Tri-coloured oven experiments
With a Youtube channel, workshops all over the country and two pastry boutiques — Maaria Kulsum has the makings of a sweet empire. From her fondant Minions to landscape creations like her London-themed cake most recently with a rotating tier with Big Ben on top — this baker extraordinaire from Chennai has done it all since she began professionally baking under the brand Adoniya in 2009. Ironically, Adoniya was started as a garment boutique on Harrington Road with no trace of desserts. With a bunch of schools in the area, Maaria noticed her clients were most often mothers dropping by with their kids after a weekday pick-up. “And the little ones wouldn’t allow their moms to shop!” she recalls with a laugh. “So I thought why not put my baking skills to use and give them some cupcakes as a distraction?” says this mother of two. Pretty soon, her cupcake business outgrew the couture on racks. And the rest as they say, is history.
Here’s Maaria’s latest tri-coloured creation inspired by Independence day. Apart from the patriotic colouring, she says, “This time, I wanted to make sure my flavours were Indian as well.”
No Bake - Rasamalai Pistachio Cheesecake
For the crust
Digestive biscuits - 250 gms | Pistachios - 250 gms | Unsalted butter - 1/4 cup | Green food colour
■ Grind the biscuits in a mixer or food processor to coarse crumbs. Dry roast the pictachio, cool and grind to a coarse texture.
■ Add to the biscuits.
■ Melt butter and add it to this mixture,
add a few drops of green food colouring
if using and mix till incorporated. Keep
1 tbsp of this mixture aside for decoration.
■ Take an eight or nine inch loose bottom
tin and spread the rest of the mixture in it. Press well to make it even. Refrigerate till the filling is ready.
For the filling
Rasamalai - 500 gms (Around 10 pcs with the flavoured milk) | Cream cheese 500 gms | Gelatine 20 gms or 1 tsp Agar Agar Powder | Water 1/4 cup (if using gelatin) | Whipping cream 1 cup | Condensed milk 400 gms | A few saffron strands | Orange food colour (optional)
■ Squeeze out the milk from the rasamalai and keep it separately.
■ Beat the cream cheese with an electric beater till smooth, add the condensed milk and continue beating.
■ Whip the whipping cream till stiff peaks are formed and set aside.
■ If using gelatin, sprinkle it over the water and keep aside for five minutes. Once soaked, microwave it for 30 seconds until completely melted. Add it to the 200 ml of rasamalai milk.
■ If using agar agar, keep stirring and bring it to a gentle boil.
■ Add the rasamalai milk with the gelatin
or agar agar to the cream cheese mixture, add half of the milk to the whipped cream, saffron and food colouring if using and fold gently till mixed well.
■ Line the rasamalai pieces on top of the
set pistachio base, pour the cheese filling
on it and keep in the fridge overnight. If this is not possible, it must be refrigerated for a minimum of 5 to 6 hours till set.
■ Once set, demould and decorate with
the remaining whipped cream and
■ Serve cold.
■ Use a spring form or loose bottom pan
for easy demoulding.
■ Always use unsalted butter for desserts.
■ Use plain unsalted pistachios.
(For the step by step recipe, check out the video on Maaria’s Youtube channel Adoniya Academy)