Sunday, March 20, 2011

strawberry cheesecake

I was never a huge fan of cheesecake until I started making them myself. I was always dissatisfied with the crust, or the sweetness, or the texture. Store bought cheesecakes haven't got anything on homemade cheesecakes. It's practically a whole different desert. They're not too difficult to make. This is only my third cheesecake ever. Here's the recipe I used.

I had some strawberries in the fridge and was toying with the idea of incorporating fruit into my cheesecake as I had only ever made the plain vanilla cheesecake.

I used about 2 cups of fruit, mashed them with a potato masher and then used the blender to puree.

I prefer chocolate wafers to graham crust. Who doesn't want more chocolate in their lives? Plus the chocolate crust reminds me of my favorite part of dairy queen ice cream cakes. To make the crust, crush the cookies by hand or with a hand blender and add 4 tablespoons of melted butter.

Now comes the fun part. I don't own a springform pan or anything fancy so the cake went into that lovely round casserole dish. How to ensure it can be properly removed from said casserole dish? Your friend parchment paper saves the day.

Get a square of parchment paper bigger than your dish. Fold in half and the continue folding in on itself so you can make a circle with the right diameter for your pan, like so. Use the middle of the circle as your guide.

Then trim the paper with scissors along the top edge of your pan and voila!

Butter the pan before arranging the paper around it.

Parchment pan with strawberry puree lurking in background.

Back to the crust. Press the cookie/butter combo into the bottom and up the sides of the pan with your fingers. Careful not to leave any holes or your batter will spill out of the crust and we don't want that. Bake at 325 for 8 minutes.

This is 3/4 cup of strawberry puree and a package of cream cheese.

This is the finished batter. Tricks: use room-temp ingredients and don't put air into the batter, it's not about vigorous mixing, more of a folding action. Of course, if you have a mixer it will do the trick, but my arm is my mixer.

Pour the batter into your crusted pan and then it's time to get fancy! I dropped the other 3/4 cup of puree over the batter to make amazing patterns by running a knife around the blobs, all while imagining myself on ace of cakes.

Psychedelicious, man!

The prize, fresh out of the oven 1 hour 25 minutes later.

The morning after a good night's sleep in the fridge. This is when the casserole lid came in handy.

It barely cracked, booyeah!

This is by no means a healthy or low calorie desert, but I tend to give my cheesecakes as gifts so as not to overeat them! This cake tasted exactly like the cheesecake version of strawberry ice cream. While it cooked Rocky said " this is what heaven must smell like!"

courgette cauliflower leek potato soup

Hello comrades. Long time no see me eat. I made a soup a while back with great results, easy peasy, have a look!

The zukes were dying, time for soup! Chop that shizz up. Cauliflower, zuke, leek, garlic, onion and the humble potato coalescing for your pleasure.

In case you were wondering, this is about 2 glugs of olive oil. Glug = about a tablespoon.

Your hero hard at work. Blog time.

Veggies get softened in the olive oil until they are steamy and fragrant. Then I threw in half a can of coconut milk and about 4 mugs of veggie broth. Cook for 20 minutes or so. Next step (not pictured) involves ladling the soup into the blender and pureeing.

You will also make this face if you try my soup recipe. I guaran-frikkin-tee.

Random breakfast shot! Ask me about those potatoes. They practically reveal the secrets of the universe they're so good.