I wanted you to get a fully embodied taste of Boston, a city rife with a firm history rooting a lush, modern maze of trendy outlets and venues. Boston is where the old not only meets the new but also shapes the new. For months, I’ve been toying with the idea of a dish that truly captures the city’s spirit and I’ve finally settled on a rich, indulgent sweet that takes less than five minutes to prepare. Are you ready to get baking?
We’re only making one serving (just for you, darling). Our pan of choice will be a small beaker (tea cup). The bottom layer is rusk, a hard double toasted sweet biscuit of English origin. I chose a British wafer to simulate a bit of Boston’s history. You see, the Siege of Boston was the very opening act in the Revolutionary War and over time, the British rule crumbled (just like our base). So grind up the rusk until you have fine pieces. Firmly press the crumble at the bottom of the cup.
In a separate bowl, we add four to six tablespoons of cream cheese (depending on how creamy you would like this treat). We fold in 1/4th a tablespoon of Hershey’s cocoa powder along with just a sprinkle of coconut flour (or any baking flour). So it bakes properly (or in this case, microwaves properly), we’re going to add an egg white (beaten), one tablespoon of 2% milk (or one tablespoon of Greek yogurt, if you would like a thicker consistency), and three tablespoons of sugar (you can tell I don’t believe in healthy desserts). Mix until the consistency is smooth.
Pour in the mixture and microwave for one minute. Note, that depending on the microwave, it could take anywhere between forty-five seconds to a minute and a half for the cheesecake to become less liquidy. So to make sure it doesn’t overcook (or undercook for that matter), we microwave the cake for thirty seconds in a row and then ten to fifteen second intervals after that (intermittently checking if the liquid has become more jelly-like).
Afterwards, we let the cheesecake chill for one to two hours in the refrigerator (or if you’re like me, cheat and stick it in the freezer for twenty minutes – note that if you do cheat, the cheesecake may collapse inwards a little).
The reason I chose a cheesecake to represent Boston (instead of any other mug cakes) is because the batter doesn’t become too stiff. Historically, Boston had a slightly shaky base that slowly solidified, but it is still a mold that is ever-growing. Like the mixture, from the microwave to the freezer, you watch the batter slowly become firmer and firmer, but it is never solid, just like the city of Boston itself.
I will admit that I did add the chocolate because of Massachusetts’ official state dessert: the Boston Cream Pie (and the signature chocolate dark chocolate glaze). To give the cheesecake more of a cream pie look, I grated some dark chocolate on the top of the cake and topped it with a very unassuming dark chocolate covered raisin in the very center. To me, the raisin is the part of Boston everyone is familiar with – the popular attractions, like Faneuil Hall, Freedom Trail, and Fenway Park. But if you pick up everything that’s layered beneath that, you find a rich and elegant landscape. So dig in!
Did you enjoy this recipe? If you did, then you will love this Goa-Inspired mango smoothie bowl! Also, which city should I try to embody through food next? Let me know in the comments below!