– to play from noon till night and just troop in dusty to have food
– to making up stories for home work not done
– to eating chocolates surreptitiously during classes
– to stuff my mouth with milk powder
I missed the innocence that had been replaced by ‘knowledge’ (?) and ‘maturity'(?). I hoped not to lose my idealism that was fighting to stay alive in a practical world. What is it about ‘childhood’ that glisten my eyes as I write – is it the sadness of time lost? No! It is the gratitude that there came my big chance to go back! Motherhood gave me back all these and more. My ‘second childhood’ came with ‘fine print‘:
– It hurts your back irreparably when you fall from a tree
– If you play from noon till night you have to come back, cook, clean and wash.
– If you make up stories for work not done you get sacked [Not me – I am in Govt. service:)]
– If you eat chocolate surreptitiously you will cry out in pain because your tooth is decayed
– Milk powder, ice creams and cake mysteriously show your middle age around your midriff, and your chin
Sighhhhh…..some things just cannot be replaced, but for others there are fairy tales:)
When Simran of Bombay Foodie suggested ‘Alice in Wonderland’ for the monthly ‘book that makes me cook event’, I was thrilled. My children were even more thrilled because they know from experience, that any childrens’ book will be read out loud, complete with voice modulation and stuff! When we came to this part,
“Soon her eye fell on a little glass box that was lying under the table: she opened it, and found in it a very small cake, on which the words ‘EAT ME’ were beautifully marked in currants.”
“I wish I could have this”, said Jr.H.
“Could we?”, asked Jr.P.
“Why not?”, said me.
I had seen yesterday something that just fitted so well here, and this was the excuse I needed to try it – a heavenly looking cheesecake brownie at pastry chef, David Lebovitz’ blog. I tried and quite successfully managed to bake it vegan!! It was so dense, chewy and tasty – you could never make out the absence of the real thing. Not without mistakes though, but it was more a placement error than one that can affect the taste or texture!
Recipe : Vegan Cheesecake Brownies
Ingredients: (Recipe from here)
I followed the measurements to the T except the changes for making it vegan
One 9-inch (23cm) square pan
6 tablespoons (85g) salted vegan butter spread chilled and cut into pieces
4 ounces (115g) bitter vegan chocolate, chopped
2/3 cup (130g) brown cane sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup (70g) flour (I added just a pinch of baking powder – just in case)
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder (Omitted)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped bitter vegan chocolate extra ( I added a few big red grapes cut into discs)
(I substituted the 2 large eggs with 2 tbsp. flax meal beaten with 1tsp. sunflower oil and little water + 2 tbsp well beaten mori-nu firm tofu)
8 ounces (200g) cream cheese, at room temperature
1 large egg yolk
5 tablespoons (75g) sugar
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
(I used 3tbsp. mori-nu tofu with enough sugar)
You will have to keep the vegan cream cheese separate for pouring on the top and swirling. I too did that, but since the missed the first step I had to remove the swirled batter from the pan and pour it back again after lining with a foil. All the swirling and design was gone!
1. Line the baking pan with foil as you will need this to lift out the cheese cake.
2. Pre-heat oven to 180 deg. Cel. (I did at 200)
3. Melt the butter and chopped bitter chocolate till well blended in a double boiler. I follow my m/w method of heating 10s. Stirring and repeat this till blended well.
4. Beat in the flax meal+tofu mix.
5. Sieve the flour with a pinch of baking powder and mix well in the batter.
6. Fold the extra chocolate, and grapes.
7. Pour the batter in the lined pan evenly. Distribute the ‘white tofu sugar mix’ in dollops.
8. Swirl with a blunt knife slightly to get a pattern.
9. Bake till the sides feel firm to touch and the middle is just set. Mine took 50 minutes. I baked for 35 minutes at 180 deg., and later at 220 deg.
10. Cut into squares.
Do compare the quality with the original pictures here. You will see that the texture is the same. There is no compromise in the vegan version:)
As for magic, well we did not open up like a large telescope, but our mouths did when we ate, and our eyes danced and popped like telescopes with sheer pleasure:)
This dish is cooked in honor of all the little ones in the world – may there always be dreams in their eyes and may the dreams get bigger and bigger! It cannot happen without each one of us putting in our bit to make the world a safer, a better, a greener and a more organic place to live in. I have resolved to be careful with my footprints – I don’t think I have the right to take more than I can give to my world or to the future of the children living in it. I have no tall claims, I haven’t adopted or fought for a child – but I believe that, if each one of us lives consciously, judging each little action at the end of the day, we can make a difference. Think next time before you reach out for crackers, for carpets, for silk sarees, for that ubiquitous plastic bag – is it worth it? Are we not in a way part of a massacre in the future? Do not just exist and watch the world go by – take part by living in it! Our children and theirs will pay for our actions – so watch out!