Cheesecakes were too fancy and rare dessert back in the ’90s. When we first had it, at a friend’s house, it was not even referred to as a cheesecake. it was served as a chilled cake. And I remember Aunty mentioning proudly, how she made it with hung curd. Clearly remember how she took it out from a tin, which probably was her show-off time, as those tins were not common in India. It was very fancy even for those days, to have these springform tins, with a clip to loosen and release the cake.
How cheese cake fascinated me back in 90’s
Least did I know that was my first cheesecake ever. As when next I got to eat a bite of this dessert served to us over a plush dinner at a fancy restaurant, I was told that I am being served a cheesecake. And then I realised my cake at my friend’s place was so similar to what I was served. A biscuit layer, salty tart cheese kind of filling, and yeah this one has some more fancy blueberries on top.
My curiosity took me to understand the two, by reading more about Cheesecakes.
Cheesecakes appeared to be a very doable dessert after a long conversation with my friend’s mother, as she just mentioned very common familiar ingredients in her recipe.
Cheese cake, a fancy Dessert
But in most of the books Cheesecakes were usually a wobbly set cake, either made in the oven or with a few fancy elements like berries and a strange ingredient called cream cheese. Cream cheese made me restless, as I had never heard anything beyond cottage cheese, or mozzarella in those days. Things were not accessible online in those days.
What made me replace cream cheese in my recipe
The middle-class upbringing forced me to adapt to Aunt’s recipe when I first saw the cream cheese in a gourmet section of a department store in the posh South of Delhi. as it was an exorbitantly priced gourmet product. And the not so developed cooking enthusiast told me to put my fancy on hold, and stick to the simple Ghareloo( homely) recipe for now.
What made a few proud could be debatable and trolled by learned patisserie chefs.
After years also I have friends and family who thank me for preserving this recipe in my torn old diary, as it comes very handy for days like these when u cant find cream cheese around, or now when we are in a lockdown situation , and making recipes with available ingredients is a wise idea.
But authentically this recipe might still be debatable as neither does it contain the main element i.e the cream cheese nor is it made in the traditional water bath.
But as it serves my taste buds and fancy of many simple households and also feasible in tough times like the lock down days 2020…we are happy to share.
More so such recipes help to overcome the fear of making a new strange dessert. That too for the first time, when you don’t know the chances of likability by the family.
So next time when your family already likes the salty, tart flavors of a cheesecake made without the cream cheese, you will also have a story to tell.
A complete video to see the step by step process @ https://youtu.be/eyfE8igTzOk
A complete recipe of how to make Cream cheese from scratch at home is up on the blog http://milesnmeals.com/super-easy-homemade-cream-cheese/
Traditional flavours merged with fancy European dessert in my recipe of Thandai cheese cake tart is an interesting read.