The Silent Valley
He stood at the threshold of the house,
didn’t know which side is his as he grew up believing
its his one big playground.
The chinar leaves rustled in the wind,
only its barks show years of pain.
His neighbours don’t open their windows anymore.
Lament the sorrow of their only son who is no more.
Millions of traders have crossed this way,
but not one could unravel this paradoxical fray.
The blossoms have dried and fallen from the trees,
What remains only a shadow of its beauty,
The valley stands silent with its blood stained stories.
–The Author is a passive spectator
Japanese Cherry Blossom Cheesecake
The cake goes with my mood and the decoration follows the season of spring and cherry blossoms. Just one day , a few news snippets, random words and a cake. The photography follows the prose.
- 55g softened butter
- 55g caster sugar
- 55g plain flour
- 1 egg
- 2 tsp matcha powder
- 1 tbsp yoghurt
- 4 sheets leaf gelatine
- 200g cream cheese
- 250g ricotta
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
- 100g castor sugar
- 150ml heavy cream
- 400g fresh cherry compote
- 1 tbsp nutella
- some sugar flower/wafer flowers/fondant flowers for decoration
- Preheat the oven to 180C.
- For the cake base, whisk together the butter and the sugar in a large bowl until pale and creamy.
- Add the egg and beat again.Dissolve the matcha powder in 1 table spoon of hot water and add to the cake mixture along with the yoghurt.Sift the flour over the mixture and fold in so that everything is incorporated well. Pour the cake batter into the prepared baking pan(greased and lined) and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes until the cake is golden brown and springs back when pressed gently in the centre. Leave to cool in the pan.
- For the filling. soak the gelatine leaves in water until they are soft. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the cream cheese,ricotta, vanilla and sugar until light and creamy.
- Heat the cream over very low heat and then add the gelatine leaves to the warm cream. It should be fully dissolved and then sieve it into the cream mixture.
- Blitz the cherry compote in a blender and then make a smooth puree.Spread ⅓ of the cherry compote over the cake base leaving the gap from the edges. Fold the remaining cherry puree into the cheesecake mixture and stopping before it is fully incorporated to make a swirled pattern. Pour the cheesecake mixture over the base and smooth level. then leave to set in the refrigerator for 3 hours or overnight.
- To decorate the cake, spoon the nutella into a piping bag. You could use a narrow tip nozzle but I have just cut the tip very small and piped it on the cake to form tiny branches.
- Then I pasted the wafer flowers on the branches to resemble a cherry blossom branches.