A Cake of Cheese (Part 2)

Afternoon everyone. You may remember a while ago that I posted a recipe for a cheese cake in A Cake of Cheese. I have also shared with you, my love of chocolate in Sweet like Chocolate. I mentioned that I have a recipe for a dark chocolate cheesecake too….. one to take you to the dark side. ūüėČ

It’s been a busy week with the Aussies. Tomorrow, we are having a huge family party and me and my Mum are sorting the food. This is where my cheesecake comes in. I am making one for tomorrow. The white chocolate cheese cake that I posted about previously is a recipe off my Aussie aunty, so it’s only right that I share my recipe in return right?

In the last few years, I have made this cheesecake probably ten times. I got the recipe from a Sunday magazine and it is a recipe of Tana Ramsey (Gordon’s wife). It requires a bit of messing and a lot of different bowls but it is so worth it! After making it so many times though, i still haven’t learnt that my cake tin is smaller than the one in the recipe so I always end up with too much! Hence, I make two mini ones too ūüėČ A happy mistake then really.

So without further ado… here is the recipe:

Chocolate Cheesecake

Preparation time: 15 minutes (though I swear it always takes me longer… must be the licking out the bowl!)

Cooking time: 45 min to 1 hour.

  • 300g¬†of sweetened oat biscuits (they work well but I also use digestives a lot as some prefer them.)
  • 75g butter
  • 150g of good quality dark chocolate
  • 750g¬†of mascarpone or cream cheese (Philadelphia or supermarket alternatives work well.)
  • 125g light brown sugar
  • 3 beaten medium eggs
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4 (160C if fan oven). Line a 23cm nonstick springform tin with greaseproof paper (I just grease my tin with butter and it comes out fine.)
  2. Put your biscuits into a food processor until they are crumbs (or if you are unlucky like me, put them into a plastic bag and bash with a rolling-pin – another reason it takes me longer!) Then melt your butter, mix with the crumbs and press firmly into your tin to create the base. Put in the fridge for 10-15 min.
  3. Meanwhile, melt your chocolate in a bowl over a saucepan of hot water and set aside to cool (but not too much because i find it separates otherwise.)
  4. Beat you soft cheese and add the sugar and beat again. The stir in the beaten eggs and the chocolate and pour onto the chilled biscuit base.
  5. Put the cheesecake in the oven for 45min –¬†60 min (I find mine always needs the full hour.)
  6. When it is ready it will still have a wobble to it if you shake it slightly. It will continue to cook as it cools.
  7. Let it cool and refrigerate until ready to serve! Yummy.

You can add grated chocolate to the top too to make it really calorific! I put white chocolate onto mine once when it went wrong. This was when the dark chocolate separated from the cheese and it went speckly! So it was a hiding aid… but it makes it look pretty as an added extra.

My next challenge is to get the cheesecake to my Gran’s house without dropping it! ūüėČ

Enjoy your chocolately treat this weekend!

XSXS

Life Up Over

Sorry, it’s been a few days folks. I’ve been very busy with mu Aussie relatives and fixing that damn car wiper blade arm (see Driving me to Despair). My Aussie relatives have had a good stay so far and it got me thinking that if we call Australia ‘Down Under’ then when they visit here, do we call it ‘Up Over’? Well they are enjoying their time up over anyway.

I saw them last night for the first time in 7 years. I met them at the Bed and Breakfast they are staying at. I went to meet them in the pub so I could then drive them back to my house for dinner. It was about 6.15 pm when I got there. I couldn’t open the bar door. Typical, I thought. I haven’t seen them in 7 years and¬†I can’t get to them! I can’t even open a door when they have travelled half way across the world! Turns out the pub was closed to the public so that was why. I discovered this when I said to the barman ‘Woah, it’s quiet in here!’ He said, ‘it isn’t quite; we just aren’t open yet!’ Haha. Anyway, seeing my relatives was weird but for only a second. They looked the same as the most recent pics on Facebook and it was like I was talking to my aunty on Facebook chat but without the two screens, oh and thousands of miles, separating us.

You soon start to spot the cultural differences, as subtle as they are. My aunty said she thought I was very brave for driving round the small, hilly, villages with a manual car. Quite frankly, I don’t know any different. I know we have some automatic cars over here but in Oz they all are pretty much. My Dad gave his ‘clutch’ foot a huge rest when he drove over there in 2005. The thing was, I actually used to want an automatic because I struggled so much with the clutch when I was learning to drive (it took me 18 months worth of lessons to pass… that is many other stories for another time!) So for her to say I was brave for driving round in a manual car was quite nice. I had finally for there!!

