You know how it is that when you ask, let’s say, an Elderly Person how she cooked a certain dish, she would say vaguely add a bit of this and a bit of that? I used to wish that they could be more exact coz I had a need to be exact. I needed to know if it’s 1 tsp or 1 1/4 tsp. I was obsessed with accuracy. To the point of being uncreative ‘coz I was afraid of deviating from the recipe. Oh the insecurities of my youth!
Over the years as I became a more seasoned cook and baker, I realised it’s true what they say: it’s not rocket science. As long as I know the basic principles, my cake really won’t explode or be a total flop. (I have also learnt not to name my product until I see it. When people ask me what I am baking, I will tell them, “Wait, I let you know later, ya?”. “Is it chocolate cake?. “Er, you’ll see.” ‘Coz if it turns out looking more like lava cake, then that’s what I’ll call it!) LOL
Recently, it dawned upon me that I have become that “Elderly Person”. I find measuring everything accurately so tedious. But since I want to pass on my recipes to my kids, I am making the effort to keep a record, as precisely as I can. ‘Coz I understand the obsession of the youths for exact details.
Recently, I made a no-bake cheesecake without a recipe. It is actually not complicated. I had planned to make a Hazelnut Spread Cheesecake (I still have that one last 1 kg bottle of HS *see previous post). When I opened my larder, there were those Oreos sitting there. Lately my kids brought home a ton of Oreos from school. So I decided to use them up ‘coz usually nobody eats them. Then I spotted my new 1 kg bag of cocoa powder (yes, i buy cocoa powder by the kilo coz I am not familiar with the logic of buying in small quantities). As I took them out, I found my long lost gelatine. “Lost” ‘coz I had totally forgotten about it.
Armed with these, I then made it up as I went along. No-bake cheesecake recipe can’t go wrong if you know the basics.
Generally, the quantity of gelatine is about 1/2 to 1 Tbsp per 2 blocks of cream cheese. If you plan to add things like yogurt or cream or hazelnut spread/peanut butter, then use 1 Tbsp. Bloom the gelatine in hot water for a few minutes before using. Use sugar to sweeten if needed. Then just whisk everything together until smooth. As for the base, it’s just crushed biscuits. If the biscuits are plain-ish, add in a little butter for richness. If you are using Oreos, it already comes with fat (the stuffing in the middle) so you don’t need to add anymore. Just crush them any way you like. Finely or coarsely, it doesn’t matter. I just whack them with my pasta sauce bottle straight from the packet. Then I cut open the packet and pour it straight into the pan. Less washing up is always encouraged in my home.
5-6 individual pack Oreos,
2 heaped spoonfuls of hazelnut spread (optional)
2 pkt cream cheese (room temperature)
1/4 cup cocoa powder (dissolved in 1/4 cup boiling water)
1 Tbsp gelatine (sprinkled into 1/4 cup boiling water to bloom)
4- 6 heaped spoonfuls of hazelnut spread (depends on how sweet you like it)
Extra Oreos for adding into the cheesecake and for topping.
Line an 8″x8″ pan. Put crushed cookies at the bottom of the pan with 2 spoonfuls of hazelnut spread (optional). Mix them up and press them onto the pan. Put aside for later.
Beat cream cheese with cocoa mix, bloomed gelatine and hazelnut spread until smooth. Stir in Oreo chunks if desired.
Pour into prepared Oreo base. Sprinkle top with Oreo crumbs. Chill in the fridge until firm.
Simple and quick to prepare. No need to weigh ingredients carefully, thereby getting to the end product sooner. The only thing that takes up so much time is the waiting part. Which you must. ‘Coz eating it when well-chilled is totally worth the fat space.