Wednesday, November 14, 2012

RoCkY Cheesecake- 

"Piece Of Cake". Approved!

     There are very few times when in my life I have been truly elated, when I got into Xavier's, when the term piece of cake was coined , when I got my first job, got accepted and when my piece of cheesecake got approved. The pastry queen @ Piece of cake is an amazing soul and my muse when it comes to life and food and especially all things sweet. What seems like a legit piece of information that i excavate from some old tattered food journal is nondescript jargon in her culinary pastry Armageddon of a repertoire.

     She does it with grace, she does it with poise, she classes it up and the day I can plate up something even half as decent as she can without working up a sweat that's the day Ive really earned my stripes. Ive not been handed the baton of culinary desendance but my hunger is a family inheritance that I intend on harnessing.  My mind functions and understands the realm of the savory palate, I know how to work a piece of meat what it needs when it comes to flavor, textural elements, contrasting notes, comes to me like second nature so to build on that understanding becomes familiar turf. This allows me to easily push expectations and work uninhibited, this is because only once you understand the rules can you break them with enough intensity to hit the target else your just shooting blanks in the dark.

      My affair with the sweet arts however is always accompanied by a strong aversion for set desserts. Anyone who knows me will they'll you this when it comes to set desserts I hate gelatin. I despise it. Its not because I'm a cream Nazi or an organic fanatic, its because this ingredient failed me when i needed it the most. No one despises gelatin more than I do. But what it all boils down to is this my aversion and malice towards this neutral gellan arose not because of its ineptitude but mine, my lack of understanding when it came to its behavior and its form. I didn't respect it and tried to abuse it and got hammered as a result and that's something I will never forget. It was time to make amends, time to set things right.

     My photographer has a sweet tooth and requested that I make him a sweet treat. This caught me off guard and I was hesitant at the get go mainly because my plates are savory and more importantly I would have t gel something as I don't own an oven at home. So out came the first thing that popped in my head. Fast, efficient and delectably classy a cheese cake, set chilled with gelatin. The twist was an almond praline and the fact that it was a 15 minute assembly deadline. Both were achieved this is my 15 minute fear conquering RoCkY Cheesecake.

RoCky Cheesecake
When Life knocks you down, GeT BaCk Up and Hit back harder

Cream- 150 ml
Almonds- 30 gms
Philly Cream cheese- 150 gms
Sugar- 150 gms
Digestive Biscuits - 50 gms
Butter- 50 gms
Gelatin 15 gms

Clock countdown on: 15:00 minutes....Go
Steep gelatin in water and let it bloom, 15 minutes
Crush digestive biscuits and add melted butter, press into the bottom of a lined baking mould. Chill.
Caramelize sugar add in almonds and crush after cooling on greased tray, add in mixture before refrigerating.
Whisk cream till soft peak, add in sugar and cream cheese to be folded in gently
Bring gelatin to luke warm heat in microwave, add in mixture and pour into chilled mould
Chill overnight, de-mould and plate finish with a caramel sauce and some left over almond snap.

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