Thursday, November 07, 2013

Citrus and Chilli Cheese Cake-Celebrating one year of blogging!

Every once in a while, life gives you an opportunity; that tests the extent of your extreme potential. Once in a lifetime, comes an idea so inspiring that it gets deeply rooted into the very core of your being, that it fires every cell in your body with such enthusiasm and excitement; because all you can see at the end of the road is that little signpost that says ‘Happiness’.  My dear friends, for me Tummy Tales is that one idea, that one such journey.  It all began a little more than a year ago, when I cooked something one lazy Sunday afternoon and much unlike me, posted a picture on facebook.  Seeing the picture a friend called me asking for the recipe, which I happily shared with her. She called again, a few days later asking for another recipe. This was when she had a flashbulb moment and suggested I start a blog.  I made the best excuses I could. Honestly, I was happy cooking on Sundays or whenever the opportunity arose. Blogging never occurred to me. My friend though remained undeterred; she pursued with her follow ups; until one day, I decided I needed to get the monkey off my back.  I  thought I’ll just blog once and that would be it. So, up went my first post. But deep down, I was happy, I had shared a recipe to the world. My recipe. I don’t remember, but I think that post got about 5 views. Excitedly, I put up another post. One post followed another, slowly, followers signed in and today, 61 followers and roughly 10,000 page views later my blog turns a year old. There couldn’t be a more happier moment and how I wish I words could express the joy my heart feels. Simply, on the top of the world.

I did try very hard writing a  blogversary speech; but I realised that I had a long list of people to thank. That would make it seem like one of those glycerin drenched film award shows, but here’s a toast to each and every one of you, my readers and all others who have walked this path with me.. I am hugely humbled  to know that so many of you spend your precious reading the blog and sharing my world. Thank you once again. For sure, in the coming times you will see more interesting and innovative recipes on the site. In fact, how about kicking off a series titled “The World on my plate” where we savor the best of world cuisine from the Yakitori of Japan to the Spanish Potato Bravas  and the works. Drop in a line and let me know what you think. I shall wait to hear from you.

A birthday celebration incomplete without a cake right? And yes, a special cake was made for the blogs birthday. A cheesecake but I wanted to spruce it up a bit and yes, deviate from the traditional New York cheese cake. Then, it had to be healthy. Ahh, so many briefs to fit into one final cheesecake. So finally, I came up with “No bake, Citrus and Chilli Cheesecake”. Did I hear you swoon already. I have recently been intrigued by chilli. That robust flavour, that subtle back of the head kick. And then, the ever so dependable and very refreshing citrus. How can you ever go wrong when you have the goodness of oranges in it. All this held together by the rich, creamy, smoothness of cheese. This is going to be a cake to remember.  When I tried this one for the test run, I found it had a very intense chilli taste; to the extent of the citrus being overpowered. So, I had to go back to the drawing board and rework on the ingredient quantities. The point here is you only need the chilli flavour and not the taste. Citrus and chilli are my recommended flavors; go berserk with  your choice of flavors like ginger-honey, citrus-cinnamon, or the more adventurous whiskey and nuts or vodka and star aniseed.

Its been a fabulous year in blogging, and here's to many more of the same. And finally, A big “Thank you”. This would not have been possible without your support, inputs, comments and the so many other ways you show your love to “Tummy Tales”. I do hope we share  an even bigger camaraderie and the love of food we always had.

Keep smiling and happy cooking.

Citrus and Chilli Cheesecake

For the biscuit base:

6-8 digestive biscuits
1 tablespoon, brown sugar
2 tablespoons, butter

For the Cheese layer

200 grams, hung curd
80 grams, mozzarella cheese or cottage cheese
100 ml condensed milk
1 green chilli, de-seeded
1 teaspoon, citrus zest (use a combination of orange and lemon zest)
2 teaspoons, edible gelatin

For the Citrus reduction

Juice of 2 oranges
1 teaspoon, brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon, red chilli flakes


To make the biscuit base:

  • Combine the biscuits, sugar and butter in a zip lock bag and pound using a pestle or a rolling pin until the mixture resembles coarse wet sand. Alternatively, use could use a mixer.
  • Now, place a circular mould on a sufficiently large plate and empty the mixture on the inside of the mould. Level this out using the back of a spoon.
  • Keep this in the refrigerator for about half and hour till it sets well. 
To make the cheesecake layer:

  • Prepare the gelatin as per the instructions mentioned on the pack. Keep aside to cool.
  • In a bowl, add the hung curd and the grated mozzarella and whisk together, till evenly combined.
  • Add the condensed milk in small batches and mix well to combine. 
  • Next add the chilli and the citrus zest's. Mix well.
  • Add the prepared gelatin and combine.
  • Pour this mixture over the prepared biscuit base and refrigerate for about 2-3 hours. If possible, allow it to set overnight.
To make the citrus reduction:
  • Add the orange juice in a saucepan along with the sugar and chilli flakes.
  • Heat till the juice reaches a boiling point. Then lower the heat and boil till the juice has reduced to half in quantity.
  • Take out from the heat and allow to come to room temperature.
To serve:
  • Demould the cheesecake and pour the citrus reduction over the cheesecake. Chill for about 15 minutes.
  • Serve immediately.

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