Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Durian Delight Cheesecake

Heyya! It has been awhile since I posted some recipes - well that's an understatement :p I've been wanting to try this one for aaaagesss - ever since I laid my eyes (and hands) on mum's Chef Wan's Sweet treats book. But because I was in NZ for a time it's quite hard to get THE special ingredient: those juicy, melts-in-the-mouth durian which is just tooo GOOOOD. Finally upon returning home to Malaysia I can finally attempt this. To be honest it took quite the effort to make this, and the ingredients $$$. Missing the cheap but awesome quality dairy products of NZ! And it's quite filling to eat. But still YUMMY nonetheless. Durian-lovers and die-hard fans would LOVE this. Haters, well, the durian ain't toooo prominent so I say still have a go. You don't know what you're missing! So here it is, what you get when the King of Fruits gets cheesy :p


  • 22-cm Blind-baked Tart Shell
  • 900 g / 1 3/4 pounds cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup / 4 fl oz sour cream or natural yoghurt
  • 3/4 cup / 6 fl oz honey
  • 1 tbsp / 1/2 oz castor sugar
  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 1/2 cup / 4 fl oz fresh milk
  • 1 1/2 cups / 12 fl oz durian flesh
  • 1 tbsp / 1/2 fl oz vanilla essence
  • castor sugar for dusting
  • 22-cm Blind-baked Base
  • 150 g / 5 oz butter, cut into large cubes, chilled
  • 1/4 cup / 2 oz castor sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 11/2 cups / 12 oz all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup / 4 oz sliced toasted almonds
  • green beans / chickpeas - enough to cover pan for a layer


       The Filling:
  1. 1) With an electric mixer, blend the cream cheese till smooth.
  2. 2) Add in egg yolks one at a time, and leave the mixture blending for 2 minutes to mix well.
  3. 3) Add in sour cream, honey and milk, and vanilla essence. Blend till smooth. Occasionally, use a plastic spatula to scrape the side of the bowl to avoid clumps.
  4. 4) Add in durian flesh and mix well.
  5. 5) In another bowl, beat egg whites till white and fluffy. Fold the egg whites into the batter.
  6. 6) Pour batter unto blind-baked base, and bake for 50 minutes at 180°C (350°F).
  7. 7) Turn off the oven heat, and leave the door ajar. Allow the cheesecake to cool in the oven for an hour or two. Once the cheesecake has cooled, dust the top lightly with castor sugar.
  8. 22-cm Blind-baked Base:
  9. 1) Place flour, butter, sugar and almond in a large bowl, and rub them through fingertips till rough dough is formed.
  10. 2) Add in egg, and continue to knead the dough till smooth. Add cold water if necessary. Place to rest in fridge for 20 minutes.
  11. 3) Place dough in a 22-cm non-stick spring form pan. Pat pastry into corners of the pan, making sure the pan is evenly lined with pastry before trimming off the excess.
  12. 4) Score the pastry with a fork, and then place aluminium foil over the pastry and fill the top with green beans. (or any substitute for weights: other beans, rice,etc)
  13. 5) Bake the pastry for 20 minutes at 180°C (360°F), till crust becomes nice and golden. Remove foil (together with green peas)
       Feedback most definitely welcome! ^^

Thursday, April 24, 2014

And then there were two.

A lot of people have asked me before, how does it feel now that you're getting married? Now, they're asking what's it like being married. Before I fulfill your curiosities, I must first let it out there that I am actually a very private person in some ways. Especially when it comes to feelings and emotions - I'm quite good at covering them up. These questions people ask are quite personal questions to me, and I couldn't just answer them on the spot in a conversation that involves a whole lotta people. Mostly because, I'll probably give you serious answers that some of you might not want to hear. And it might not be suitable at the time or appropriate to the audience - I may not know some of you that well and who wants to hear serious stories when you just wanna chill aye? But I do understand why these questions are being asked. You might be undergoing the same thing soon, or you might just be curious. And it kills. ;) Well, my answer is this: A marriage is no picnic. It IS serious business. It is not easy. It is challenging in many many ways. And my experience may not reflect your own current/future experience. A girl's journey may be very different from a guy's as our roles are different.

Not quite the answer you were expecting? Or why so serious you may ask? Well, this is the reality. I don't mean any negativity, I am merely being honest. This is the truth.

A marriage is what you want it to be. Like anything else, when you have goals you work hard to achieve them. If your ultimate goal is to be happy always, then strive for that. If you plan to be in love until Jannah, then you need to get through steps which enable you to. But is it as simple as it sounds? Unfortunately, NO. Because in between where you are at now and that goal you have set, sacrifices will have to be made whether you like it or not. That is marriage. You make a lot of compromises, you become this selfless being just for the sake of the other person, you change yourself to please your spouse and his/her friends/family. At the end of the day, you ask yourself: Are you really happy?