I cooked dinner for them plus my Mum, Dad, sister and her boyfriend. It was nice to catch up. My aunty actually had some sad news yesterday, which she told us about. Her step father died rather suddenly that morning and her Mum told her that day. Typical that something like that happens when she is on the other side of the earth. Not a lot she could do and her Mum didn’t want them to cut the holiday short and go home. Very sad news though.

We had many topics of conversation through the evening. One was how to pronounce the city of ‘Derby’ as they were visiting there the next day. We say ‘dar-by’ don’t we? My uncle pointed out that it should be said like ‘der’ as in ‘der, how stupid are you!’ It makes sense if you think about it. i¬†was just trying to find some examples to prove this point. ‘Deranged’ sort of is but it seems that we say ‘de-ranged’ so we pronounce¬†the ‘de’ separately. Like in ‘derisive’ or ‘derail’.Even more complicated! And the query came from an Aussie who also speak English! God knows what second language English speakers. I think we make things more complicated on purpose.

Another thing my Aussie relatives find funny is thhe¬†fact we have a meat product called ‘faggots’. This comes up every time! It also means gay. We have that meaning too but they only know it as that. So if we say we are having faggots for dinner, then it is highly hilarious to them. Just as when I mentioned that they call flip-flops ‘thongs’. Meaning can definitly be misconstrued there too!

They also find the names of beers and pubs funny. My aunty was telling me that when she was over here years ago with a friend, they found a pub called ‘The Nun’s Passage’ and then they started to drink a beer called ‘Bishop’s finger’. So they would say ‘Let’s go for a Bishop’s finger in the Nun’s Passage!’ Gotta love the English for puns and sexual innuendos.

Our town is tiny so when they said they had been there yesterday, me and the pub owner laughed when I went to meet them. We joked that had they seen all the charity shops (Aussie’s call them ‘Op’ shops) and the card shops! I then had recommendations that they go to Ann Summers (our fun and slightly rude shop) and also look out for the blue building that is the rowing club where my boyfriend rows. Those are some sights to see! Our little town doesn’t have a lot to offer but we are lucky because we aren’t far away from a lot of pretty places. I would love to take them to Lincoln. I lived there for three years when I was at Uni and would love to show them the Uni, the castle, the cathedral and even more historic, the places I used to live! Working in a school though, as huge number of weeks off we get, we can’t choose when to have a week off. So, I’ll have to wait til they return when I am off school and can go out with them in the day too.

But they have the rest of my family to go out with and I hope they enjoy the rest of their visit Up Over!

XSXS

Come Wine with Me

I am very lucky to have not one, but two, groups of very close girly mates.¬† And guess¬†what? They ply me with wine and cook for me sometimes too! I love having different groups of mates. last friday I had a girly night out with one group and we went to a Rock club (see Not Sloshed enough to Mosh?) Last night, I spent it with my other girly group (who are ex-colleagues and we have stayed close friends). We sort of do a Come Dine with Me evenings… you must have seen the programme Come Dine with Me? Each of us take a turn to cook….. except it doesn’t happen within a week but normally months apart and we don’t particularly score each¬†other but I think we should! I then started doing this with my rocker friends girl group and I am going to one of them next weekend. So yes, all yummy food and wine and chatter… Mmmmmm…

Last night, my friends did tapas and a paella. We try to do a theme each time. No prizes for guessing that last night’s was Spanish. It was yummy and much wine was drank. The chatter focussed around our friend who is engaged (see Two hearts, Two rings). She even tried on our host’s wedding dress from years ago in between the main course and dessert! See, just ike the programme where they nosey round each other’s houses and¬† try on random outfits!

One of our most memorable Come Dine with Me’s was a few years ago and we went to one friend’s flat and she cooked us a Mexican menu. It was great, we had fajitas, enchiladas, nachos etc. We even had creme caramels¬†and we had a game to see if anyone could suck a whole one up in one go! I failed miserably! We even made our clothes match the food that night and we came dressed Mexican themed! We had plastic toy guns,¬† a sombrero (borrowed from the Language department at school!), some tequila (for prop use only of course!) and moustaches to add a final touch. We all looked hilarious! Too hilarious to stay in a flat all night. After much wine and few tequilas, we decided that our outfits had to be shared with the world (well in our little town) so we went out to a bar. We got much attention as we were really five women dressed as moustached¬†men! I tell you, I have never had so much male¬†attention on my life!! I think it was the whole ‘up for a laugh’ attitude we clearly had and we clearly couldn’t¬†care less what people thought of us! The alcohol helped with that though. I may¬†have cared a bit if I was sober or in day light! It was a very funny night and one of those nights that are so brilliant just because it wasn’t planned and totally spur of the moment (well the bar bit!)

so don’t just come dine with me. Come and wine with me. Dance with me. And be a drunken Mexican with me!

See you tomorrow,

XSXS

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