Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Cheesecake (3)

Shirley's cheesecake was the third to get an outing. I knew it would be good, because Shirley is a great cook, and she didn't let me down. It was dead easy, the only down point was when I looked in the microwave the next day and found all the solidifed butter spats! It seemed a lot of creme fraiche but it tasted lovely. The family made appreciative noises and said things like "This isn't your normal cheesecake, it's great".  Sometimes I don't know why I bother.

It was very wobbly after 30 minutes but I had faith, took it out and voilá, it worked,
and say what you like but I do think cheesecake is best cooked in a bain marie. Mine certainly are.

Here is Shirley's recipe as she wrote it, put here so that I can find it easily next time.

I aways use a bain-marie - no more cracked-top cheesecakes.

Here's mine for another comparison (and it really is mine - did it when I found I couldn't get sour cream here - works brill - is actually best cheesecake I've ever tasted. Modest, moi.)

8ozs crumbed dig biscs,
4 ozs butter melted in m/wave till beginning to brown - takes ages but gives lovely butterscotchy taste to base

400grms full fat cream cheese
50cl tub crème fraîche (30% or 15% fat - both work)
3 eggs
6ozs sugar
rind and juice of a lemon
teaspoon vanilla.
26cm tin - I use a fixed bottom one.

Mix cheese and crème till smooth, beat in sugar then eggs one at a time - gently - don't want too much air. then beat in lemon juice and vanilla and stir in rind.
Pour over buscuit base, bain-marie 30-35 mins at 175C. There will still be a real, real wobble in the centre. Cool and chill.

Number 1 son was very disappointed it wasn't an uncooked one with gelatine because that means he won't have a go at making it, silly boy (and him a trained chef as well).
The other pudding we had was Squidgy chocolate torte which I've blogged about before. Number 2 son and his girlfriend polished most of this off. Jade even tweeted about it. I am so proud!


Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Jubilee puddings

It has been a very wonderful and inspiring Jubilee for us Royalists. From the amazing pageant of vessels along the River Thames, via the Jubilee concert showcasing some of our favourite oldies (but maybe not such goodies as they once were), through the dignity of a Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul's, and culminating in a carriage procession, a balcony appearance and the inevitable Lancaster/Spitfire/Red Arrows fly-past.

But what to eat? Well that was easy enough. Jubilees deserve street parties so outdoor eating was de rigeur.

Except that the weather let us down and by Saturday it was fairly clear that dodging the showers was going to be the sport of choice.

I was catering for 17 on Sunday but my own children had informed me they would be "going on". Presumably to somewhere where cool, rather than Her Majesty, reigns. I reckoned on 3 puddings and a cheeseboard. Anne brought Nigella's Ice cream cake which pretty much took care of the under 30's.

I had another go at Matthew's lemon tart. I had bought the right tin in the interim and this time it was much better. Not perfect yet but definitely sticky and edible. It needs adjustment in the lemon department I feel. I used 3 not very juicy ones and it wasn't sharp enough for my taste. I didn't pre-bake Dilou's pastry either and it was fine. By the way, Matthew electric oven temperature is for a fan oven. But you probably knew that.

I had also been brainwashed into making Heston Blumenthal's Diamond Jubilee Strawberry Crumble Crunch. Honestly, I am so gullible. But hey, it was easy and it went down well, particularly with yogurt-hating husband, not that I told him what was in it. I omitted the vodka as I'm 5 months on the wagon at present, and I reckon the elderflower cordial was a bit overpowering.

Oh. And my trifle dish was the wrong shape. I liked this quite a lot but I don't think I would bother to make it again. I think it missed a spongey layer but I wouldn't dare tell Heston.

Re the concert. The general verdict amongst my muso friends was that Tom Jones and Shirley Bassey still have it but know their limitations these days. Elton, Cliff and Macca are well past their sell-by date. Personally I think that's because the former have good singing technique which the others don't.

Oh yes. My boss thought Lang Lang was a panda.