my affiliation with cheese-lovers

If you’ve been following this blog long enough, you would be aware of my aversion to the holy trinity of daily dairies; butter, milk and cheese. With the former two, I could easily drown them in the depths of my bakes, but with cheese, it would suffice to say that I’ve had that yellow block on restraining order ever since I was a young girl dressed in my pyjamas, seated with my back against the television, crying with a slice of cheddar in hand.

Some 4-year-olds wear out their little pills in the palm of their hands, scouring for crevices between the seat cushion they are on, to discard the medicine discreetly, adhering to the mother’s instruction of not getting off the seat until they’ve taken the first dose of the day.

And then there was me.

Trapped. Cornered. Cheated.

Knowing that there was no way I could pull off a similar act with stinky gooey cheese.

More than two decades on, nothing much has changed. I meticulously remove noticeable cheese/mozarella chunks from my pizza and place them on the mister’s plate, request for my pasta dishes sans parmesan, my burgers without cheese and mozarella, and always judge everything on the menu by its appearance (nothing creamy or cheesy-looking).

Today in my adult years, I’ve yet to be placed in a dining situation where I’d be trapped between finishing my plate out of courtesy to the host, and buying time to come up with the most polite way of saying ‘I don’t take _______ *[insert from one of the following: cheese/cream/mozarella/butter/milk]’, without drawing attention, or inconveniencing the host. And I really hope that awkward day would never come.

As much as I fuss over cheese on my plate, I’m blessed with a cute cheesaholic mister, and am the minority of a cheese-loving household. So when the sister turned a year older last Sunday, I knew that the easiest way to please would be to jump on the cheese bandwagon. And unlike the mac & cheese experience for the mister, this no-bake cheesecake was such a breeze to whip up. No nausea, no horrid stinky cheese smell on my hands, but of course, no slices on my dessert plate, thank you.

The brother literally gave a thumbs up in between mouthfuls, while the birthday girl absolutely loved it, saying it had the perfect crumb to filling ratio, and tried to convince me to make it often by offering a slice, “It doesn’t taste like cheese, really! It’s like ermmm ice-cream! Really. Try!”.

And yet every memory I have of anyone telling me a cheese taste isn’t prevalent will always end up with me spitting it out into my serviette, and drowning my mouth with something sweet.

I’ll stick to my chocolate. But I’ll give you your cheese.

No-Bake Cheesecake
(adapted from Simply Her, Aug 08, p.154)

150g digestive biscuits, crushed
5 tbsp butter, melted
1/2 tsp gelatine powder (halal gelatine powder can be found at PH)
4 tbsp warm water
250g cream cheese
1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup thickened cream

  1. Mix the biscuits and butter. Line the base and sides of a 6-inch square cake tin (I used an 8-inch round tin) with cling wrap and press the mixture into the base. Place in the freezer.
  2. Add the gelatine into the water (cool enough to stick your finger in for a few seconds without flinching). After 5 mins, stir to dissolve the gelatine.
  3. In a bowl, combine the cream cheese, vanilla extract, gelatine mixture and sugar until smooth.
  4. In a separate bowl, whip the cream till it forms soft peaks, then stir into the cream cheese mixture until smooth.
  5. Remove the cake tin from the freezer. Pour the cream cheese mixture in, distributing it evenly. Smooth the top of the cake with a spatula, and refrigerate for at least an hour.

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On another note altogether, this greeted me this morning, while I was surfing my daily reads. A great way to start the morning, if you ask me! If you haven’t already placed Serious Eats under your bookmark, you’re missing out on a whole lot. With Christmas in a few weeks, there’s no better time to get inspired from their fail-proof cookie recipes posted throughout this week. And if you’re a Tastespotting fan like myself, add Photograzing to the list of enticing food photography gallery. Recipes, photos, reviews, articles, and a forum all under one roof, you can’t get any better than that. Unless you’re talking about peanut butter-Nutella swirl brownies with a huge dollop of vanilla ice-cream and chocolate syrup on the side, sprinkled with freshly toasted chopped pecans.

Oh, and in case you’ve missed the entry on those fluffy cinnamon rolls, the recipe’s right here.

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24 thoughts on “my affiliation with cheese-lovers

  1. the mister

    I’ve had that yellow block on restraining order ever since I was a young girl dressed in my pyjamas, seated with my back against the television, crying with a slice of cheddar in hand.

    OH NO!!! :( That’s where your dislike for cheese comes from methinks! Childhood trauma! Can you imagine if it was chicken or chocolates instead of cheese? -_-‘

    And congratulations on yet another international recognition for your photos! Woohoo!

    *does a KST dance of joy*
    :P

    Reply
  2. faizah

    i lovelovelove all things cheesy. well, except for blue cheese i guess? your cheesecake looks delish! i’m going to make just that tomorrow =)

    oh yes i love tastespotting and photograzing and foodgawker! serious eats, i’ll bookmark now. thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  3. ovenhaven Post author

    bie: Oh I don’t even want to think of such a thing happening with chocolate/chicken! Too depressing, I think :( *rerere!*

    faizah: Oh do give it a try. The recipe was actually an adaptation for strawberry/mango cheesecake, but since I didn’t have any fruits on hand, the top was naked :P And foodgawker, I totally forgot to mention that. Give Recipemuncher a visit too!

