I’ve never really cared for dessert. The sole exception being👉🏻 chocolate cake (now that I would fight for…oh and I can fight!) Dark, dense, strong, intense, borderline food-porn, no-room-for-any-other-flavor Chocolate cake! But my tiny little Karma here, would probably move into Tiwari Bros (iconic Indian sweet shop in Mumbai) given the opportunity & consent! So while most of his buddies prefer cupcakes and cookies, he’s had me whipping up fresh (made from scratch!!!) Rasgullas, Jalebis, Sandesh, Shahi tukda, Coconut ladoos, Gajar Halwa…. okay so you basically get the point!
Things got so bad at one point that my mom started calling me a Halwai! I’ve been called a part-time Maharaj (sort of like a hired domestic cook) before…. but Halwai??! So here’s a little something to redeem my Chef title back because I’m no average Halwai!
Planning where to begin while executing a complicated recipe is one of the biggest challenges I face in the kitchen and full disclosure 👉🏻I find desserts highly intimidating. And since I’ve been there and done that👆🏻 already, let me lay this out for you as simply as possible. (Good Karma😇)
For the Cheesecake ~
- 3 tbsp boiling water (off the heat)
- Gelatin: 3/4 envelope
- Rabdi*: 1 1/2 cups
- Mascarpone Cheese: 8 oz package
- 4 tbsp chopped nuts ( I used almonds & pecans but honestly I couldn’t find pistachios in my hole in the wall pantry!)
- Giant Jalebi **: 1 piece
- Edible gold: Quantity is upto you. Personally, I like things subtle, but I won’t hold it against you if you make yours look like Dubai on a Christmas Eve!
*Rabdi : (I started with this because it was dreadfully time consuming and obviously the key ingredient. But you don’t want to make it a day ahead, because you need it to still be pretty hot when you mix the gelatin in it. I gave it a 3 hour head start but 2 hrs should do just fine.)
- Whole milk: 1/2 gallon
- Sugar: 1 1/4 cups
- A pinch of saffron strands
- Cardamom powder: 1/2 tsp (I used chai spice because I couldn’t find cardamom)
- Bring the milk to a boil while stirring it regularly (it will burn or spill out the second you get too comfortable or cocky…. trust me.) Continue this excruciatingly annoying process till the milk is reduced by half at least.
- At this point add the rest of the ingredients while still stirring occasionally.
- You’ll know it’s ready once it’s reduced to 1/4 of its original quantity and resembles a lumpy batter. (Mine looked like Tadka dal)
- It should be around 1+1/2 cups of rabdi at this point but don’t fret if it’s a little more or less 👍🏻 (unless it looks like burnt tar or something)
Cheesecake Preparation (Stage 1):
- Sprinkle 3/4 packet of the gelatin over the hot water while whisking continuously to make sure there aren’t any lumps. Let it sit For a few minutes till the gelatin dissolves properly.
- Mix the gelatin mixture with the rest of the ingredients and pour this batter in a greased and lined (with parchment paper) 6″ springform pan.
- Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
For the Jalebi crust **~
Sugar Syrup ingredients:
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/2 tsp saffron strands
- 2 tsp rose water
- Drop of lime juice
Sugar Syrup Preparation:
Mix all the ingredients and bring to a boil on a medium flame while stirring till it forms a syrupy consistency.
- 3/4 cup self raising flour
- a pinch baking powder
- 1/3 cup fresh yogurt + 1/3 cup water
- 1/2 tsp cardamom powder
- ghee for deep-frying
- In a bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, yogurt, water and cardamom powder together till it’s lumpfree.
- Fill this batter in a piping bag attached with a round 8.5 size nozzle. (Or use a ketchup squirt bottle if that’s available)
- Heat the ghee for frying.
- Make one big giant round jalebi (obviously about the same size as the cheesecake but don’t go looking for that measuring tape.) Fry it till golden on both the sides. (Use a large slotted spoon or tongs to flip it over but whatever u do, try not making a splash)
- Remove and set aside on a plate. Spoon the sugar Syrup over it. The crust is ready to go on top!
Cheesecake Preparation (Stage 2):
- Remove the Cheesecake from the cake pan once it’s firmly set and plate it.
- Place the Jalebi crust on top.
- Garnish with the edible gold.
Snap! Post! Eat! Enjoy….. don’t forget to thank me though.