Recipe: Matcha Pistachio Tofu Cheesecake

Today’s recipe is as healthy as a dessert or a cake is going to get.

You won’t need an oven or any baking skills for this no-bake cheesecake, because it’s easy peasy lemon squeezy! It’s so light & easy on the palette, you can enjoy it with little guilt, even if you’re trying to watch your diet.
This Matcha Pistachio Tofu Cheesecake has a texture that’s a cross between a pudding and a real cheesecake.

It’s not rich like a New York Cheesecake, in fact it’s the very opposite… it just glides over your tongue and slides down your throat instead of getting stuck in your teeth and the roof of your mouth, making you feel thirsty and greedy. If you’re looking for something really rich and indulgent, this is not it. A tofu cheesecake is intentionally light on the taste buds. My mom would approve of this, I think!

Ingredients (7-8 slices):

Tofu Cheesecake Filling

  • 300g silken tofu
  • 250g SCS cream cheese
  • 200g icing sugar
  • 200g natural plain yoghurt / sour cream
  • 50g full cream milk
  • 15g gelatin powder
  • 50ml warm water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Biscuit Base

  • 200g digestive biscuits
  • 80g melted SCS butter

Matcha Pistachio Topping

  • 20g matcha powder
  • 100g crushed salted pistachios

SCS is my preferred brand of butter for its premium quality & top notch smooth, creamy texture. It’s an extremely popular brand used by a lot of bakers in Singapore since it became a household name many years ago. I used SCS cream cheese for my tofu cheesecake filling & SCS butter for the biscuit base.

Other recipes I’ve used SCS butter for include buttercream, butter cookies, cupcakes & cakes, spreading on toast for breakfast.. I always insist on using real butter for my cooking & baking. Shortening, margarine or other forms of alternative have just never cut it for me. You can definitely taste the difference when you don’t use the good stuff. And when I bake or cook, I HAVE to use the best stuff. I will settle for nothing less, it would be a dishonor to my own cooking and dignity. I’m that particular about it.

In other words… To me, butter is gold!

Directions:

  1. Line a removable base baking pan (8″ round size) with baking paper and spray with non-stick cooking oil.
  2. Crush the digestive biscuits into fine crumbs and combine with melted butter.
  3. Press tightly into cake pan with the back of a spoon. Leave baking pan in the freezer until required later.
  4. Dissolve and stir gelatin powder in warm water. Set aside for use later.
  5. Empty the rest of tofu cheesecake filling ingredients into an electrix mixer, and mix until well combined, around 1 minute. Add the dissolved gelatin at the end, stirring thoroughly.
  6. Remove baking pan from the freezer. Pour your tofu cheesecake mixture into the pan.
  7. Sprinkle the top generously with matcha powder and pistachios. 
  8. Chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours or until firm to the touch, when it doesn’t wobble too much when you shake the pan.
Make sure you use a cake pan with a removable base, because that’s the only way you’re going to get your tofu cheesecake out without wrecking it!

When it’s ready to be served, I run along the edges of the cake with a warm butter knife, scraping against the pan to make sure the edges come out as smooth as possible.

This recipe is so effortless and elegant – just mix away, then after 4 hours in the fridge.. you’ve got your dessert! No fuss, just pure pleasure. The hints of matcha and traces of pistachio complement the cheesecake wonderfully. Subtlety is everything in this recipe
Most people like to mix the matcha powder into the filling, which makes it end up looking like some sort of weird green cheese block at the end. I’ve done things differently by layering it generously over the top because the presentation is so much prettier and as long as you sprinkle enough of it, the green tea notes will still be there. Just on the top, so it doesn’t alter the taste of the rest of the cheesecake.
On this note, though, I have to mention that pistachios and matcha are not a necessity in this recipe. If you don’t like green tea or you’re allergic to nuts, try replacing the topping with a tangy & sweet fruit like passionfruit puree or raspberry compote. Equally delish!

