Monday, October 11, 2010

Party Menu Series#1-Strawberry Cheesecake

Over the weekend, as mentioned before, I had a cozy little lunch party for my friend and her two lovely kids. This is the last post in my series on the menu I cooked that day. I did indeed save the dessert for last-and that too a dessert that is light and healthy and easy to make. How could anything be sweeter than that?

First off, what is a cheesecake exactly? There are as many different types of cheesecakes as there are cheeses! They could be baked or unbaked, made with eggs or eggless, could have a base of crushed biscuits, pastry, or sponge, and may have a topping of fruits or could be flavored with chocolate or fruit.

I think this recipe must be one of the healthiest cheesecake recipes I've ever come across. As I mentioned in the first post in this series, this recipe was given to me by my friend Priya. It's one of her favorites and now that I've made it, I can easily see why. It is healthier because it is made with curds/yogurt. And it is easier because it has a base made of just bread slices, and not a pastry or sponge or even crushed biscuits. So what are you waiting for?

To serve 6 to 8 (or even just 4, if all your guests have a terrible sweet tooth!)
  1. 500 g thick curds/yogurt (I used Nestle)
  2. 200 g thick fresh cream (I used Amul) or 200 g cream cheese
  3. 1/4 to 1/2 cup strawberry fruit crush (not juice or squash, but specifically crush-I used Mapro)
  4. White bread slices-enough to cover the bottom of your dessert serving dish
  • First off, you have to transform your ordinary curds into hung curds or Greek yogurt. All you have to do is transfer the curds into a muslin cloth, tie it up tightly, squeeze out as much water from it as you can, and hang it under your kitchen tap or somewhere else (making sure you have a pan under it to catch the water/whey dripping out). Leave it like that for 30 minutes.
  • Now open it-it should have become a hard block, like cottage cheese/paneer. Put this into your blender jar.
  • Pour the thick fresh cream also into your blender jar. Make sure there is no residual water in it. Discard the water, do not mix into the cream.
  • Now pour the fruit crush into it and blend for 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Pour this mixture into a bowl and place it into your freezer compartment for 30 minutes, covered.
  • Now take your dessert serving dish, see how many bread slices would be needed to cover the bottom in one layer (with the crusts removed). Take out that many slices of bread and cut out the crusts.
  • Place the bread slices in one layer to cover the bottom of the dish and press down with your hands to flatten the slices well.
  • Spread the fruit crush over this, like spreading jam.
  • Now take the bowl from the freezer and pour the contents on top of the slices, covering everything.
  • Place the dish, covered, in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 hours before serving.
  • Decorate with strawberry slices (if in season) or cherries or blobs of the fruit crush.
You could actually use any flavor of fruit crush that is your favorite, but strawberry makes for a delicious and safe bet that everyone would like!
In case you're insecure of the mixture setting properly, you could always add a little gelatin to it (mix 2 tablespoons in 1/4 cup hot water and mix into the curd-cream mixture before freezing it). However, if your hung curd had become a hard, waterless block, then there is no need to worry!
The liquid that is leftover from the hung curd, called whey, is actually very nutritious and can be used instead of water to knead dough for rotis, pizzas, or even as a stock for curries and soups.

The other recipes in this party menu series were:
Parsee-Style Coconut and Cashewnut Rice
Chicken Mixed Masala
Mother's Day Cauliflower-Potato Dry Fry

I am linking this to the Weekend Wrap Up Party hosted by Patty at her lovely home decor blog (motivated by my friend Emreen, at Liven Things Up, who herself has a lovely home- and who is a big fan of Patty's!)


Katerina said...

I love healthy sweets. It is certainly better for children. Yours looks yummy and healthy. i love yogurt as well.

Patricia Torres said...

Oh my!! such lovely words.. Im humbled.. thank you so so much for joining my party.. Let me tell you a secret.. Im horrible in the kitchen... Someday.. I'll try out your recipe for sure!!

Once again.. thanks a ton.. for joining..

Biny Anoop said...

Thx for visiting my blog....u have a lovely space here....gr8 recipes...c u the veggies and spices

Emreen said...

WoW! This is one easy and rich dessert !!!
Know what , I have been secretly waiting for a dessert from your blog for a long time... !!!;-) ;-)
Is there any option to send the dishes to anyone who visits a delicious-luking food blog and posts a comment ?!??!?! ;-) ;-)