So I’m visiting my Dutch family ( my sister Gosia is married to Henny, who is 100% Dutch, and has lived here for a long time) in the Netherlands – the country known for it’s tulips, windmills, massive scale bicyling. What I also noticed about the Dutch is that they know and love their cheese. Jonge kaas – young cheese, Belage kaas – aged cheese (gaining firmness and flavor with time), Geitenkaas (goat milk cheese), Maasdam, Edam, Rotterdam, Old Amsterdam – many of their cities have their specific cheese – and of course Gouda. With the ending of Carnival, what better way to celebrate Fat Tuesday than to make a rich cheesecake, and for easy fun a no bake version?
Looking at recipes, I saw that a lot of them used cream cheese, and using my google translate I found out that the Dutch counterpart is roomkaas. The crust was made with cookie crumbs and grass-fed butter, since it is one of the healthiest fats around. Grasboter, as grass-fed butter is called in the Netherlands, is full of important fat soluable vitamins like Vitamin A (butter is best source) and Vitamin E, necessary for good eye (Vit. A), as well as endocrine (thyroid gland) health. Both also help with the immune system, making us more resistant to infections, toxins, and diseases in general. Butter lowers the risk of heart disease, as a new study at the University of Cambridge shows, circulating fatty acids from dairy reduced heart disease risk.
Butter prevents weight gain, by, contrary to many’s belief, providing fatty acids for quick energy and not being stored in fatty tissue, since butter provides mostly short and medium chain fatty acids. Full fat dairy actually lowers problems with metabolism and obesity, as shown in this multi-study analysis. Butter provides energy for out intestinal flora prevents fungal (like Candida albicans) growth, and contain the highest know amount of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which reduces the risk of colon, stomach, skin and breast cancer, and prevents cancer growth in children that ate CLA. Butter is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are known to fight inflammation and prevent many diseases like cancer, heart disease, and arthritis. Butter also helps prevent osteoporosis by giving the necessary factors to absorb calcium like Vitamin K2. Butter even lowers the risk of developing asthma.
Margarine and other synthetically produced fats, which are high in omega-6 fatty acids, do the opposite by slowing the thyroid, and causing inflammation. Cancer risk increases with intake of margarine and other polyunsaturated fats, as well as obesity, and heart disease. Even infertility is linked to these fats, so why not just use the butter instead?
Well we did. This ultra-rich dessert is only for special occasions, and should be eaten in moderation:
Total time: 1 and 1/2 hour
Preparation time: about 15 minutes
500 g Roomkaas or cream cheese ( we used the Dutch brand Campina, but I want to make my own, and found this easy recipe: http://www.instructables.com/id/Dead-Easy-Cream-Cheese/ )
1/2 (50 g) packet vanilla pudding
1/2 liter milk (for the pudding)
1 cup sugar of choice ( we used cane, but Muscovado, coconut palm, or any other is fine)
150 g ( about 5 ounces) cookies or graham crackers, crumbled completely
3 tablespoons Grasboter or grass-fed butter
Strawberries, another fruit, coconut flakes or chocolate for decorations, I used about 150 g strawberries – not in season, but my niece Maaike really wanted them 😉
A pie pan
Make the 1/2 package of pudding, and set aside to cool for a bit.
Mash the graham cracker or cookies ( best to get gluten free and without trans fats). Melt the 3 tablespoons of butter and mix together and set aside.
Next get the cream cheese, add sugar and whisk together in order to mix in the cooled pudding.
Spread the buttered cookie or graham cracker mixture in a pie pan, spreading it evenly.
Then fill the pie crust with the cheese and pudding mixture, put in the fridge or a cool place to set for at least 1 hour. Then decorate with desired fruit or topping and serve. Yum!
photos courtsey of my sister Gosia