Enjoy your perfect little slice of homemade Matcha Pistachio Tofu Cheesecake!

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SCS knows how much I love baking and sharing about my kitchen adventures on my blog, so they have generously offered to gift 5 of my lucky followers / aspiring bakers with their very own SCS Bakers’ Kit, worth $128!


Filled with baking goodies & essentials such as measuring spoons & cups, heatproof oven mittens, baking trays and silicone moulds.. now if only I had one of those when I started out baking… would’ve made my life a lot easier! Never under estimate the power of the right tools in the kitchen.

To win yourself a set of SCS Bakers’ Kit, all you have to do is:

  1. “Like” SCS Facebook page.
  2. Leave a comment on this blog post describing why you prefer SCS dairy or how you personally enjoy using SCS products, be it in your baking / kitchen / simply spreading over toast!
  3. Don’t forget to include your name & email address.
  4. Winners will be chosen by 28 February 2014 and contacted via email shortly after.

For more information & news about SCS Dairy and access to yummy free recipes to use their products in, visit their website!

xoxo,
Jess
xoxo,
Jess

Our 5th Valentine’s Day together

This year, the boyfriend and I spent 90% of our Valentine’s Day slaving away making macarons & cakes for other people until we forgot to even eat and have our regular meals.. so we ended up not really having any plans at all, except for a pretty rushed dinner together. We don’t make a big deal out of V’day anymore, considering since it’s our 5th one together by now – we’re getting more practical over the years. Flowers and fancy dinners are just too expensive and unnecessary. (I can’t believe I’m saying this) Still, I wanted to have something to remember this Valentine’s Day by… so I arranged for a couple photoshoot (without him knowing anything) and surprised him a few days before the 14th of February!

In all our time being together, Sam and I have taken thousands of photos together. I’m extremely trigger happy and I make him pose for photos for keepsake & blogging purposes all the time. But we’ve never actually taken proper photos with a professional photographer together – something fancy, something planned, something we can frame and put on the wall. Who says you have to be engaged or married to take a couple’s photoshoot?!

I made him dress up, sneakily pretending we were going on a date, when really we were going to Chijmes to snap away for an hour (that was really all we could spare out of our crazy hectic February schedule) and I’m so happy we did this because I wholeheartedly adore the photos. I can’t wait to get them printed!!!! 
These are my top picks from the whole shoot, but the first one’s my absolute favorite. I could stare at it all day and smile to myself. The corners of my lips can’t help but turn upwards every single time I see this.
Photography by the wonderful Ace Chia. 

Thank you so much for capturing these moments for us, Ace!!! :) You were a joy to work with. This is Ace’s first couple photoshoot and we’re honored to be her first lovey dovey subjects. She normally does fashion photography, but we decided to switch things up a little because V’day was just around the corner. I am so thrilled to have the opportunity to collaborate with this talented young lady on more than one project, and we had a lot of fun even though it was the first time we’d met! Sam is still kinda stiff when it comes to posing in front of the camera (understandably), but we have more shoots in the planning so hopefully he loosens up in time to come. 

Happy 5th Valentine’s Day together, Sam.
We’ve been through so much together, it’s mind boggling. We’ve went from gaming friends on opposite sides of the globe to having a house together, from riches to poorness to building a business, confusion to bliss to misery to stability & comfort, and even though we scream and fight all the time….

You’re still my Valentine. To have and to hold, always.
xoxo,
Jess
xoxo,
Jess

Recipe: Creamy Pumpkin Cauliflower Soup

I’M ALIVE, PEOPLE. And today, I have another long-overdue recipe to share with you!

After the first few days of Chinese New Year, I’ve been cooking a whole lot more because I’ve inevitably gained weight from the influx of rubbish junk food I’d been gorging on (pineapple tarts, bak kwa, etc etc). I couldn’t wait to get back to real, wholesome food. I love my Chinese New Year snacks, but lawd, they’re unhealthy.

