Gastronomically Terrific

February 18, 2015

Strawberries and cream cheesecake

Filed under: Cake, pudding, Valentines Day — Tags: , , , , , — lawsonanna @ 10:03 pm

Strawberries and cream cheesecake slice CUI haven’t done a lot of baking recently, but Valentines Day is generally an excuse for tasty cake in our house – and baked cheesecake is hubby’s favourite, so that’s what I made. Buying the ingredients and preparing the cake was, by necessity, all last minute – with a new baby due to arrive any day I didn’t want a bunch of ingredients sitting around in the fridge not being used because I was otherwise occupied. Luckily for hubby, baby did not make an appearance on Friday 13th.

This is a fairly easy cheesecake to make, although there are a few stages to it. For starters, you do the standard ‘melt butter/ bash up biscuits/ mix together and put in the fridge to set’.

Stage 2 is making the actual cheesecake mixture. Again, fairly simple – just mix together 600g cream cheese, an egg and 100g caster sugar. What you do need to do is add a boiled strawberry mixture to this. The strawberry mixture contains (funnily enough) 200g strawberries, 80g caster sugar and 30ml water. (Having said that, this nearly ended up being a cherry mixture because the first shop I went to had no strawberries. It probably would have worked, but I’m glad I found strawberries in the next shop because I don’t like messing up gift bakes)!  You boil all this together and then wait for the strawberries to go soft and the liquid to reduce by half. Once the strawberry mix is cool, add it to the cream cheese mixture. Then pour the whole shebang on top of the biscuit base and bake in the oven for about 30 mins on 160C.

Third stage: once the cheesecake is cool and has been in the fridge for a couple of hours, whip together 100g of mascarpone cheese and 20g of icing sugar. Then add in 100ml of whipped double cream, and cover the whole cheesecake with this topping. Pop it back in the fridge to set overnight.

Finally, decorate the cheesecake with strawberries (and, if you’re me and bought them in anticipation of having no strawberries, cherries as well). I was planning on writing out ‘LOVE’ in the middle of the cake because it was Valentines Day, but that didn’t really fit – so I went with a ring of chopped strawberries around the edge and the outline of a heart done with cherries in the middle. Although you could just chop and throw I guess! The end result wasn’t bad – it looks OK and between the two of us we’ve managed to eat almost the entire thing (it fitted in a 9 inch based tin) in about 4 days…

Who made it: Anna

Recipe: The Hummingbird Bakery Cake Days, Tarek Malouf, pg. 120-121

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February 17, 2011

Chocolate, Meringue and Strawberry Gateau

Filed under: Cake — Tags: , , , — thinkingdan @ 7:21 pm

Dare you stare into the face of death?

Chocolate cake and meringue and chocolate sauce and strawberries and chocolate cake and meringue and strawberries.

This frightening cake stands a good 8 inches tall.  In the photo, there is no sense of scale – it looks like it should be on a quite small plate.  But that is actually the biggest plate we own.

Basically, the way this works is:

  1. Part bake a chocolate cake.
  2. pour a meringue on top.  Bake until cooked.
  3. Repeat steps one and two.
  4. Make a chocolate sauce to go in the middle.
  5. Add some strawberries to pretend the whole thing is healthy.

It is also very difficult to make it look appealing.  The problem is that, fundamentally, meringue is egg and sugar baked until it goes hard.  It rises beautifully, creating a huge bubble bursting with sweet goodness.  But then you need to get it out, and pile it up in an yummy deathly tower of goo.  There really isn’t a way to do that neatly – it breaks up and falls apart.  It tastes pretty good – sweetness mixed with bitterness, creating an unusual effect (though the chocolate sauce set again when we kept it in the fridge), and – if size counts for anything! – it looks impressive, in its own way.

Anna made this in a heart shaped tin, though sadly (due to subsidence) I couldn’t photograph it adequately from any other angle.  Amusingly, the meringue on top cracked… read that how you will!

In conclusion: This would be great if it could be better presented, which would help if it was single layered and cooked in a tin with removable sides.  Saying that, I think the intensity of the chocolate adds rather than multiplies the delicacy of the meringue – it is as tasty as a standard gateau.  Not better, just different.

Who made it: Anna did the work but Dan “helped with the presentation”…

Recipe:”Simply Cadbury’s Chocolate” by Joanna Farrow.

August 29, 2010

Cakes Galore!

Filed under: Cake — Tags: , , , — thinkingdan @ 9:40 pm

These cakes were made by Anna for our anniversary.

See the cakes through my eyes!

This was so long ago that I’ve forgotten what went into them.  But I have not forgotten how delicious this smorgasboard of yumminess was.  The caramel slices were chocolately gooey heaven; the strawberry cream shortbread was luxurious; the raspberry caterpillar cakes were fresh and counted as a healthy snack.  Barely visible are chocolate cupcakes (they are chocolate cases filled with some manner of yumminess) and several other types of cupcake.  Awesome!

Who made it: Anna

Recipe:  a range of places…

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