Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Vietnamese Coffee Cheesecake Bars
Last year at this time, I was very hungry.
I was near the end of a difficult pregnancy. In over 8 months, there was not a single day when the nausea did not overwhelm every other feeling. Eating only meant that I would get sick. I basically lived on IVs, iron infusions, and potato chips.
My husband was in the midst of a busy season at work, so my Dad or Mom would drop me off for my two weeks of iron infusions. Since I didn’t leave the house much, I tried to make the most of this daily outing. I used to try to think of it as a Sunday drive, but with needles and weigh-ins.
In general, the experience made me very hopeful. I would sit alongside chemo patients waiting for my treatment. As it went, I was damn lucky. My body doesn’t enjoy pregnancy particularly, but I still did end up with babies. The people sitting alongside me had tumors. Really—no comparison.
Thinking about food would send me to the restroom. That is except Vietnamese iced coffee.
I would say in general I enjoy VIC quite a lot. I wouldn’t go so far as to use the term love. For hot chai, I might use the terms love, need, life blood. So, some sort of strange desire overtook me. I would sit in the chair, chewing on ice chips, fantasizing about iced coffee. In a strange way, it became a sort of benchmark. Someday I would get to consume iced coffee again; one day my body wouldn’t fight food.
And like all good stories, there was a happy ending. I had Tigerlily then like that my body was fine. I wasn’t sick ever. I could eat anything. I could drink Vietnamese iced coffee.
Vietnamese Iced Coffee Bars
Based on a recipe by Smitten Kitchen
Line an 8 inch square baking pan with parchment paper.
In a food processor or in a Ziploc bag with a rolling pin crush:
graham crackers and wafer cookies to get about 1 cup
Combine cookies in a bowl with 3 tablespoons olive oil. Pack evenly at the bottom of the baking pan.
Bake at 350 for 10 minutes.
In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, blend:
12 ozs softened cream cheese
2 T corn starch
1 can condensed milk
2 tsp cinnamon
3/8 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
Brew some Vietnamese coffee very strong. (Vietnamese coffee can be bought at Asian grocery stores.)
Put 2 tsps of gelatin into ¼ cup coffee.
Once the coffee is gelled add to the mixer. Mix for 5 minutes.
Pour mixture over the crust. Bake for 40 minutes at 350 degrees.
Chill 6 hrs.
When the cheesecake is chilling, make the glaze by heating a second can of condensed milk until simmer. Then add 1 tsp gelatin, and let sit for 2 minutes. Pour glaze over the cheesecake. Chill again for 2-3 hrs.
I am sending this over to Sugar High Fridays hosted by The Well-Seasoned Cook and created by Jennifer of The Domestic Goddess.