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.
(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
- 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.
- 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.
- In a bowl, combine the cream cheese, vanilla extract, gelatine mixture and sugar until smooth.
- In a separate bowl, whip the cream till it forms soft peaks, then stir into the cream cheese mixture until smooth.
- 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.
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.