    Reply
  4. faizah

    ohhhh thanks babe! and i love your white plate, it’s gorgeous! (am i too young to be a sucker for pretty plates and china? :p)

    Reply
  5. ovenhaven Post author

    One can never be too young for pretty plates and china, dearie! Oh, and if you’re topping the cheesecake with fruits, sub the vanilla extract to lemon juice.

    Reply
  6. Maris

    This sounds great! I want to make a cheesecake for a party I have coming up and this might be the one!

    And I agree with you: butter, cheese & milk are the perfect trifecta.

    Reply
  7. ovenhaven Post author

    Maris: I hope you’ll find the perfect cheesecake! And if you do give this a try, I hope you’ll like it :)

    grace: Ah okay, I can’t say the same for me; cream cheese is still cheese, I guess. So I still didn’t come near it :P

    Reply
  8. happygrub

    Its ok not to like cheese, and butter, and milk and erm cream, did I miss anything out. Well I know you eat yogurt (I haven’t figured out how it slipped under the restraining order) Anyway, its ok cos I don’t eat a lot of stuff too which people may find wierd. Like I don’t eat any another part of the chicken except the breast and wing. I don’t eat any form of skin like chicken or fish. I just don’t eat it. I can’t eat a drumstick. I just can’t. I don’t know why. But its just cos we’re all different I guess. To get started with H’s eating don’ts is another story all together!

    But U r really really fantastic to come up with all the cheesey goodness for the rest of the world! Ur cake is p-r-e-t-t-y!

    Reply
  9. ovenhaven Post author

    jean: Thanks, sweetz! You should give this a try if P likes cheesecakes :)

    happygrub: Hey, look who’s back! :P Oh I love being around fussy eaters. It’s like we should form a club or stg. I usually stick out like a sore thumb when it comes to gatherings, because somehow the family members don’t really have dietary exceptions which are supposedly as stark as mine. I find it interesting that you “can’t eat a drumstick”, since most times people tend to clamour for the drumstick :P I guess everyone has his/her own lil quirks, and that’s what makes the world so colourful. Congrats on completing your exams, btw :)

    Reply
  10. happygrub

    Thanks.. hey can I just ask when u stayed at the shangri la was it the rasa ria or tanjung aru? And u’re not allowed to guess in my latest post :)

    Reply
  11. emiliAduka

    how can u not love cheese girl??!!.. hahahha…
    i’ve got baked cheesecake recipe which i think ur mister would like but i dunno if u can go thru the cheese smell though.. hehee.. ;)

    Reply
  12. ovenhaven Post author

    happygrub: Ahah! I know where you’re off to ;) I stayed at Shangri-La Rasa Ria. Highly recommended :)

    emiliAduka: Haha, too many people have asked that question :P Oh, and I mailed you, sweetie :)

    Reply
  13. linda

    You have been traumatized by cheese ;) I think you really could try a bit of cheese cake as it doesn’t have the smell, taste and feel of regular cheese…and of course it is sweet ;)
    I don’t drink milk, not since I was about 5, the thought alone makes me nauseous but I did try drinking it a couple of years ago because A dared me (only a mini sip) and thought it wasn’t as bad as in my imagination. Never drank it afterward though ha ha!

    Reply
  14. ovenhaven Post author

    The only dare I ever took up was when a friend asked me to dip my fries in mayonnaise, and even though it wasn’t as horrid as I though it’d be, I’m still no convert :P I’m glad I’m not the only one who gets nauseous at a thought; I can smell nauseating cheese when people talk about any cheese dish! About the cheese cake, I think I’ll give it a pass, because I still can smell it. Haha.

    Reply
  15. Shaheen @ Ambrosia

    You don’t like cheese? Heck, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like cheese. When I first heard of a cheesecake, I squirmed at the thought of having cheese in my cake. But now I’m a convert. Loveeee NY cheesecake and esp a creamy oreo pie that A. made for me long ago. They’ve got such fond memories attached. :)

    Btw, what’s a KST dace of joy?

    And gosh you guys are too cute. I wonder when someone will ever race him to leave a comment here. Hehe

    Reply
  16. ovenhaven Post author

    Shaheen: Thanks, dearie! Ah how sweet of A to make that for you! :) I think the two of you sound so cute together. A KST dance of joy is just a silly lil dance move we came up with ~haha :P

    foodphotoblog: Thank you :) Nothing better than getting the push you need to materialise foodthoughts :P Thanks for dropping by.

    Reply
  17. ovenhaven Post author

    Oh thanks for the heads up, saliha! When jotting down recipes, I always copy them as is, coz I almost always just use PH’s vanilla essence or vanilla pods. I googled the difference between vanilla extract and vanilla essence, and wow, I never knew! Thanks for the information, dearie :)

    Reply

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