It’s hard to believe that is has been nearly a week since we arrived in Hyderabad. The week has gone by quickly and has been full of cleaning, cleaning, and, you guessed it, a lot more cleaning. If you walked in right now you probably wouldn’t be able to tell we’ve done anything this week, but sore backs and raw hands attest to how much cleaning has been going on. Let me just say it now, if ever given the opportunity, I will always hire someone else to clean a new apartment for me!
The kitchen isn’t exactly up and running yet, so we decided we needed to get out of the house tonight and enjoy the cool evenings that only the desert can offer. We went to a local Indian place that we have heard great things about to get their signature biriyani (staple food item of south India). I hate to say it, but it was disappointing. I appreciate Kerala’s biriyani much more, and will have to share that recipe with you soon. Since our eating outside at the tables would “confuse people” we were forced to bring the food home and forgo the bug spray we had armed ourselves with and the cool breeze. In its place we had our cluttered living room.
It’s hard to believe, but Easter is only 3 weeks away! If you are anything like me, you’ve probably started thinking about what you might want to cook this Easter. And, I have a suggestion: Giada’s individual orange and chocolate cheesecake. If I were able to get the necessary items, this would definitely find its way onto my table this Easter. Being individual, they are made in a mini muffin pan (which makes everything adorable), and are light enough to give the perfect ending to a heavy meal. The orange makes them burst with springtime freshness. Though the link doesn’t specify this, I entered the ingredients in my ever handy calorie counting app, and they come out to about 95 calories per serving. If my memory serves me correctly, this recipe makes about 18 mini cheesecakes, which means that a serving is 3 mini cheesecakes for less than 100 calories! And, in case you are lazy, like me, I’ve listed the recipe below. Oh, I should also note here how impressed I was with the accuracy of this recipe. No left over ingredients that you have to throw out here. Let me know if this, or some other springtime dessert will find its way onto your Easter dinner table.
GIADA’S ORANGE & CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE
1/3 cup finely crushed chocolate wafers
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 cup ricotta cheese
2 ounces cream cheese
1/4 cup sugar, plus 2 tablespoons
1 orange, zested
Butter, for greasing
Special equipment: mini muffin tin
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine the crushed chocolate wafers and the melted butter. Place a tightly packed teaspoon of the wafer mixture into each mini-muffin cup and press down firmly.
In a food processor combine the ricotta cheese, cream cheese, 1/4 cup of the sugar, half of the orange zest, and the egg. Blend until smooth. Lightly grease the sides of the mini muffin tin with butter. Fill the cups with about 1 1/2 tablespoons of the cheesecake mixture. Place the mini muffin tin in a baking dish and pour enough hot water in the baking dish to come halfway up the sides of the mini muffin tin. Bake for 25 minutes. Transfer the mini muffin tin to a wire rack and let cool for 30 minutes. Refrigerate for 15 minutes. Use a small knife to gently pop the cheesecakes out of the cups.
Just before serving, combine the remaining orange zest with the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar. Top each individual cheesecake with about 1/4 teaspoon of the orange zest mixture and serve.