Saturday, November 03, 2007

upside-down grape cheesecake and "Four" meme

I was actually grateful for this bunch of gapes turning brown in two days.
I have been wondering how safe the "fresh" food is. At the market in my area, their meat and seafood look extraordinarily spectacular, they always look red, or too red! Yesterday I bought a piece of fillet, it was super glossy, super plump, probably "fresh" this word was tatooed on its skin too! But it gave out some smokey volcano's smell (sulfur?) after it's cooked, the texture was totally wrong for a fish, it was just ... way too bouncy. I know my face doesn't need Botox after this dinner since my muscles should be all toxicated then. So now when I see my grape turning brown so soon, I am happy; could it be preservative-free (the answer is no for sure ...), or at least at a more safe level?
The taste of these white grapes reminds me of nectar! I never tasted any other grapes remotely similar to this before! They were so good that I really wanted to nibble them all day long! But their determination of turning brown is much faster than mine of eating them, so I went to make conserve ... but eventually I turned it into jello as I don't have enough experience and know-how on making conserve. Assembling the cheese cake upside-down not because I was trying to be creative, just because I am lazy. Simply spoon in each ingredient into a single serving clear bowl (the opening of my jar was too narrow), the colorful layers already are natural beauty to please the crowd.
For the top crumbs: please refer this crust recipe. The thing is, I'd save the odd bits of the rolled dough, bake and later freeze them. Toast them just a short while before use.
For the cheese filling: 1:1 of natural unsweetened yogurt : fresh cheese. I always prefer fresh ricotta (due to it light taste yet great texture) but it is not available in my area, so this time I used mascarpone, it's kind of rich, but ok.
For the fruit at the bottom: I refer here for the conserve recipe. But mine couldn't turn into jelly form, so I added a bit gelatin powder.

Finally, my blog buddy Nabeela tagged me for "Four" meme, here it goes...

Four places I've lived - Hong Kong, Singapore, America and Spain.

Four jobs I had - I worked for my mom since I was 6, and took summer jobs since 16, really quite a handful to list. Let say the ones after my college... a fresh-meat at a TV commercial production house, a slave at an advertising agency, a bitch at a playground's design company, and a pet in my house (now).

Four favorite places I had holidays - I rarely travel just for vacation. The most current one was Belgium but I didn't like it much. Donkey years ago I visited Beijing, loved it a ton. Later had chance to visit Italy a few times, fell in love with Assisi and Perugia. So far I only come up with three places, will see if Barcelona becomes my 4th one in someday.

Four favorite food : Steak fries/patatas bravas dipped in mayo, tandoori chicken, pasta and clam!

Four places I'd rather be: I love city and I'm in one now. Besides, I love to be a farmer one day, so maybe somewhere in Tuscany or Assisi in Italy? Any places that is NOT near beach are fine with me.

Four fantastic bloggers I'd like to tag: Katie, Simona, Susan and Sher. Have fun!



Anonymous said...

Hmmm, you know I live 30 minutes north of Perugia in the middle of truffle country. You should have called!

Anh said...

Gattina, this is a lovely idea for dessert! I should remember it to try out. As for the jam, perhaps you should add some pectin to help the jam to set. :)

Oh talking about fresh food, we all need to be careful now! I normally go to trusted seafood suppliers after a while. They know what I need!

Katie Zeller said...

A friend of mine in Andorra was always happy to find slugs in the lettuce - said it meant no pesticides!
Seeing the grapes reminds me: For the Spanish grape ritual on New Year's Eve, (eating one grape for every stroke of the chimes for luck) should you be participating, a friend told me the trick is to peel the 12 grapes beforehand - and then, of course, to hide them so no one else takes advantage of your work.
Loved your 'four things' - this will be fun!

Sara, Ms Adventures in Italy said...

I've never heard of grape cheesecake, but that last picture looks wonderful!

Cynthia said...

This is a fantastic and original dessert. I always love your work.

Chris said...

Very cool! I love grapes and your presentation it fabulous! Unique!!

Gattina Cheung said...

Judith, I'm so envious :)

Anh, thanks for your e-mail buddy! Will check his out. Language is still a problem for me, wish I could talk to my fishman in Spanish, hehee.

Katie, ok, I'll do that trick on New Year's Eve! Talking about slugs and pesticides, over 20 slugs (yes, I keep them...) died in three months, I didn't ill-treat them except feeding them non-organic veg...

Thanks Rac!

Sara, thanks for the visit!

Thanks a ton Cynthia!

Chris, you always so sweet!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

These are so beautifully presented, Gattina, and the best part is they're so do-able. Your photos never fail to inspire me.

Anonymous said...

Wow, you have lived in some amazing places! No wonder you are an inspired chef!

Nabeela said...

I think my comment got lost. I posted one yesterday...anyway..
Thanks for taking part in the meme Gattina and I loved reading about you.
P.S: The cheesecake looks fabulous!

Callipygia said...

Too funny about the meat being too red and bouncy. Our food is getting cosmetic enhancement! Anyways, this looks so delicious not to mention comforting.

Sagari said...

lovely cheese cake

aminah said...

these look absolutely scrumptious! Gattina you are brilliant!

Edith said...

sometime I wonder why nowaday pple fall ill at a very young age? What goes into the food we eat?

Anyway, perhaps next experiment, I should try jam coz your looks really delicious.

Kajal@aapplemint said...

Gattina i know how u feel about food being processed to look fresh and perfect ! cant trust anything these days !

On the other hand this upside down cheesecake look fab ! pretty glasses and A1 presentation.

Mishmash ! said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mishmash ! said...

Gattina, sweetie I just wanted to say I was extremely happy to know your success story with Chicken Biryani, I was so glad after reading your comment and felt really good and satisfied realising that my notes helped you recreate the same without much mess at home and was happy to know that your family enjoyed it. Yes, you can make this in advance and even do the baking and once it is at the room temp, refrigerate, and next day before ur guests arrive, bring it back to room temp and bake again for 30-40 mts and it will be still tasting good, or extra good :)Was a bit tied up, hence couldnt come here earlier :)


Julie said...

Oh wow, those look and sound so delicious! I love the idea of grape cheesecake. I've never heard of anything like it! Grapes are so underutilized in baked goods and prepared desserts!

radha said...

we have four favfood in common! wow