9 years ago, Curry and I got married and registered in Hong Kong. We were young, sometimes reckless, spontaneity rules in everything we did and the future was then left to the coming days to decide. 9 years passed, we are still together with 2 extras dangling to our hands everywhere we go and whatever we do, we are never left to mind our own business! All the fun inside both of us seemed to have channelled to the 2 little ones and we are like old folks who have seen the best and worst of each other with no more expectations of romantic getaways nor surprises to conjure up the sparks of love! All in all, I think marriage is a very funny thing, it started with excitement and slowly gets down to a monotonous daily life and the love which once belonged to 2 persons becomes a sharing piece among all in the family. Like the old people always said, all marriages have their flaws and we should always look at it in a good way. Curry and I do have our fair share of bad days and cold shoulders but in the end the problem always dispersed into thin air. Life is just too short, so never go to bed angry with the person sleeping next to you.
For today's celebration, I opted for cheesecake. When we first dated in England, I love cheesecakes and always went for the cheesecake slices at Marks & Spencer. At that time, I could easily wolf down a big slice and never minded the calories it packed. If Curry didn't mind my love handles, why should I worry then! But now, I am sometimes stressed out by the fact that he looks exactly the same like last time and yet I may have stretched at certain parts. Sometimes I feel like a hypocrite making all these lovely cakes and tarts, eating and complaining at the same time!
For the base, I baked a sweet pastry using the pate sucre recipe. Instead of a complete round cake, I used my 8' x 8' square Pyrex dish to bake and mould everything that builds up this cheesecake. Without a flexible removable bottom baking dish, I had to do some trimming on the sides before cutting them into neat square slices and the pie cutter that has a wider platform than the off set spatula was very useful in transferring these cakes from the pan to the plate. I find that using a usual butter knife to cut this cake was easier than any other sharp knives and the trick is to take one cut down and wiping the knife clean everytime. As this cake is creamy and less firm than mousse cakes structures, there was bound to be cream cheese smudging everywhere during the cutting. I just smooth the sides upwards with the same butter knife.
I love the rosebuds that I found at the Asian store, which originally was meant for making tea. I thought of incorporating them into my baking one day and this cake was perfect. At first, the dried rosebuds were steeped in hot water to release their subtle sweet smell. The liquid was then let cool to room temperature and used to dissolve the gelatin, which was then added into the cream cheese and sugar mixture. The buds were then dried in the sun again and reused as garnish. We picked alot of peaches over the weekend and for this recipe I used 7 medium sized ones. I think over ripened peaches are not suitable for this type of cheesecake as the juice from the fruit might dilute and add too much moisture to the cream cheese, hence affecting the firmness of the cake in the end. The heart shaped cookies were cut out from the sweet pastry left over. Putting everything together, this cake turns out fantastic in taste and appearance and on a hot day like this, it is cooling to eat a piece of creamy cool cheesecake. Happy Anniversary Curry! Many more years to come and may this cake brings back sweet memories of our past 9 years.
Pate Sucre/Sweet Pastry
175g All Purpose Flour
100g cold butter
2 to 3 tbsp cold water
1)Grease an 8' x 8' square pan or round pan.
2)Sift the flour and sugar together. Cut the butter into small cubes and scatter all over the flour.
3)Using hands, rub the butter pieces into the flour & sugar mixture till all flour is coated.
4)Starting with 1 tbsp of water and go gradually, add into the butter & flour mixture and gather the dough into a ball. Stop adding water as soon as the dough can be gathered into a ball. The dough should not be sticky but firm and slightly wet to the hand. Wrap up in aluminum foil and flatten a bit and let it rest in the fridge for 45 mins.
5)Preheat oven to 375F. Roll out the pastry dough, measuring 1/2 to 1 inches thick and to the size of the bottom of the baking dish. Line the bottom of the pan only with the dough, patting in and slightly overlapping up the edges as the pastry will shrink during baking. Prick with fork. Line the dough with aluminum foil and use baking beans to prevent bulging during the baking. Reserve left over dough for baking the garnish on cake.
6)Bake for 20 mins, remove the aluminum foil and baking beans and continue to bake for 10 mins. Remove from oven and let cool completely before filling.
Peach Rose Cream Cheese Filling
4 medium size peaches
2 pack of Cream Cheese (450gm)
150gm sugar (reduce to 100gm if using canned peaches in syrup)
1 cup fresh Whipped Cream
10gm (1 tbsp & 2 tsp) powdered gelatin
20 dried rose buds
1 cup boiling water
1)Wash and peel the skin of the peaches. Cut into slices and then small cubes. Put in the fridge.
2)Pour the boiling water over the rose buds and cover and let it steep for 15 mins. Remove the rose bud and lay them out in a baking dish and let dry. Cool the liquid to room temperature.
3)Beat the cream cheese and sugar till creamy. Get the whipped cream ready.
4)Dissolve the gelatin in 1/4 cup of the rose water. Pour into the cream cheese and sugar mixture and beat for another 1 min.
5)Remove the bowl from the beater and scatter the peach pieces into the cream cheese mixture and fold in. Lastly fold in the whipped cream till evenly combined.
6)Pour this filling onto the pastry in the baking dish. Smooth the top with spatula, cover with aluminum foil and let it set in the fridge for at least 5 hours.
3 medium size peaches
4 tbsp orange juice
2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp gelatin powder
6 tbsp lukewarm water
1)Remove the skin of the peaches and cut into smaller slices. Place in a cooking pot with sugar and orange juice. Cook on low heat till the sugar dissolves.
2)Remove from heat and place the peaches into the blender/food processor and puree.
3)Dissolve the gelatin powder with the lukewarm water. Add this into the peach puree and let it cool completely.
4)Take out the cheesecake from the fridge and pour puree over the top of the cake, tilting the pan to cover the whole surface. Cover and return to fridge to set for another 2 hours.
5)Cut to desired sizes/shapes and garnish with the rose buds and pastry cut outs.
Serves: 6 persons ( cuts up to 18 small squares pieces)