Cheesecakes were meant for weeknights. Make a buttery biscuit base, press it into a pan not being bothered with perfect edges, whip the cream cheese filling together, pour, bake, pat self on the back. Somehow deal with an overnight wait to slice into it and wake up the next morning to this.
After this strawberry beauty, I thought no cheesecake would ever match up again. I guess you eat and learn. It’s like Rachel describes in The One With All The Cheesecakes, “a buttery graham cracker crust with a rich, yet light cream cheese filling”.
I didn’t even need to Google that dialogue. Must stop making cheesecake and watching FRIENDS DVDs on weeknights.
Anyway, this cheesecake was beyond amazing. Modesty has never been a dominant gene in my family and I can’t suddenly pretend it is :)
This is about the scariest thing I’ve ever made. It’s a salad. On a dessert blog. I’m talking leaves and veggies instead of chocolate chips and ice cream.
If I haven’t already lost you, stay with me a second longer.
The biggest risk I’ve ever taken in my life is probably trying on a pair of red pants. My idea of adventure involves going into waist-deep ocean water and not screaming the roof (sky?) down.
So. Taking a break from cheesecake was pretty nerve-wracking. What if you desert The Desserted Girl? Turn your nose up at the lack of calories. Find this all too salty and not enough sweet. Worst of all, will I still have fun?!
Guess what. I LOVED IT!!
Seriously. Making something different for this blog was as refreshing as this bright, colourful salsa itself. For the first time, I ate a bowlful of one of my own creations without any guilt. There really is something to this risk :)
You wouldn’t expect this kind of confession from a girl who buys sugar more often than toothpaste (oh, the irony), but I usually scrape the frosting off almost every slice of birthday cake I eat beyond the first bite. I like frosting, don’t get me wrong. But I get uncomfortable when I see more of it than cake. Especially layer cakes. Sorry.
So last Sunday, my better half turned a year older and wiser. And has recently begun shunning anything with sugar. So a cake that we both liked would have to be unsweetened and unfrosted. A birthday cake. It would basically be just candles.
I finally convinced him to allow me to bake some semblance of a celebration even if it involved some sugar. In the past there’s been Amarula and then whiskey involved. Apparently, where there’s alcohol, there’s a way.
This year, I chanced upon a beautiful Mimosa Cake and it was love at first sight (sip?). A beautiful orange juice and champagne cocktail poured into a cake. The birthday boy didn’t even need to make a wish anymore.
I have a new definition for self-actualization: steadfastly ignoring a 500 ml tub of ice cream sitting in your freezer and eating a bowl of watermelon instead.
Sometimes, this sugary hobby of mine really needs to be checked.
But not at this very moment. Right now, let’s all look at this.
I made ice cream! At home! Without a fancy machine! And it almost collapsed in the murderous heat but whether melted or frozen, I scream for ice cream.
You know that saying, “When one door closes, another dessert appears?”
Well, now you do.
The door that closed on me this weekend was a completely disastrous attempt at blueberry pancakes. They stuck to the pan, they broke and then broke my heart.
And then, the Dessert Gods saved me with this miracle.
I’m not giving up on those pancakes, but this Tiramisu was a much need pick-me-up. Fun fact, that’s exactly what the word ‘tiramisu’ means. Don’t you just love how things work out sometimes :)
It looked the way it was supposed to, it tasted the way it was supposed to and it made me feel the way it was supposed to. Italy, you’re my one and only.
Paris is a beautiful, beautiful city. I don’t think I’d ever get tired of staring at its intricate facades, its historic, gorgeous monuments or its cute little streets. But by far what I’ll never get tired of, is recalling this moment. When we chanced upon the Pantheon and I remembered reading on Messy Nessy Chic (WHAT A BLOG!!) that the little church steps where Owen Wilson sat waiting for the carriage in Midnight in Paris, was right behind it!
It was a pretty little church, tucked away from the usual hordes of tourists at the scenic Luxembourg Gardens. Quiet, quaint and an experience I’d never thought I’d have in two and a half days in Paris. Opposite the church was a cafe called Gaudeamus that served us hot cafe au laits that didn’t quite withstand the cold wind outside :) Along with the coffees came these little biscuits. As we sipped and stared some more at the church, amazed at what a pretty location it was, it struck me that these little biscuits made the iconic Speculoos or Biscoff spread.
I had bought this jar of Speculoos at G. Detou (literally ‘I have everything), a little shop in Paris that stocks tubes of chestnut cream, fancy baking ingredients and a whole bunch of things I couldn’t pronounce. I even got some excellent dark, rich cocoa powder from there too. So when I saw those biscuits, I got unnaturally excited and couldn’t wait to get back and start stuffing everything I saw with Speculoos!
But what to make? Technically, it’s a biscuit spread. Did I want to put it inside cookies and make a biscuit within a biscuit? Why not. But then I saw this, which led me to this and that cake looked irresistible. Two reasons: Speculoos and the fact that it was vegan. I’m not vegan, but my fridge was. I was out of butter and eggs within the first 5 days of being back in India.
I guess I still haven’t stopped eating!
So Saturday resulted in this. So worth standing around a hot oven on a sweltering day.
Hello! I’m back from the hiatus, sweltering in the Indian summer, ready to make more cookies and stay far far far away from icing and dough until winter is here.
But first, Europe. !!!!!!!!!!!!!! Visiting Europe has been something I’ve dreamed of for many, many years. We managed to fit in Paris, Amsterdam and a few parts of Italy in our two-week trip and I’ve come back with mental, unforgettable images of some of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen. We stayed at the cutest AirBnb rooms, loving the non-cliched, non-touristy prices and decor.
A big part of the trip, however, was food. Mainly because it’s a big part of my life :) I’m a vegetarian so that made my food journey a bit harder and a bit more adventurous. Oh, and the cheese. So. Much. Cheese.
Over the last couple of weeks, as and when I got wi-fi access, I shared where I was going and what I was eating on my Facebook page. The response was phenomenal. Thank you :)
I took these photos on our mobile phones, nothing fancy, and very little attention to aesthetics and camera angle simply because the food was always so incredible to look at! And I was always so hungry. Did I mention we literally walked all over the continent? So much walking!
By the way, the title of this post was to be:
Everything I Ate I Ate Everything in Europe.
I couldn’t unfortunately do that in the actual title box. Formatting woes.
I won’t ever forget this trip for a lot of reasons. Like being inside the Colosseum. Or watching the turquoise sea at the Cinque Terre. Or sitting in front of the Midnight in Paris steps (more on that next week!). Or sipping Prosecco in a piazza in Florence. But mainly, the food I ate at all of those moments :)