My Beautiful Bahrain & a No-Bake Blackberry Cheesecake

26 May

5th of May, 2012, is a date that shall go down as one of the most defining days of my life. This day, a book was launched by the Bahrain Writers’ Circle, called My Beautiful Bahrain.  I am one of the co-authors along with Namit Bhatia, whom you all recall being mentioned on this blog innumerable times. Our article – Bahrain, A Culinary Oasis got accepted as one of the 40 articles written by 50 authors, all of different nationalities.

Co-authors of Bahrain: A Culinary Oasis

My Beautiful Bahrain is the brain-child of Robin Barratt, who is the founder of Bahrain Writers’ Circle, the first of its kind – writers’ club in Bahrain. He encouraged every single one of us, members to give out our story that talked about Bahrain and how beautiful this island is. He kept at us for months together when members like me thought, we weren’t good enough to have our names printed as authors in a book. He motivated, compelled and even bullied to have us write. Finally the book is out and we can’t be proud enough. Atleast for me, it means the world to have my name in print for the very first time. I was over the moon when Robin asked me to read out a passage from the book at the Launch. I was filled with trepidation but I practiced my speech couple of times and felt prepared.

Robin Barratt presenting us the copy of My Beautiful Bahrain

Reading a passage from my article

With Hubby..

A baby who didn’t care about the book launch

My Beautiful Bahrain in Robin’s own words,

With lots of fascinating personal ‘life’ stories, quite a few tourist-type information and fact based contributions, some wonderful poetry, an occasional piece of fiction (set on the island) and a mixture of other diverse and captivating prose, with fifty contributions from forty writers from fifteen countries (almost 300 pages), My Beautiful Bahrain is both varied and unique, and an undeniably indispensable guide for travellers and visitors to the island, as well as a ‘must-read’ book for people living here, doing business here, or just interested in what life is like living on this tiny, tiny island in the Arabian Gulf. 

The aims and goals of this book are to show the world that; firstly, there are a great many terrific and talented writers on the island that most definitely should be read and heard and secondly, for most people here, Bahrain is a wonderful place to live!”

As simple an agenda as that wasn’t the easiest to manage since finding a publisher who would do it for absolutely nothing was a tough task. But Robin persisted for everybody’s sake and the result is for all to see. The first edition is already sold out and more are being printed as I type this post. To download, you could check this out.

My parents were able to attend this mega-event of my life and that makes me feel super -blessed. My husband, my daughter and friends – Namit ( co-author ), Pooja Rajpal( who has her own article in the book called ‘Newbie’), Gayathri( who came by to wish me luck) made me feel so special.

My Beautiful Bahrain has given me the confidence to not stop with it but to continue writing to be published in the future. It was just the right sort of nudge required.

To celebrate, I made a No- Bake  Blackberry Cheesecake with some blackberry sauce. The cheesecake looked devastatingly gorgeous ( coming from the creator, it seems narcissistic, but it was stunning to look at). I am in love with the deep purple colour and now I know what color I am going bring into my wardrobe soon. The cheesecake is entirely my concoction, ingredients, proportions and all. I just kept adding ingredients whilst mentally noting down the proportions in order to write down the recipe later.

Mimi has special fondness for dessert in Ramekins and thinks of them as ice creams. So I spared some from the total batter to fill her ice cream -ramekins

The biscuit base was crumbly, just the way we like it.We aren’t a big fans of the snappy sort of base that usually comes with bakery cheesecakes. As for the cheesecake, the flavour was spot on.  The tart blackberry flavour and the smooth creamy texture on my tongue reminded me of a purple satin dress that I had once and how it felt against my skin. It is indulgent, celebratory and gorgeous ( did I mention that already?) to look at.

From here on, as I dip my dessert spoon into a heavenly slice of the blackberry cheesecake, I reflect on how My Beautiful Bahrain is just the beginning. There is so much more coming in the near future.

I can see it.

55 Responses to “My Beautiful Bahrain & a No-Bake Blackberry Cheesecake”

  1. Gayathri Ramdas Sreekanth May 26, 2012 at 10:59 pm #

    Big big congratulations !! I couldn’t be happier for you and am so proud of you..and that it’s “Bahrain” which made this happen and our friendship happen just makes this whole thing even sweeter ! :) :) Here’s to many many more !

    The cheesecake looks divine…love the hint of purple in the main layer as well..

    yippie I am the first to comment !!! :)

  2. Rosa May (@RosasYummyYums) May 26, 2012 at 11:36 pm #

    Congratulations! That is awesome.