Have I scared you yet? Well, that is never my intention. I just want to give you some idea about what marriage will be like, in a way answering those questions you have for me. I want to highlight that marriage is no game, it's not something you decide to enter into without any preparation whatsoever. Which is why it is sad that the trend in our society nowadays stress on the wedding but not the marriage. Yes, we have marriage courses and we know the theories to a happy marriage but is that enough? It all depends on our Niat. Intention. If you come in to the course and intend to take as much as you can, so that when you leave you have this renewed resolution to be better, then Alhamdulillah you are on the right course. But if it's merely so you can get that piece of paper saying you've been there, done that. You're not quite there yet. I have to say, the quality of our marriage courses in Malaysia is not up to par yet. The idea of it is beautiful, but the method needs a lot of improving. It probably has to do with our attitudes and mentalities - unfortunately for some, still 3rd world. I find that we depend so much on laughter and jokes - some crude and inappropriate - to get through the module itself. The excuse the speakers give, so as not to make the talks boring, or it is sleepy hour so let's not discuss heavy topics or get too serious. And yet they are talking about marriage where it is no joke ladies and gentleman. When are we getting to that intellectual stage where we can discuss topics without relying on having to make people laugh all the time? There's a difference with being witty and creative.

Marriage can be easy when you have good intentions. When you know what you are up against. When you are clear of your roles and responsibilities. When you have two people who are willing to make this work. Give and take. Trust and loyalty. Communication is KEY. No one is a mindreader. And the most important thing is when everything is done for the sake of Allah. Marriage opens sooo many doors to Jannah. The little things you do everyday for your spouse in sha Allah will give you rewards. You are given the opportunity to invest so much.

I personally believe it is not only during marriage that these challenges come, but even waaay before. The wedding planning for instance. Weddings nowadays are like a competition to see whose is the most grand. Does the saying, "because you can" or "because you have it, flaunt it" apply here? If it is within one's means then fine, BUT not if waste occurs for it is something Allah dislikes. The walimah is an ibadah. Moderation is best. And may Allah bless all our efforts in pleasing Him.

Back to marriage.  How I felt before? -Happy, excited, nervous, scared. How I feel now? -Happy, excited, nervous, scared. Similar but for different reasons.

I was happy because I was finally getting married to the man I had known for nearly 12 years. We've worked hard all that time and now this was it. I was excited to embark this whole new chapter with the man I trust as my Imam. I was nervous knowing that when you get married, you don't just get married to this one man, but to his whole family as well - would I be accepted, can I get along? I was scared because of the many possibilities in marriage, would I persevere?

I am happy because with everything that I'd imagined a marriage to be, how difficult it can be at times, I have no regrets and I remain as happy as can be. I am excited now that we are building a home of our own, and we are about to experience new things together. I am still nervous because sometimes I think my habits, actions and personal beliefs might give the wrong impression to his family and friends. And I am scared because Satan always finds a loophole to make me mad and frustrated and disappointed and fill me with so much negativitiy that I may forget all the good things that have happened. I am scared that I may lose patience, lose myself in anger and be so calculative about things and hence, be the beginnings of arguments.

That is why it is sooo important to always, ALWAYS be close to Him, and pray that He eases things for you. In sha Allah, whatever bad feelings that you have will come to pass and be replaced by good feelings.

So have I lost myself in marriage having to compromise a lot? I wouldn't say so. It is certainly different being married than your single years. But I disagree with people who say you can't enjoy as much when you're married and that you cannot follow your dreams anymore. Marriage is such a blessing to me, I am able to become this support person for my husband. I am able to take care of him because it gives me such joy when he is happy. Sometimes it even surprises myself how far I could go just to please him. (like waking up at 5am EVERYDAY to serve him breakfast, see him off to work when maaan I wouldn't have done that for msyelf when I was on my own :p) And because I am married to someone who is as adventurous as me, I can still do all the things I like - travel, food-hunting, shopping, etc We are compatible that way. When your spouse is very understanding, you get away with a lot :p My baking experiments for example, well, it benefits him too.hehe

Overall, being married is BLISS. Even when you have problems, you solve them together like civil adults should and you become stronger together as a result of it. So even through thick and thin, your love prevails. I must admit in these very early stages I am still in the adapting phase. It would take a whole lot more to finally be comfortable with where you are but I want to be there.  I want to be better. I pray that Allah always guides us every step of the way and that Allah bless both our families who have been so understanding, so accommodating, so welcoming. May each moment brings us closer to Allah and to His Jannah. Ameen :)

Feedback most definitely welcome ^^