I have always loved cheesecake—baked or chilled, I have always loved the sharpness of this otherwise delicately flavored dessert. However, I have, at the same time, always been intimidated by the cheeses that cheesecake recipes demand. In this extremely Maharashtrian city, where it is difficult to even lay hands on a decent loaf of bread and where Hypercity has dared not to raise its up-market head, I have never even ventured into the cheese hunt arena. But I had been craving for some cool desserts this sultry summer, and cheesecake topped my list.
Genius struck when I remembered someone roughly mention the possible use of ice cream and good old hung yogurt for the manufacture of a cheesecake. It was Sonali’s birthday yesterday; and this is what I made (damn, I wish I had a picture of a wedge to show you):
It was surprisingly quick with the chakka and the ice-cream. Gelatin can be a god-send. You need just one hour to present a very inviting and homely cheesecake with perfect texture in less than half the time and effort. Here’s how:
- 2 packs Digestive biscuits
- 2 tbsp. butter, melted
- ½ kg chakka (hung natural yogurt)
- ½ liter fresh mango ice-cream
- 5 + 5 tbsp. powdered sugar
- 3 tbsp. gelatin
- 2 ripe Alphonso mangoes
- In a food processor, place the digestive biscuits and 5 tbsp. of powdered sugar and whiz until the biscuits crumble.
- Then, slowly add the melted butter through the funnel until you get a nice, clumpy sand.
- Evenly line a springform tin with this earthy mixture, taking care to cover the sides a bit. Leave to refrigerate until you work on the rest of the ingredients.
- Keep the ice-cream at room temperature for about 10 minutes till it softens (faster if you’re in Mumbai at this time of the year)
- Meanwhile, pour about 5 tbsp. of recently boiled water over the gelatin and place in a double boiler until the gelatin dissolves.
- Whisk the chakka (hung yogurt) in a large bowl or food processor until it softens. You could add some powdered sugar at this point if you like your cheesecakes very sweet. I don’t, so I added none.
- Now, quickly add in the ice-cream and gelatin, folding the mixture carefully. Add a little milk to achieve a smooth texture. His may be needed if the chakka is little dry.
- Pour over the set Digestive biscuit crust and leave in the refrigerator for an hour.
- For the final layer, roughly chop up some ripe Alphonso mangoes and puree them in a blender along with 5 tbsp. of sugar (again, optional. Although this is the only place where you can introduce some sweetness and not affect the cheesecake-y flavor)
- When the cheesecake is set, pour the mango sauce over and spread in loving, homely fashion and carefully release the dessert from its metal ring.
- Decorate with swirls of whipped cream if patience is one of your virtues. My cheesecake explains all.
- Cut a humongous wedge, dig the fork in, and close your eyes.
More chakka (hung yogurt) recipes here: