20 Questions

Denise of CircuitsOfFever had this questionnaire and I figured I’d do the same as it’s always nice to write something different. So here goes…

  1. What are your greatest indulgences? Well fitting clothing, good skin care products, and make up products.
  2. What are three things on your last credit card statement? I don’t have a credit card and will never get one for as long as I can avoid it. The last three items on my debit card is likely the salad I had for lunch, facial cotton (they were 3 for 2), and raspberries from the supermarket.
  3. What is your biggest regret? Nothing, really. I try to live each day to the fullest and take things in stride. I don’t think anything has gone so wrong that I wish it had not happened. After all, when one door closes, another will open.
  4. What can you not miss on TV? I don’t watch actual TV, just Netflix, HBO, and some episodes online. My current favourites are Grey’s Anatomy (it’s hard to not watch a show that you’ve been watching for almost a decade), Suits, How I Met Your Mother, Elementary (makes me want to live in New York), Hawaii Five-O, Sleepy Hollow, and a few more I think.
  5. What brings you the greatest joy? A productive day at work, clean bedding, a good book,  and coffee at a nice cafe with the husband.
  6. What is on your bucket list? Travelling to Japan and also seeing the Golden Temple in Punjab.
  7. What is the best gift you’ve received? Diamonds from my mother and the chance to study Engineering in Australia from my father. Not to sound soppy or anything but I wouldn’t be where I am right now if my Dad didn’t give me the gift of education.
  8. What is on your perennial to-do list? Live more: read, travel, see, hear, experience, etc. I’d rather spend money on an experience than on a thing.
  9. What apps can you not live without? Instagram –  as there are some wonderful people I’ve met there recently who make me appreciate everything I see around me.
  10. What is your go-to karaoke/shower song? I don’t really do karaoke and I no longer sing in the shower. I don’t know why I stopped 🙂
  11. What superstition do you believe in?  Hm, not many. I can’t think of one right now.
  12. Of the seven deadly sins, which one are you guilty of? Probably gluttony.
  13. What charities do you support? No particular one but I do make donations to the Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders.
  14. Who are your heroes? Not celebrities 🙂 I’m inspired by successful people who can still be normal and completely unfazed by their success. I’m also very respectful of working women who balance their personal and professional life beautifully.
  15. What should every woman try at least once in her life? Enjoying your own company. I think we shouldn’t feel lonely in our own company because if we can’t spend time with ourselves, how can we expect other people to spend time with us?
  16. Who is on the guest list for your ideal dinner party? Lisa Eldridge, Jeremy Clarkson (Top Gear cracks me up), Hugh Laurie and Bobbi Brown.
  17. Do you have a secret talent? I used to play the organ. I miss it every single day.
  18. Who do you follow on Twitter? Some friends. Some beauty bloggers. Some ex colleagues who are good friends. Some cosmetic brands. I try not to follow people who get upset over little things as I like my Twitter feed to be cheerful and positive.
  19. How did you make your first dollar? I worked in a bookstore when I was 17. It was not an easy job but very eye opening.
  20. What is one thing you wish you had known when you were younger? There are many different ways to be successful. You don’t always have to pick the toughest option.

German Cheesecake

German cheesecake, better known as Käesekuchen, is a tricky cake for me to make because it’s usually made with Quark which is a special type of cheese, that is not available here.

At least that’s what I thought and I’ve been buying Quark and bringing it in a freezer bag in my luggage, during previous trips to Germany, just so I can make German cheesecake. I’ve also been cheating with instant mixes from Dr. Oetker, also only available in Germany.

Dr Oetker Käesekuchen Mix

Dr Oetker Käesekuchen Mix (Image from http://www.euro-goodies.com)

I know, I’m a little bit food obsessed but I look forward to these little things. When I first moved into my current apartment, about 4 years ago, I used to host cheesecake parties where I’d invite the bf along with some friends and we’d just eat cheesecake and sip tea or hot chocolate till it was almost dinner time. Sometimes we went out for dinner after that. Those were some of the most happiest times, ever.

I have a cake party event at work next week where different people sign up to bring different cakes and you sit at the office cafeteria and eat cake. It’s based on a Norwegian tradition known as “Kakebord” literally meaning “cake table”. I was trying to decide between making my Mother’s chocolate cake or a German cheesecake, but the cheesecake won because it doesn’t require a topping. I’m not very good at spreading out topping. I also discovered, recently, that Quark can be replaced with Kesam which is sold here. Kesam is a bit more watery in consistency, but taste wise, it’s pretty similar.

So, armed with this new substitute ingredient (though according to alternativeeating, it’s the same thing), I went hunting for a recipe that I could make. Most of the ones I found required baking using the Bain Marie method which I have never tried before, and the last thing I want to do is to make something complex and stress about it at the kitchen. I think baking should be fun, not stressful. Then, I stumbled upon this recipe on Anja’s Food 4 Thought. It was relatively simple and required very few ingredients.

Now let’s get to the interesting part, this is what a slice of the cake looks like.

German Cheesecake

German Cheesecake

Here’s a closer look:

German Cheesecake

German Cheesecake

This is how it looks before refrigeration. Usually the cheese layer will become more dense after refrigeration. I’ve placed most of the pieces into containers to be given away to some of our friends tomorrow because the bf and I don’t want to end up eating the whole cake. Shared calories is less calories 😉

The cake has turned out pretty well. I wouldn’t say it’s German Cafe level, but it’s tasty. I do wish I could make a slightly higher cake, but I think that might require tweaking the recipe a little. I hope I can make something similar that tastes just as good for the cake party in a few days’ from now. Wish me luck!