The all Indian Strawberry Cheesecake in Summer Series
Sorry for the longish break, dear friends! I was busy with deadlines and then a wonderul family get-together. Now I am back with the recipe for a strawberry cheesecake made with all Indian ingredients, as promised! The inspiration came from the Good Food show on NDTV news channel. I had done a very long post on this a while ago, and lost the whole of it due to some parallel sign in -sign out activity on gmail. It is indeed difficult to recapture all that I'd written, but in case some instructions aren't clear, please write in your queries and I shall be happy to respond!
I must give 100% credit to a recipe I saw on the Good Food show some weeks ago. With frozen strawberries sitting in my fridge, all I needed was to work on getting the hung yogurt and I could start of on making my dream cheesecake. If I had to put in more descriptors, I'd say - No springform pan, no Graham crackers, no cream cheese, no water bath, no baking and hey this is NO JOKING!!! Strawberry cheesecake with Indian ingredients Makes a 750 gm cake Adapted from NDTV cooks
Preparation How to get hung yogurt If you'd like to made yogurt at home, first mix in a tsp of good homemade yogurt into One Litre boiled and cooled milk at slightly higher temperature than body temperature. Stir the milk well, cover tightly and keep in a warm corner for 5-6 hours. Keep a large strainer covered with a folded muslin cloth over a vessel. Once the yogurt is set well, turn in into the muslin covered strainer. Twist the muslin cloth and clip / tie it at the mouth. If the weather in your area is very hot, keep the strainer with yogurt over a vessel in the refrigerator for 5-6 hours until all the water (whey) is drained out. If you are not making the cheesecake immediately, store this thick block of curd in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Use within 24 hours so that it does not turn sour. You can also use store bought yogurt like Nestle Dahi. You will need 2 tubs of 400 mg and one 200 mg tub to get a packed cup of hung yogurt.
Ingredients 200 gm Parle G + Digestive Marie biscuits 3 tbsp melted butter
250 gm frozen strawberries (do not thaw) 1/2 cup sugar
1 cup hung curd 1 cup cream
1 tbsp gelatin 4 tbsp water
2-3 tbsp Blueberry jam for topping
Other equipment Am 8-9" cake tin Cling film
an 8" springform pan
In a food processor, pulse the biscuits into coarse powder and mix in the melted butter well into it. Take a cake tin 8-9" diameter, line it with a large sheet of cling film big enough to cover the sides and come well out of the brim.
Put in the biscuit-butter mix into the pan lined with film. Spread evenly and press well with heavy object such as mortar. Put in the freezer for 20 min or so to set.
Puree the frozen strawberries and sugar together in a mixer to get a sorbet kind of mixture. Remove into a large bowl and keep aside.
Add the hung curd and cream, blend well to make a smooth mixture. Pour it into the bowl containing strawberry sorbet, mix them well with a wooden spoon.
Add 4 tbsp of water in the gelatin in a small heat resistant cup. Using a pair of tongs, hold the cup on the surface of water boiling in a pan. Stir the gelatin mix with a spoon continuously to get a clear liquid.
Pour the gelatin mix slowly into the strawberry mixture, stirring continuously.
Remove the set crust from the freezer and pour the strawberry mixture onto the set biscuit base.
Cover and put in the fridge to set overnight.
Top with a thin layer of jam or sliced fresh strawberries, cut into wedges and serve cold.
Notes Jam - I used St. Dalfours brand blueberry jam which is made in grape juice and with no added sugar. This is available in most stores in India, imported by Weikfield. The cream used in this recipe was a 200 ml tetrapack of Amul cream
Verdict As you can see, the cheesecake looked dainty and mouthwateringly enticing. The crust was a good mix of sweetness from the Glucose biscuits and crispy crunch of the digestives. We could not make out any gelatiney texture or bad flavours in the cake. The topping made with blueberry jam complemented the strawberries beautifully. My two guests loved this one whole heartedly and DH gave the thumbs up sign as usual!
Me to you I might just add the melted butter while grinding biscuits, next time for a more uniform spread. With the mango season right upon us, Version 1.2 of the cheesecake will obviously be made with Alfonso mangoes. Wait for the update!
No springform pan? The cling film covering a regular pan till its brim worked just perfectly. While unmoulding, just pick up the cake by lifting up the edges of the film and deposit in onto a serving plate.
I really liked the idea of using yogurt instead of cream cheese. Firstly we don't have any Indian brand of cream cheese, the imported ones have scary manufacturing dates and cost a bomb. Not to mention, how fattening they can be, unless ofcourse you opt for the low-fat version. Yogurt all said has its benefits being rich in calcium, protein and best thing is that it is just such a household ingredient in Indian homes. I promptly drank up the cold leftover whey, which felt heavenly on that hot afternoon. You can use this as stock or use it for binding dough. It is too high is nutrients to let it go down the drain.
Cream ofcourse is high calorie and there's nothing we can do about it except exercise some moderation when it comes to eating this (which is truly difficult, trust me - you don't wanna know how much of this cake i ate up by myself)
You can easily adapt this into a diabetic recipe by using sugar substitute instead of sugar. A word of caution though - since cream is quite rich, diabetics must be content with a small slice at a time.
I have myself been in search of a cheesecake that I can make at home and looks like this is truly the one. So all you cheesecake lovers who don't have access to fancy schmancy ingredients, do give this one a try and let me know how you liked it.
You'll find me here too Burrp.com is a new foodie review website and I have just begun reviewing on the Mumbai edition. Check here for the review of Pratap's: The Dhaba at Lokhandwala, Mumbai