I realized that I don’t have the time to tediously shoot step-by-step cooking tutorial pictures (they are a lot more trouble than they look) which is the number one thing that throws me off actually getting around to documenting my cooking… Whenever I’m in the kitchen, I’m always in a rush because I’m either 1) very hungry or 2) cooking for anticipating guests, so taking over an hour to record a purposefully-visually-appealing recipe is out of the question on most days! So, I decided to just do away with in-process pictures for easier recipes, and show you the final product that you can expect. This way, it’s a lot more manageable for me.. you guys can also expect more frequent posts!  I promise the recipes will still be easy to follow.

One of my favorite things to whip up in the kitchen to impress my friends would definitely be a good bowl of hearty soup. It seems straightforward enough, but impressive when you nail it. You wouldn’t BELIEVE how difficult it is to get a good bowl of soup outside. Most Western restaurants in Singapore either serve diluted, tasteless, blah tasting flavored water they call SOUP, or overly-starchy soups that taste like Campbell’s. It’s ridiculous.

Because soup has to be one of the best things to cook at home, for many reasons! It’s cheap, fuss free and extremely forgiving towards amateur cooks. It warms your tummy and soul, it’s great food for the sick (and the healthy!) and well, there’s really no good reason why you shouldn’t make soup at home. Here’s my own rendition of an absolutely delicious Pumpkin Cauliflower Soup for you to try! You will need a blender for this.

Ingredients (4 servings):

  •  4 strips of bacon
  •  500g pumpkin, de-gutted
  •  150g cauliflower, roughly chopped
  •  600ml full cream milk
  •  1 cube chicken stock 
  •  1 medium white onion, diced
  •  3 cloves garlic, minced
  •  salt & pepper to taste
  •  sprig of thyme & paprika for garnishing (optional)


Directions:

  1. Boil cauliflower & pumpkin in a large pot until very soft to the touch, then remove skin from pumpkin and cut into 2cm chunks, set aside together with cauliflower.
  2. While your vegetables are boiling, fry the bacon in a non-stick pan until brown and crisp around the edges. You won’t need any oil for this. Cut the bacon with kitchen scissors into small pieces.
  3. Pour out 95% of excess oil from frying the bacon, reserving the last 5% to sautee onions and garlic for 5 minutes on medium-low heat, stirring constantly.
  4. Add boiled cauliflower & pumpkin to the pan, and stir for another 3 minutes.
  5. Pour in the milk and add chicken stock. Let this mixture gently simmer until chicken stock is fully dissolved.
  6. Using an electric blender, blend the chunky soup mixture on high until completely smooth, around 10 seconds.
  7. Return the soup to the pan, and check if consistency is to your liking. If too thick, add more milk to thin it out. If too thin, let it simmer for a few more minutes until the texture seems just right. Add salt/pepper to taste. Note that texture of soup will thicken as it cools.
  8. Serve immediately, garnish with sprig of thyme for that hint of freshness, sprinkle with paprika & more black pepper. I also like to drizzle mine with a little bit of milk and olive oil. Top off with bacon pieces.

An effortlessly creamy Pumpkin Cauliflower Soup that’s not overly rich, but hearty enough to keep your tummy satisfied.

It’s so smooth that people always assume it takes a long time to do, or that I use real cream in it.. neither of which is true! It’s light enough for lunch, and great as a side dish for dinner. I love the natural sweetness it has from the pumpkin – it goes so well together with the little bites of savory bacon pieces. The perfect blend of sweet & savory liquid food. This soup is always a huge hit at my dinner parties and I’ve honestly never met anyone that didn’t love it or finish their whole bowl, even people who don’t normally eat pumpkin! For the super health conscious, I guess you could skip the bacon and substitute with croutons or something… but where’s the fun in that? ;)

Happy soup making! This is one recipe for the family because it makes a big pot, great for sharing.

xoxo,
Jess

xoxo,
Jess
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