The expectation on a food blogger is immense. Each time I have guests at home, somehow they come to know that I run a food blog, and then they expect me to give them some awesome food. 😀 I don’t blame them. Nobody seems to understand that what I post on the blog is not even something that I cooked recently. My family will vouch that they haven’t eaten anything that is appearing now on the blog. I hardly make anything special these days. Life has become such a roller coaster ride. Weekends are as busy and time pressed as weekdays are. At the moment, I am focusing on a few more projects, which hopefully will materialize well, InShaAllah.
My baking and cooking has literally taken a backseat. I haven’t lifted up my camera ever since my parents have landed. I actually feel sad when my props and backdrops stare back at me when I open the cupboard to pick up something. But I can’t help it. At a time when I absolutely have no motivation to try anything new, plus my family requesting me to keep making their favorites on repeat mode. Of course, what I have cooked the most seems to be the Majboos! I am hoping to cook and shoot some simple pudding and recipes, but all depends on how much mood I will have…
Having said that, this weekend, I met a blogger who I rate so highly in my eyes. I have been eyeing Aruna’s blog since long. One of the main reason is despite she being in a very core position in her career, she always takes time to try and post very interesting and different vegetarian recipes on her blog, Ahaaram. When she pinged me that she was coming to Dubai and would love to meet up, my heart jumped up with joy. Of course, I was in the office, so couldn’t jump off my seat! 😀 After dropping off the girls to their madrassa, I headed to the hotel she is saying and we had a very open chit chat over breakfast. I loved how unassuming she is and really enjoyed my little time with her. This is what I call little joys of life… 🙂
The dish of the day was made somewhere last year when I had a couple of packs of frozen strawberries, threatening to expire. One good thing that has happened in the past few months is that I have stopped buying grocery unnecessarily. This has literally translated to less expiry stocks in my pantry. I didn’t want to make the usual biscuit base because I find it boring. I have made cake based cheesecakes before as well, so that idea wasn’t really appealing to me. That is when during my casual browsing, I noticed some cheesecakes with shortbread crust and thought of working on this cheesecake on those lines. So basically, the base is baked but the cheesecake isn’t. 🙂
Shortbread is nothing but a buttery flat biscuit. Its texture totally compliments the soft cheesecake. I don’t know if it happens with you, but in my family, my folks eat up the cheesecake and discard the biscuit base. But they didn’t do it for this one. They loved how the shortbread blended in with the cheesecake and actually wanted me to give them more of the shortbread! Hehe… You can use any frozen berries of your choice for making this easy dessert. I have put a few notes just to make sure you have a delicious cheesecake experience!
Not missing out on one more update – we had some light showers yesterday and today morning. What a relief from the yo-yo climate scene we have had lately! The temperature has been fluctuating so much that it was leaving everybody with niggling difficulties. Alhamdulillah, hopefully this will relieve some of the virus. The air feels fresh and the mind feels amazing too… 🙂 OK, now I will move to the recipe… 😉
- FOR THE CRUST:
- 125 gm butter, softened
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1¼ cup all purpose flour
- A pinch of salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- FOR CHEESECAKE:
- 2 sachets whipping cream powder (refer notes)
- ¾ cup milk
- 300 gm cheese (like Philadelphia)
- 600 gm frozen strawberries, thawed
- 1 tbsp gelatin, melted in ¼ cup hot water (refer notes)
- Preheat oven to 160 degrees. Prepare a 9 inch springfom pan.
- Combine all ingredients for the shortbread in a food processor and process till you get a crumbly dough.
- Press down the pan and flatten with your hands. Poke with a fork all over.
- Bake for 10 minutes, reduce the temperature to 150 degrees and bake for a further 20 minutes. Cool completely.
- In a food processor, whip the powder and milk till stiff. Add the cheese and and beat till incorporated.
- Add in the thawed strawberry including its juices and the melted gelatin and process till done. You may leave bites of strawberry.
- Pour over the cooled shortbread base and set in the fridge for at least 2 hours
- Slice and serve!
If using whipping cream, use 250 ml, add sufficient sugar to taste and beat till stiff, before proceeding with the rest of the steps. DO NOT use the milk, since it is only for the powder to whip.
With this amount of gelatin, the cheesecake is soft. If you want it a little sturdier, add an additional tbsp gelatin.