Posts Tagged ‘cheesecake’

Easter-bannerHaving just come out of the Easter Long-Weekend, what everyone is in agreement with is, that no matter what,

Easter is all about CHOCOLATE!

Even more so than Christmas, in particular, the now traditional chocolate eggs.  But where did this tradition come from?

There are two ideas here that intertwine to the point where we gift eachother chocolate eggs.  The first is the idea that eggs are seen as a sign of fertility and new life – hence why a lot of Easter dishes are enriched with egg: hot cross buns, bollo hornazo, torta de acelgas, etc.  Christians refer to this period as Easter, however, various pagans previously prayed to their respective Goddess of Sex and Fertility: Eostre (Anglo-Saxon), Ishtar (Babylonian), Ashtaroth (Ancient Hebrew), Astarte (Ancient Greek) before the rise of Christianity.

Hence, the egg became a symbol of new birth.

Secondly, the 40 days of Lent were originally fasting days where you were not allowed to eat dairy products.  Lent was meant to be an austere time.  On Shrove Tuesday, you had gorged on pancakes full of egg, milk and sugar, confessed your sins and cleaned out your larder – you were now officially shriven.  But chickens carried on laying eggs through lent!  So how could these be saved?  These eggs were boiled, thus prolonging their shelf-life and eaten at the end of Lent.  Eventually the tradition of giving eggs as gifts arose: starting with these boiled eggs which evolved into decorated boiled eggs, to jewel encrusted Imperial Fabergé eggs made especially for Tsar Alexander III to give to his wife!  In due course, chocolatiers made chocolate versions of these Fabergé eggs with sweet treats hidden inside which the masses could afford.  Where does the Easter Bunny fit in?!?

But whether you fasted for 40 days, or were praying to your Goddess of Fertility, Easter Sunday was and is all about chocolate!  And even though cracking open those chocolate eggs lined above your cupboard was a great breakfast and you are probably still recovering from that chocolate hangover, here is a chocolate recipe to indulge in at anytime!

taken from http://www.taste.com.au

Toblerone Cheesecake
Ingredients
125g double chocolate digestive biscuits

80g melted butter

30g ground almonds

500g cream cheese

100g caster sugar

120ml double cream

400g toblerone chocolate

Method
1st:
Melt the butter and allow to cool.  In a food processor blitz the biscuits and add the ground almonds.  Pour over the cooled butter, mix well and line the bottom of a spring form baking tin with this mixture.  Press this down with a glass jar / tumbler to reach the edges.  Chill in the fridge for 30mins.

2nd: Melt 200g of toblerone chocolate and allow to cool slightly.

3rd: In the food processor blend the cream cheese, caster sugar and double cream.  Pour in the cooled, melted chocolate and blend until everything is incorporated thoroughly.  Pour over the biscuit base and chill overnight or for 4 hours.

4th: (optional extra) crush 100g of toblerone chocolate and mix this into the cheesecake mixture.

 

5th: Crush the remaining toblerone and pour over the top of the cheesecake before serving.

 Go on, indulge me.

photo taken from http://www.taste.com.au

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cheesecake1

Ingredients:250g gingernut biscuits170g butter

 

200ml double cream

 

400g full fat cream cheese

 

8 pieces of stem ginger

 

6 tbsp ginger syrup

 

Fruit of  your choice

 

Method:1st: Melt the butter and set aside to cool.2nd: Crush the gingernut biscuits as you wish (food processor or rolling pin).  Mix the melted butter and the gingernut rubble together and add a good drizzle of ginger syrup too.  Mix well and press the mixture into a spring form tin.  Chill for approx 1hr.

 

3rd: Whip the double cream and incorporate into the 400g of cream cheese.

 

4th: Chop up the pieces of stem ginger and mix into the creamy, cheesy mixture along with more ginger syrup.  Pour over the biscuit base and chill until firm.

 

5th: I chose to top my cheesecake with pears poached in their own syrup, with a trickle of ginger syrup and star anise.

 

 

cheesecake 2I have seen this recipe done before with stem ginger and syrup on top but I do feel that that would make this teeth-achingly-sweet. I would recommend that you choose some form of seasonal fruit to go on top of the cheesecake.  I chose pears as their flavour would complement the gingernut base and they retain some of their shape when gently poached. The River Cottage makes one with poached rhubarb but not everyone is a fan.  Poached plums would make this a great autumnal dessert.

Great for afternoon tea but could just as easily be a delicious dinner party dessert, served in individual ramekins or prepared in metal rings ready for plating up.  A super easy cheesecake to make and even easier to eat!  I can’t wait to have to make it again.

Give it a go and let me know what fruit choices worked for you.

Gastrorob