The art of classic cooking

Saturday, 31 October 2015

Double Chocolate Cheesecake

Satiny smooth Chocolate Cheesecake with a perfect chocolaty crust!!!

Double Chocolate Cheesecake

Ever since I made my No Bake Mango Cheesecake, I have been dying to make a cheesecake with the real cream cheese instead of the substitutions. I loved my mango cheesecake that I made with paneer but I wanted to taste, what the real version is...I wanted a classic baked cheesecake made with the famous silver packet:)
I bought just one packet Philadelphia cream cheese ( you wouldn't believe how costly it is, still I wanted to try and bought one :) ) And what better flavour to make than my favorite chocolate!!!
Now here is the result....
Double Chocolate Cheesecake

The cream cheese is totally worth the money. The cheesecake was soooo smooth, velvety, satiny.... What other words can I use to describe its texture?! You definitely have to try it to experience it. It has a mild salt background that uplifts the flavour of the cheesecake. 
Now about the flavour....
The chocolate flavour just burst through in every bite... I now have atleast 2 packets of Amul Dark chocolate in my pantry always. I have literally become addicted to it. I put them in my cookies, bread pudding, sandwiches...I kind of stuff them wherever possible:) And the crust is crisp and it remains so too after refrigeration due to our pre baking ( no soggy stuff and all...)

Double Chocolate Cheesecake

Everybody loves a crack free cheesecake right? Here I am going to give you some simple tips that will help you all yield one....
  • Firstly make sure you don't overcook your cheesecake. Overcooking will always lead to cracks. Cheesecake is done when it has a wobble like jelly in the middle when shaken. It will continue to cook while it cools and set perfectly while resting in the refrigerator. So, when you see the wobble, turn off the oven ( don't worry that its under cooked )
  • The second thing that can cause the crack on top of the cheesecake is sudden temperature changes. So, after the cheesecake is done, let it cool in the oven itself with the oven door slightly open for half an hour before taking out and cooling completely.


Chocolate Cheesecake

 Satiny smooth Chocolate Cheesecake with perfect chocolaty crust!!!
 Prep time:  Cook time: 
 Total time: Yield: 5" cheesecake

Chocolate Cream Cookies: 12
Melted Butter: 2 tbsp 
Cream Cheese: 1 packet ( 225 g )
Condensed Milk: 1/2 cup
Vanilla Extract: 1/2 tsp  
Dark Chocolate: 112 g 
Butter: 2 tbsp 
Egg: 1 
Powdered Sugar: 2 tbsp 
Boiling water: as required 

1) Grease a 5 inch loose bottomed pan with butter. Take the cookies in a mixer and pulse to a fine crumb. Transfer the cookie crumb to a bowl.

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2)  Add melted ( and cooled to room temperature ) butter to the crumb. Mix well with a spoon or a fork till it comes together. Dump the mix into the prepared pan.

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3) Smooth it with the help of a glass and transfer the pan to a cookie sheet. Bake in a preheated oven at 180 C for 8 to 10 minutes. Let it cool to room tempertaure. Wrap it around with aluminium foil and keep that aside.

Melt the chocolate and 2 tbsp butter in a double boiler ( just place the bowl of chocolate over a pan of simmering water) Refer here for step wise photos.
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4) Beat the cream cheese until light ( about a minute ). Add the condensed milk and vanilla and beat until smooth.
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5) Add the melted and cooled chocolate and mix well.
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6) Add the egg and mix until just combined. Don't overbeat after adding the egg as you don't want the cheesecake to rise, it just needs to be set.
I found that the batter was little less sweet to my liking so, I added 2 tbsp powdered sugar. Mix that in. The batter will be very smooth and velvety... Make sure to scrap down the sides to ensure that everything is combined.
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7) Transfer the batter to the prepared pan. Gently tap twice and shake in a zig zag motion to remove any air bubbles. Transfer the pan to a larger roasting pan and fill it halfway with boiling water.
Bake in a preheated oven at 160 C for 30 to 35 minutes ( there should be a slight jiggle, when you shake the pan ) Turn off the oven and and let it cool in the oven itself for half an hour with the oven door slightly open.
After half an hour, take it out from the oven.
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8) Run a knife around the edge and let it cool to room temperature. Once fully cooled, cover it with a plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours ( or preferably overnight )
When fully set, remove the foil and gently take it out from the pan.
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There you have it, the most extraordinary chocolate dessert one could must have!!!! Dust with cocoa powder just before serving....

Double Chocolate Cheesecake

1) Make sure your cream cheese and egg are at room temperature.
2) To get clean cuts dip your knife in hot water, wipe it off and then cut ( As you can see my one side has a clean cut than my other side, as I was in a hurry to have a taste of one my dream cakes!!! Please don't be like me...take your time and make neat slices :) )
3) You can also pour ganache instead of dusting with cocoa powder.
4)  The total time in the recipe does not include the chilling time.

