If you've ever been to Orissa, you would have surely tried a speciality from there known as Chenna Poda, which means, burnt cheese.
I discovered it quite by accident, and only very recently, but so glad that I did!
Paneer, or cottage cheese forms the base of this delicious cake, made distinct by the caramel flavour that pervades through.
In this version I've experimented using plums, in the same style as pineapple upside-down cake, but with a twist, and extremely happy with the result!
This is a curd cheesecake, and not the usual batter one.
This is my third entry for the IFBM KitchenAid contest.
Fresh, firm plums - 4-5 nos. (tart and half ripe are even better) sliced, or halved.
Soft, home-made paneer from organic cow milk - 250 gms
Palm jaggery powder - 1 Tablespoon (or to taste)
Shakkar powder (ayurvadic, unrefined sugar - like jaggery) - 2-3 Tablespoons, packed
Plum juice or Water - 2 Tablespoons
Ghee - 1 Tablespoon
Wholewheat rava - 2 teaspoons
Fresh ground elaichi/cardamom powder - 1/2 teas
Dried Black currants - 1/4 cup
Fresh, firm plums - 4-5 nos.
Roasted cashewnuts - 1/4 cup
- Whizz the paneer to a smooth paste in the mixie chutney jar.
- Mix in the currants, palm jaggery powder, rava, cardamom thoroughly.
- In a small heavy pan heat the butter and shakkar till melted and caramelised. Then add the plum juice and heat through for a few seconds till mixed.
- Pour this caramel into a 6 inch bake pan greased with ghee.
- Arrange the slices of plum and roasted cashews on the base.
- Press down the paneer mixture into the pan and level the top.
- Bake this in a moderate oven, around 180 deg. C for 15-20 min till done. I had the oven fan on, and it was nicely done in 15 minutes. This may vary.
- Keep a close eye on the baking process after the first ten minutes. The caramel has to get really brown and the juice will seep through (some on the edges might even get almost burnt.
- Test for done-ness by inserting a skewer or knife in the centre. If it comes out clean, it's done.
- Allow it to cool, then upturn onto a plate.
- Decorate as desired.