Gooooood morning, Gentle Readers! Apologies for the blog-silence lately. Things are busy, busy, busy in Loops&Flicks-land.
Anyway, for Made-Up Monday, I’d like to share with you a recipe I concocted over the weekend.
It’s a cheesecake, making liberal use of the lacto-free products you can get now – because lactose + Loops&Flicks = unhappy tummies. Hence why it’s called Friendly Cheesecake. Also I made it for dinner with friends, so…it seemed apt.
Anyways, here we go:
- 375g of Ginger Nut biscuits (or a packet and a half, if you’re like me and measure things by packet)
- 150g of unsalted butter (or roughly 3/5 of a pat of butter)
- 500g cream cheese (or two and a half pots of lacto-free cream cheese)
- 250ml cream (or one whole carton of lacto-free cream)
- Vanilla paste
- Ginger in syrup
- 250g golden caster sugar AND 1/3 cup golden caster sugar.
- 250g blueberries
- one bar of 70% cocoa dark chocolate.
OK, here we go.
- Take the 250g blueberries and the 250g sugar and put them in a saucepan. Add one chopped sphere of ginger. Put on a low-medium heat. Don’t mix it, except do, a little bit, to make sure the sugar isn’t burning on the bottom of the pan. (Also be careful, because HOT HOT HOT and burns.)
- Take the ginger biscuits and put them in a sandwich bag. Go through your drawers until you realise you don’t have a rolling pin, so pick up a heavy-ish knife and use the handle to crush the biscuits. (N.B. It’s very important you start by trying to hold the blade, then realise you’re about to slice your fingers off, so hold the handle instead). Acknowledge that you might as well be willing the biscuits into crumbs, because this isn’t working. Pick up a large and heavy mug. Use that to crush the biscuits a bit more. Curse as the bottom of the sandwich bag develops a tiny hole. Get out the blender and turn the biscuit pieces into both fine crumbs and chunky pieces. Accept your fate. Put crumbs/chunks into a bowl.
- Take the butter, put it in the microwave, melt it, and add it to the crumbs.
- Pick out the paper that accidentally got included when you chopped up the butter, and put it in the bin. Mix in the butter and crumbs until they’re pretty well-combined.
- Get out your springform 9″ cake pan. Feel momentary pride you own such a thing. Look at it closely. Feel momentary shame that it’s so filthy. Wash it up. Dry it, and then press crumb mix into the base. Put in fridge.
- Take a break to watch an episode of whatever you’re currently binge-watching on Netflix.
- Get out other ingredients.
- Remember the ‘jam’ that is cooking on the hob, and quickly check on it. Feel wildly proud that you’re making “jam”. Remember that Ma puts some on a saucer when cooking jam. Get a plate, put a blob on the plate. Google why we do this. Shrug at the continuing mystery. Stir jam a bit more, and then go back to making the other bit of the cheesecake.
- Pour 250ml lacto-free cream into a bowl (which you have hastily washed up, because you’ve realised you only have one bowl). Get out hand mixer (wash it) and whisk cream until it has thickened.
- Remember jam. Check it’s not burned.
- Take some more spheres of ginger out of the jar and chop them as finely as you can manage. Drop the pieces into the cream. Add a gloop of syrup from the jar (you measure that by tipping up the jar and pouring out the amount that pours out whilst you say “gloop”. Accuracy is everything in cooking.)
- Open the vanilla paste and add two teaspoons to the cream/ginger mix.
- Take out the first pot of cream cheese (lacto-free) and add it all to the cream. Use the hand mixer to combine thoroughly.
- Remember the jam. Drop a bit more on the plate. Hope that Prince Harry will walk past your (first-floor) kitchen window and be overcome by your baking competency and instantly propose. Take the jam off the heat and stir it a bit. Leave it to start cooling.
- Go back to the cream mixture. Add the next pot of cream cheese, plus a 1/3 cup of caster sugar. Mix again, using the hand mixer. Taste it. Be impressed at self.
- Add the final 100g of cream cheese, plus some more ginger, because why the hell not? Mix together. Stare at the mixture in the bowl. Feel uncertain. Add another gloop of syrup.
- Boil the kettle and make up one sachet of gelatine. Allow smell of gelatine to waft into your nostrils. Gag a bit. Look between hot gelatine and cold cream-stuff. Decide laws of thermodynamics are rarely wrong. Put gelatine to one side to cool a bit.
- Get out dark chocolate (70% stuff). Grate some (precise quantity is irrelevant, you’re just doing this to pass the time until the gelatine has cooled a bit). Pause grating to stir the gelatine and feel sick again at the smell. Continue grating.
- Add grated chocolate to mixture. Pour gelatine into cream, Mix frantically until all combined. Catch the tailend of the smell of gelatine – be sick in mouth.
- Take biscuit base from fridge, Pour cream mix over the biscuit base. Discover all the chopped-up ginger in the bottom of the bowl – scrape it into the tin and gently mix it in with the rest of the cream.
- Put whole thing back in fridge.
- Offer small sacrifice to the kitchen gods.
Pry cheesecake out of tin, and drop onto plate. Try (and fail) to get biscuit base off springform tin base. Ignore this. Take blueberry “jam”, wonder why you bothered, but dollop onto the top of the cheesecake anyway. Carry cheesecake to buffet serving table. Realise liquid is seeping out of “jam” and risks spilling onto friend’s beautiful cream carpet.
Serve to kind and loving friends, who express delight and joy at the wonder they are eating. And by serve, I mean, poke with a knife half a dozen times, until someone else takes over and serves it for you.
THE END. Isn’t that easy? Go forth and make cheesecakes, Gentle Readers!