Sunday, 29 May 2011

Picture post

The strawberry season came, it went. Beautiful, ain't they?

Here are some strawberry custard tarts.

That was desert, for dinner there was stuffed mushrooms (parsley & mozzarella cheese) and spinach & goat's cheese pizza.

Thoroughly enjoyed our meal!

Fruits with a heart of stone

Many reasons why I love summer
  • Mangoes
  • Peaches
  • Cherries
  • Apricots
  • Litchis
  • Time to celebrate Little's birthday!
The fruits have hit the market in a big way, and the crop seems to be pretty good too. Juicy peaches and the darkest of cherries. Litchis with their juice running down your hands! Simply gorgeous.

Went by a fruit seller today, and he had the loveliest looking fruit. Bought a whole box of cherries, some peaches and litchis. Alas, with the cherries, the bottom-most layer was the not so great fruit. A risk one takes with buying a whole box. Quickly, quickly - the bottom-most layer had to be turned into something more palatable. Hence the crumble (British) or crisp (American).

Pitting cherries is easy, but time-taking - slice an 'X' into both ends then squeeze! The seed just pops out. Bored? Want to try another method? Cut around the seed and voila! there you have it! Else I believe there is a supposedly a gadget called a 'pitter'! Self explanatory I think.

Bottom-most layer was pitted and turned into a glass dish. About a cup and a half of cherries. I added a cup of sliced peaches for good measure. I used a combination of oats (about a cup) & butter (about 3 tbsp) for the topping, omitting the flour altogether - trying to keep the dish as healthy as possible. Added a bit of brown sugar to the fruit as well as topping.

The flavor of the peaches dominated the dish, cherries added a nice tartness.

I did manage to take a picture..until

Along came a Little fella! Who insisted on biting into a peach (he has 4 teeth which need to be used you see) and then wanted a taste of the crumble!

Having said and done all of this, I'd much rather eat peaches & cherries - however, this is a great way to use up fruit which is not all that eat worthy.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Cheesecake wonders

Cheesecake is something I've always wanted to make, never got around to, as I refused to buy the oh so expensive Philly cream cheese available here in Mumbai. Come April, I had three boxes of cream cheese in the refrigerator (thanks to T), come May, there were only two :-( The Mumbai weather to blame, the third which I had opened to use as a spread succumbed to fungus :-(

On a brighter note, this is what the others were turned into: An Oreo cookie cheesecake & Brownie cheesecake! Both adapted from The Purple Foodie.


Ya ya, so they seem a bit frugal - but what was I to do! Just two 200 gm. boxes of the good stuff.

The brownie cheesecake doesn't have a recipe as such - it was made with the main purpose of using up a batch of burnt brownies. Biscuit base, followed by ground brownies and then a layer of baked cheesecake. Heaven!

The Oreo cheesecake goes as follows:


  • 28 Oreo cookies, powdered (I didn't have as many so I used a combination of Oreo & Digestive biscuits - worked very well
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 200 gms. cream cheese
  • 70g sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 90 gms. cream
  • A few Oreo cookies, chopped up for embellishment


  1. Line an 8 inch pan with foil, both base and the sides.
  2. Mix together the powdered oreo cookies and melted butter and press it into the pan. Make sure it is tightly packed in.
  3. Whisk the cream cheese and sugar in the bowl until smooth. Add the vanilla extract, followed by the egg, and the cream, mix until it is smooth. Stir in the chopped Oreo cookies and pour it over the crust in the cake pan. Top with a few more Oreo cookies and bake in a preheated oven at 160°C in a water bath for 35-45 minutes. The cheesecake won't set completely, will be a bit gooey.
  4. Once cooled, refrigerate the cake for at least 3-4 hours before slicing up.
What is a water bath you ask? Use a larger pan containing boiling water and place the smaller cheesecake baking pan in it. One of the best ways to bake a cheesecake. The science behind it - the water bath will never get hotter than 100C , whatever the temperature of the oven maybe. Essentially this means the cheesecake bakes uniformly, therefore making sure it doesn't sink or crack.

The Oreo cheesecake was T's lunch for 2 days in a row!

Coming up next Viennese chocolate sables - thanks to M!