Double Chocolate Cheesecake

Happy Cooking,
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Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Aachi style Paruppu Kulambu!

The Best native style comfy food in our home - Parupu Kulambu!

Paruppu Kulambu

My father, father-in-law, hubby all of them are a BIG fan of this kulambu. My hubby will be very happy to eat this everyday!
This kulambu has no fancy vegetables or any fancy cooking method or even cream to make it rich. Well, you can ask me, then what is so special about this kulambu, that makes it irresistible?? The simplicity and the extremely light feeling that you get even after third helpings is what makes it soooo special. Its simple and elegant taste makes you want more always....

This is also one of the easiest kulambu to make. You just dump everything in one pot, strain, mash and finally you temper it. That's all. The main things that you need to balance here are the salt, sour and the hot. And finally the texture is very important for this kulambu, it shouldn't be thick as a sambar neither should it be too watery as a rasam.

Paruppu Kulambu ( Dal Gravy )

Before going to the recipe I would like to share a very little background story that my father used to say -  During my father's childhood days, scarcity of food was so common so they keep dal for rice very rarely only. There won't be enough dal to make a thick sambar for everyone, so my grandma will take very little dal and add the veggies that she can get easily and dilute it with plenty of water so that there is enough for everyone and that's how this kulambu came into being.
My dad still used to say that the kulambu that my grandma used to make in the village used to be more awesome! ( urula aachi vaikira kolumbu avolo manama irukum! )


Parupu Kulambu

 Lite and comforting native style Parupu Kulambu!
 Prep time:  Cook time: 
 Total time: Yield: serves 4 or 5 people

Toor Dal: 100g 
Turmeric Powder: 1 tsp 
Hing: 1/4 tsp 
Shallots: 1/2 cup 
Garlic: 6 or 7 cloves 
Brinjal: 2
Green Chilli: 4
Tomato: 2
Tamarind: 3"piece
Water: 4 cups + 1 and 1/4 cup ( or as required )
Salt: to taste
To Grind:
Coconut: 1/2 tsp (chopped)
Cumin seeds / Jeera: 1/2 tsp
Curry Leaves: a sprig

To Temper:
Oil: 1 tbsp
Mustard: 1/2 tsp
Urad Dal: 1/2 tsp
Dry Chilli: 2
Curry Leaves: a spring
Shallots: 3 ( finely chopped )

1) Wash and drain the toor dal twice to remove any impurities. Add 4 cups of water, turmeric powder and hing bring it to a boil.
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2) In the meantime, soak tamarind in 3 tbsp water. Grind coconut, jeera and curry leaves in a mixer ( no need to make a fine paste )
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3) When the Dal comes to a boil, add the shallots, garlic, brinjal ( cubed ) and green chilli. Close and let the dal cook.
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4) When the dal is cooked but still is firm, add the tomatoes. Here I have used the native variety tomatoes ( see picture below ) as they are more sour compared to the other variety which is what makes this kulambu tastes like olden days ( refer notes for substitution )
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5) After adding the tomatoes, let the dal continue to cook. When the tomatoes too are tender like the picture below, turn off the stove. Now close the dal pot with a lid. With the help of a cloth lift it with your 2 hands holding its rim. Now gently tilt the pot and drain the dal water in a separate bowl ( alternatively, you can also use a laddle to separate the dal water )
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6) Add sea salt to the drained dal and with the help of mathu or a potato masher, mash the dal.
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7) Now add the dal water, tamarind water and the coconut mixture prepared in step 2. 
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8) Give everything a good mix.
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9) Add 1 and 1/4 cup water and check the consistency. It should be thinner than a sambar but thicker than a rasam. Keep it back on stove until it just comes to a boil.
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10) For tempering - Heat oil in a kadai and add mustard seeds. When it splutters, add the urad dal. When it starts to turn golden, add the dry chilli ( broken into 2 ), shallots and curry leaves. Fry in a low flame until the shallots are caramelized and golden in colour. This step is crucial in all tempering as it uplifts the flavour and also you can see the tempering floating beautifully on the surface of the kulambu because of this ( but please don't burn the shallots as it will yield a bitter taste )

 Add the tempered mix to the parupu kolumbu
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There you have it, the most comforting and tasty dal that pairs extraordinarily with rice and dosa!!!

Paruppu Kulambu

1) Don't mash the dal to a fine paste as it will affect the texture of the kulambu.
2) If you can't find nattu thakali (native tomato), you can use the regular tomato, but just make sure to add 3 of them to balance the sourness for the kulambu.

Happy Cooking,
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