213. passion fruit cheesecake
passionate about a passion fruit
I have been away for a long time. Some of my friends have been asking whether I have stopped blogging. The answer is definitely not. December was just too hectic…. family wedding, guests and a bugging flu and fever with a persistent cough. Still getting over the cough. I have been cooking and noting down the measurements. My note book is filled with squiggly fonts in red, black and blue. I had to start blogging before those squiggly fonts become indecipherable to me. Last week some friends came over for dessert and
I made some cheesecake. Most cold cheesecakes have eggs or are gelatin based. I tried out the cheesecake using agar agar flakes and loved the end result. Instead of cream cheese I used curd cheese. It is pretty difficult getting some decent cream cheese in Mombasa. I used about 2 litres of yogurt to get the required amount of curd cheese. I was pretty adventurous in trying out a passion fruit flavour cheese cake, but hey it worked.
PASSION FRUIT CHEESECAKE
Serves 10 to 12
For the base :
200 or 300g digestive biscuits
3 to 4 tbsps of butter
For the filling :
400g cream cheese or curd cheese
250 ml fresh cream
10 to 12 tbsps powdered sugar
4 tbsps agar agar flakes
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup passion fruit concentrate
1/2 cup passion fruit pulp
Preparation of the base:
- Crush the biscuits using a food processor or a big ziploc bag and a rolling pin.
- Melt the butter gently.
- Add the melted butter to the biscuit crumbs and mix well.
- Take a 9 or 10 inch round spring form cake tin. Press the crumb mixture onto the base of the tin. Press it in gently.
- Put the tin in the freezer till required.
- Soak agar agar in the water for 10 minutes in a small pan. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil till the agar agar dissolves. Leave the mixture on the side but it should not become cold.
- Gently heat the passion fruit concentrate. Add the agar agar mixture to it.
- If you are using home made curd cheese, make sure it is not watery. Should have a crumbly texture.
- Add sugar to the curd cheese. Whisk it with an electric whisk till it becomes smooth.
- Whip the fresh cream till it forms soft peaks.
- Add the hot agar agar mixture to the curd cheese mixture and whisk it.
- Add the whipped cream and passion fruit pulp. Mix well.
- Pour the filling over the biscuit crumb base.
- Level the top gently and put the cheesecake in the fridge to set. This will take about 4 to 5 hours but I let mine set overnight.
- Before serving, decorate the top as you like.
- Use ginger nut biscuits or chocolate biscuits for the base.
- If the agar agar sets, heat it up again before mixing it with the filling.
- To get a crumbly curd cheese, I put the yogurt in a thin cotton cloth. I place it on a wad of newspaper and also place newspaper on top. Then I put a heavy brick on it. The newspaper soaks up the water. Once the newspapers are wet, replace them with dry ones. Then I let the curd cheese sit in the fridge overnight in the cloth.
- For the topping, use extra passion fruit pulp, grated chocolate, any other fresh fruit etc.
- To get a passion fruit concentrate, take about 1/2 kg of passion fruit. Take out the pulp. Put the pulp in the blender without any water. Blend it for a few seconds. Sieve the mixture. You will be left with the concentrated juice. Measure the concentrate in a cup. Add half the amount of sugar. Mix well. Remainder of the concentrate can be diluted to make a refreshing drink.
- Ready made concentrate is available in most Indian grocery shops in UK.
- Adjust the amount of sugar used in the filling according to your taste.
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