meal.

Oh yes, I did stop by a local craft store yesterday and boy! was it a big one. There was so much stuff in there. I originally went in to buy some yarn to crochet a few things, but there were so many options, I didn't end up picking anything. That just not like me. But I fully intend going back once we move and getting started on a few projects.

Notes from Sydney will continue as we explore more places and experience what this fabulous city has to offer. Don't forget to stop by soon. 

Sunday, July 7, 2013

SRC: Chocolate Oatmeal No-bake Cookies

This is my last SRC post from my current home in India. Hopefully, it won't be my last. We're moving from Mumbai to Sydney in a few days time and I'm looking forward to blogging from my new home there. These last couple of weeks have been absolutely frenzied in terms of activity levels. We've just gotten rid of almost all of our stuff that we're not taking along with us, including both of my dearly beloved ovens.

For this months SRC assignment I was assigned the blog Jenna's Cooking Journey. Jenna's blog is full of yummy goodness and she has such a variety of baked goodies, that I was sad I wouldn't be able to try out one of her baked recipes which I had originally picked for this month's reveal, but hadn't got down to making it yet. And now that I didn't have an oven at my disposal, I went back to her blog to see what I could whip up. And you know what, I found a gem of a recipe there for no-bake cookies. The ingredients listed sounded delicious. I had everything I needed in the pantry waiting to be used before we took off, so that was another plus point. I knew I was going to try these cookies out. I'm so glad I did. These were not only easy to make and were so quick to put together, but they tasted divine. Thanks Jenna for sharing such a wonderful recipe. This one is a definite keeper for me. I know I'll be making these cookies more often. I stuck to the recipe as is and I'm glad I did. But in the future I know I'll be trying out other variants of these cookies to, it does seem like a recipe that is quite versatile. One thing I'll do a little different next time, is I'll cut the sugar quantity a little. Mind you, these cookies are NOT overly sweet, but my husband and I both agreed that we'd love it even more if it was a tiny bit less sweet. Do give it a try and see how addictive these little yummy mounds are. They remind me of a yummy bar of Snickers, with a big difference, I know exactly what's going into these. I halved the recipe and got a dozen cookies and those are the quantities I've listed below.


Chocolate Oatmeal No-bake Cookies
(Yields 1 dozen cookies)

1/4 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup milk
2 tbsp. cocoa
1/4 cup peanut butter (I used the chunky variety)
1 1/2 cup quick cooking oats
1 tsp Vanilla extract

Place the butter, sugar, milk and cocoa in a saucepan on the heat. Bring it to a rolling boil and boil for one minute thereafter.

Stir in the rest of the ingredients till everything is well combined and drop spoonfulls of the mixture on some baking / parchment paper.

Let it cool to set.

Enjoy!!!