    This cheesecake looks really amazing! A divine dessert.

    And Mimi is so sweet!



    • Anita Menon May 27, 2012 at 10:10 pm #

      Rosa, so good to see you here. thanks so much.

  3. yummychunklet May 27, 2012 at 12:26 am #

    How exciting. Looks like it was a fun event. And, Mimi is so cute licking the cheesecake!

  4. Gayathri May 27, 2012 at 8:57 am #

    Congratulations once again, Anu!!! A momentous occasion indeed!! And this gorgeous cheesecake seems so apt for the celebration…..

    • Anita Menon May 27, 2012 at 10:11 pm #

      thanks Gayathri. Dying to see you soon.

  5. Deeps @ Naughty Curry May 27, 2012 at 9:16 am #

    congrats anita, nobody deserves it more than u :) looking great in the pics, im sure it must have been the most thrilling experience… the blueberry cheesecake looks amazing, the perfect way to celebrate! :)

    • Anita Menon May 27, 2012 at 10:14 pm #

      Thanks so much for your lovely words Deepthi

  6. Sally May 27, 2012 at 11:27 am #

    Congratulations. What a brilliant achievement and such a wonderful project to be part of. Well done indeed.

  7. TheWhiteRamekins May 27, 2012 at 4:51 pm #

    wow…congratulations !!! what an honor and such a beautiful way to celebrate this. this cheesecake looks gorgeous.

  8. Thanh @ eat, little bird May 27, 2012 at 10:51 pm #

    Well done!! What a wonderful achievement! I do love your style of writing and wish you much luck in your chosen path. This cheesecake looks very celebratory. I adore no-bake cheesecakes, first because of their creamy texture and, second, because I can’t seem to make a baked cheesecake work!

  9. Sammie May 28, 2012 at 7:20 am #

    Hi Anita! Congratulations! :) and your cheesecake looks so delicious!! What a yummy recipe. I’ve yet to try a no-bake cheesecake! haha.. beautiful photography too!

    • Anita Menon June 1, 2012 at 8:12 am #

      Thank you Sammie. Heading over to your space to check out your lovely blog

  10. Cass @foodmyfriend May 28, 2012 at 7:56 am #

    Congratulations :) What an incredible achievement. Your cheesecake is beautiful too! It’s so nice for your hard work to pay off isn’t it? :)

  11. Bikramjit Singh Mann May 28, 2012 at 11:45 am #

    Oh my OH MY.. I know another celebrity yayyyyyyyy CONGRATULATIONS on that and wow…

    Now I can boast toooo , I hope you remember me though he heh e

    • Anita Menon June 1, 2012 at 8:11 am #

      koi celebrity-velebrity nahi hun. Ek article diya hai book ke liye… poori book nahi likhi hai :-)

      But thanks so so so much!

      • Bikramjit Singh Mann June 1, 2012 at 11:25 am #

        well not for you.. but for the likes of me it is a big issue.. Today one article , tomorrow Two and then all who know ;s :)

  12. shruti May 28, 2012 at 1:23 pm #

    congratulations anita !! happy for you :-)

  13. Dhara Joshi May 28, 2012 at 3:06 pm #

    Anu..big congratulations and best wishes always..and yes your cake looks real YUM!!I I want to make it..mimi looks cutie pie.

  14. Raji May 28, 2012 at 8:30 pm #

    Woohoo…Big congratulations Anita…this is a great news. I wish that this new chapter of your life opens many more wonderful doors of opportunity for you. Keep rocking gal !

  15. Buls May 29, 2012 at 7:59 am #

    This is so great… you found a job, you got a book published and the gorgeous cheesecake is the topping… not to forget a beautiful family. Touch wood. The best part is you have described it so well, I am feeling happy sitting in office. In your low moments, you can turn back and read this post and feel happy again. Please don’t stop here. You have to… absolutely have to get your own book published.
    I have been in a limbo when it comes to cooking. Your post has inspired me. I am going to make this cheesecake this weekend… maybe even today. Fingers crossed. :)

    • Anita Menon June 1, 2012 at 8:08 am #

      awww Bulbul! BIg HUG! thanks . no words to describe how happy this comment has made me. I felt it here through your words.

  16. Lubna Karim May 29, 2012 at 9:34 pm #

    Congrats on the book…..wish you great success…..cheesecake looks extremely yum……

  17. I Live in a Frying Pan May 30, 2012 at 12:00 am #

    YOU ARE UNSTOPPABLE!! This is a mega achievement, congratulations! I am so proud of you! How do I buy my copy in Dubai? Is it being sold here, any idea??

