For dessert, let them eat cheesecake-The New Indian Express

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By Monish Gujral 18th August 2013 12:00 AM

Cheesecake—a decadent, deliciously smooth and creamy dessert often laced with colourful fruits such as strawberries, blue berries, mangoes, kiwis or medley of fruits. In my opinion, cheesecake is the most elegant way to end a meal and if I have my way, being a sweet toothed person, it could be the best way to begin with also.

It is not surprising that people have been perfecting the art of making cheesecakes for centuries. Variety of cheeses like Ricotta, Philadelphia, Quark etc can be used to make the cheesecake. However much I may want to eat it, my nutritionist always cautions against the walloping calories in them.

Cheesecake cravings can be very uncomfortable if you are on diet as this special dessert is as fattening as it is appetising. Sometimes, one really wishes that one could have a bit without worrying about the calorie explosion hidden in every bite.

But don’t worry as there are some good news for our weight watchers and size zero aspirants. Yes now you can indulge in your sweet fantasies without much fuss about unwanted calories. The next best or a better option is hung curd or yoghurt cheesecakes.

This delectable dessert is known to have originated in the Greek islands of Samos. Physical anthropologists have unearthed cheese moulds there which were dated circa 2,000 BC. Many historians believed that cheesecake was served to Olympic athletes during the first Olympic games of 776 BC as it was considered to be a good source of energy. Greek brides and grooms also used cheesecakes as their wedding cakes. A Greek writer named Athenaus is credited for writing the first cheesecake recipe. The Greek method of making cheesecake is very basic and a far cry from today’s complicated methods and recipes. Ingredients comprising flour, wheat, milk, honey and cheese were formed into a cake and baked.

Cream cheese was an American addition to this dessert. There are multiple variations to this mouth watering sweet dish. Each region in the world has its own take on the best way of making cheesecake. Truly a scrumptious dessert, cheesecake has stood the test of time.

There is a succulent versatility of cheesecake. Once you learn a standard cheesecake recipe, you can amend or modify it in different styles and make it look and taste luscious and delicious each time you make it. Imagine a cheesecake with an Oreo biscuit crust filled with nicely chopped Snickers along with the standard filling tossed with peanut butter sauce and rich chocolate sauce. Or cappuccino cheesecake with a digestive biscuit crust with little coffee powder added to the batter and tossed with chocolate nuts and sprinkled coco powder. Thus, cheesecake lends itself to a number of variations that extend its reach and universal appeal. As goes the old saying, one feasts with eyes first before eating. Hence the presentation pays an important part to make the food appealing and palatable. Cheesecake can easily be the show stopper for most dinner tables owing to its elegance and beauty bestowed by luscious and colourful fruits and sometimes nuts, nougats or even chocolate chips.

Today’s column is dedicated to my friends on diet, so I am going to share the recipe of the hung curd cheesecake.

[button color="green" link="" target=""] Click for LOW CALORIE HUNG CURD CHEESECAKE RECIPE [/button]

First chef from India to be invited to Le cordon Bleu to demonstrate in Paris. Monish is credited with the trailblazing turn-around of Moti Mahal, from being a small but iconic presence in Delhi, to becoming a multi-national corporation that is well on its way to defining how the world eats Indian food. A traditionalist, Monish has remained true to the signature dishes that made Moti Mahal a legend, while reinventing the dining experience into one that is exciting and avant garde to suit modern sensibilities.

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