I seek inspiration this morning.
The muse, the kolshi of nolen gur, the last of the season, rests on the kitchen counter.
Possibly one last batch of desserts before the gur runs out. I ruminate. To be followed by a year of agonising wait before the nectar reappears in her pristine glory.
I want something novel with the gur, I am convinced, something unique, different from all that I have ever savoured before.
I brew myself endless cups of chamomile.
Stare listlessly at the horizon.
Rifle through my cookbooks. Collected over years. Occasionally stealing a moment to take in the smell of mildewed paper.
Scour the Internet. Hoping to be led to the coveted inspiration.
I doze off.
There’s still that nip in the air during early mornings.
The shrill of the doorbell punctuates my reverie.
I don’t remember how, I end up baking a gorgeous golden nolen gur and chilli cheesecake. No recollection on what spurred me. It just felt like, that was always the plan.
A nolen gur and chilli cheesecake. Blessed with the ethereal earthy sweetness of nolen gur. Spiked with fiendish red chillies.
And if you are as frenetic a nolen gur addict as I am, don’t miss my other nolen gur delicacies.
Of course there is a smorgasbord of puli pithe and nolen gurer sandesh. But my chaler payesh with a drizzle of the ambrosia is food heaven, the coconut milk and nolen gur pannacotta is sheer delight and that nolen gur and orange cake is guaranteed to light up smiles on the faces of your loved ones !!!
Enjoy before the gur season runs out.
Nolen Gur and Chilli Cheesecake
For the crust
- 150 g digestive biscuits finely crushed
- 1/3 cup butter soft
- 2 tsp light brown sugar
- butter for greasing
For the cheesecake
- 600 g cream cheese
- 1/2 cup nolen gur or liquid date palm jaggery
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1 tsp red chilli flakes
- 2 fresh red chillies de-seeded and finely chopped
- 3 eggs
- 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 tbsp plain flour
For the crust
- Grease a 8inch springform pan with butter.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the crushed digestive biscuits, sugar and butter. Mix till moist.
- Press the crumbs evenly over the bottom of the pan. Cover with cling film, refrigerate until the cream cheese filling is ready.
- Take the cream cheese and sugar in a bowl . Beat with an electric blender until just smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, beat, some 20 odd seconds each time. Add the chilli flakes and finely chopped chillies. Fold in the whipping cream and nolen gur until incorporated.
- Take out the pan with the cake crust from the refrigerator, gently pour in the batter.
- Preheat the oven to 180C. Bake the cheesecake for 20minutes. Lower the temperature to 140C, bake for another 50-55 minutes or until firm. (The center of the cheesecake should still be wobbly when you gently shake it.)
- Remove from the oven, immediately run a knife around the sides of the pan to loosen the cake. Cool to room temperature.
- Cover with a cling film, refrigerate the cheesecake until firm.
- Take the cake out from the refrigerator, remove the cling film and gently remove from the spring-form pan. Slice and serve .