    I’m not just in awe of the book, but at the fact that you made up your own cheesecake recipe. This is incredible Anita, really, really inspiring. Congratulations, you deserve a gigantic slice of that cheesecake!

    • Anita Menon June 1, 2012 at 8:07 am #

      I don’t think it is available in Dubai just yet. But it’s e version is downloadable on Amazon.

      Thanks Arva. xoxo

  18. Soma May 30, 2012 at 3:23 am #

    A huge congratulations and the biggest hug ever. Really happy for you!!! wish I could meet you sometime :D

    I agree with you on the stunning looks of the cake – 100%. the color of the berry fascinates me, even when it just stains my hand.. even better smashed, cooked or whatever way brings out the deep purple. and she will care for the book launch and be very proud of her mommy in a few years!

  19. Savory Simple May 30, 2012 at 6:46 pm #

    The cheesecake looks delicious!

    • Anita Menon June 1, 2012 at 8:05 am #

      thanks so much. heading to check out your lovely space

  20. marie May 30, 2012 at 8:14 pm #

    Congratulations to you, you’re famous!!!! Really though that is so cool to be a part of something you believe in, just great.

    And the cheesecake? Divine. Perfect for the heat that’s upon us.

    • Anita Menon June 1, 2012 at 8:04 am #

      Famous!?? I don’t think so, and I hope not.
      Not yet.
      So much more to do.

      Thanks for your motivating words Marie.

  21. Kitchen Karma May 31, 2012 at 1:42 pm #

    Congratulations Anita on the book…. having read your blog posts for sometime, I am not surprised that you were selected. You do write beautifully. I am sure this will lead to many more blessed things :-)

    The cheesecake looks scrumptious….I am yet to do a no bake one…but for now I am ready to dig into this one :-)

    • sandhya@vegetarianirvana June 1, 2012 at 5:43 am #

      Congratulations Anita. Having followed your journey as a writer, this honor was only expected. Wish you many more such successes.

      • Anita Menon June 1, 2012 at 8:02 am #

        Thank you Sandhya. :-) Such a lovely comment

    • Anita Menon June 1, 2012 at 8:03 am #

      Thank you Suchismita. It is such a lovely thing to say. xoxo

  22. Akshata June 1, 2012 at 8:22 am #

    Beautiful Anita! Just saw this post too. Many Congratulations on the book launch. So proud of you being on the print of the beautiful book. The cheesecake looks incredibly light, fluffy and indulgent all the same!!! amazing recipe. I must try this

  23. Javelin Warrior (@javelinwarrior) June 1, 2012 at 4:36 pm #

    Every Friday, I share my favorite food finds in a series called Food Fetish Friday. I love this post so much I’m featuring it as part of the roundup (with a link-back and attribution) and I hope you have no objections. It’s a pleasure following your creations…

    • Anita Menon June 1, 2012 at 5:14 pm #

      aww that is such an honour. Thank you so much for appreciating my work!

  24. Poonam June 3, 2012 at 11:20 am #

    Hey anita a hearty congratz from me to you…truly happy for you…

  25. Amy June 14, 2012 at 7:37 pm #

    Really glad I found your blog.. love this recipe! Been wondering what to do with gelatin I bought a while ago and never used, think this may be perfect! and congratulations on book!

  26. Meenakshi June 29, 2012 at 7:29 pm #

    CONGRATULATIONS ANITA!!! Very very happy and proud that you have taken your first step as a PUBLISHED WRITER!!!! Wow. This is really big. I do not have a kindle but my dad does, so when I go to Kerala next week I am going to download it there! Hope to see your next work real soon ;p

  27. Meenakshi June 29, 2012 at 7:30 pm #

    I read the excerpt from the BWC website

  28. Plateful July 10, 2012 at 12:54 am #

    Been missing your wonderful posts too long, sorry! Congrats again on the publication, so sooo proud of you my friend! And that cake looks amazing, simply beautiful! Love!

  29. Pooja srinivas February 25, 2013 at 8:49 am #

    Lady no harm in being narcissistic !! Your stuff is neighbour’s envy owner’s pride !! I feel like a fool not visiting your blog earlier !! Loved the pita bread recipe , I never knew it was this simple . And the blueberry cheesecake is perfect , no eggs and this makes a perfect surprise for my husband !

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