Statutory Warning : The contents of this post may cause extreme taste sensations and possibly result in weight gain! Proceed at your own risk. Also be warned that this is a rather long post and you may be tempted to dose off before you reach the end!!
I have been promising to make cheesecake for my daughter for the past month or so, but just never managed to get around to it. So guess who was the happiest when this month’s Daring baker challenge turned out to be cheesecake? As Akshaya remarked, ” If the DB challenge wasn’t cheesecake, who knows how much longer I would have had to wait for cheesecake!”
Yes, the April 2009 challenge is hosted by Jenny from Jenny Bakes. She has chosen Abbey’s Infamous Cheesecake as the challenge. We had to use the provided recipe but were free to experiment with the crust, flavours for our cheesecakes, shapes and serving sizes and presentation. That’s a lot of leeway for individual creativity.
I have made cheesecake before, but they have been the no-bake kind which isn’t too difficult to make especially in an eggless version. This challenge required us to make a baked version which I had never done before. Now baked cheesecakes basically have a custard sort of filling, where the eggs are required as binders so I wasn’t sure I would be able to find a recipe that wasn’t vegan (I don’t get most vegan alternatives where I live) yet didn’t use eggs.
A detailed internet search threw up this “Eggless Cheesecake” recipe from I Cannot Believe It Has No Eggs Cheesecake from Bakin’ Without Eggs by Rosemarie Emro (St. Martin’s Press, 1999). I adapted this recipe to suit my requirements and made Cardamom Flavoured Rose Cheesecake Bars. I thought it would be unusual to use these very Indian flavours to make a non-Indian dessert.
We don’t get creamcheese here in India (as far as I know), so what I always use to make my cheesecakes is home-made paneer, a soft Indian fresh cheese made from cow’s milk. My recipes for making paneer and the cheesecake bars follow. The success of my first baked cheesecake made feel a bit adventurous and then this recipe and the accompanying picture made me decide to attempt making a Zebra-Stripe cheesecake. I decided to bake another cheesecake (2 days ago) using the given challenge recipe while substituting for the eggs as well.