Another busy week here, with IKEA jaunts and decorating aplenty. The cat is desperate for another chance to spread little eggshell paw prints throughout, but so far we have managed to thwart her. She’s home alone this weekend though, whilst we gad about in the Yorkshire Dales, so could, at this very moment be trying to wrestle the lid off the Brilliant White.
I wasn’t sure we all needed to be awake at 6:05 this morning – I don’t know, it just doesn’t say ‘mini break’ to me – but there have been Sylvanian Family shenanigans and entirely unreasonable sibling feuding since before daybreak. Furious accusations of unnecessary nocturnal breathing and returned allegations of subsequent rough handling haven’t got things off to the best start.
We’ll be getting out into the fresh air soon though, and all the baby lambs that populate the fields around the cottage should promote some filial harmony; add in a nice little tour of local tea shops and I think we’ll all be happy.
Last year, our extensive sampling of Yorkshire delicacies led me to my Chocolate Orange Fat Rascals recipe – if you want something super easy and quick to make, with or without children, I highly recommend you give them a whirl.
I don’t think think there’s an occasion that isn’t improved by a baked good though. I made this Lime and Chocolate Ginger Cheesecake last weekend when friends came for dinner, after tinkering about with some recipes I’ve made dozens of times and was pleased by how it turned out.
We’d had a comprehensive curry banquet and everyone was fairly stuffed, but this was surprisingly light and went down nicely. If you’re the sort who likes to celebrate every occasion with a high calorie pudding option, this might be a goodie for Mothers’ Day, or Easter.
It’s pretty straightforward with minimal hands-on time, but does take about an hour to bake and a few hours to cool, so you can’t rustle it up at the last minute. A bit of a one trick pony, I have another chocolate lime pud recipe here if you need something that can be whipped up with less notice.
It makes a generous amount and will feed a good tableful; 8-10 generously, more if needs be. A few raspberries and a splash of cream would pad it out nicely.
It is best to start with all ingredients at room temperature rather than straight out of the fridge.
Lime and chocolate ginger baked cheesecake.
- 200g gingernuts
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
- 60 grams dark chocolate
- 75g soft butter
- A loose-bottomed or springform pan, 20-ish cm in diameter.
- Tightly wrap the outside of the tin in two layers of foil. You will be placing the tin into water and need to create a waterproof barrier.
- Add the biscuits, cocoa powder and chocolate into a food processor and whizz until like breadcrumbs. Add the butter and whizz again – it should start to clump together a little.
- Press firmly into the bottom of the cake tin and chill while you make the filling.
If you don’t have a food processor put the biscuits into a sandwich bag, seal and beat aggressively with a rolling pin – or a full water bottle or something else fairly heavy. You want no large chunks to be remaining. Grate in the chocolate and add the cocoa and mix thoroughly. Melt the butter and tip in, mixing until it’s totally combined.
- 4x 200g packs of full fat soft cheese
- 180g caster sugar
- 4 x large eggs + 2 egg yolks
- Juice and finely grated zest of 4 limes
- Preheat the oven to 170°C
- Beat the soft cheese until smooth. I used my stand mixer, but a wooden spoon would do the job fine.
- Add in the sugar and beat until well-combined
- Add in the eggs and yolks and beat until fully combined.
- Finally add in the juice and zest of the limes and mix well.
- Remove the base from the fridge and carefully pour the mixture in.
- Place the tin into a larger roasting tin, pop it into the oven, quickly fill the outer roasting tin with boiling water and close the door.
- The size of your tin will really affect how quickly this cooks – if you’ve used a 23cm tin, it could be 40-50 mins, a 20cm tin it could take over an hour.
Keep an eye on it earlier though, mine started to brown a little too enthusiastically after about 30 mins – if yours does, cover it loosely with tin foil, if the browning is on one side, rotate it through 180°. You’ll know it’s done when the wobble beneath the surface is minimal; more of a shimmy.
- Remove the outer foil and leave it to cool to room temperature, then transfer the tin to the fridge where the cheesecake will firm up fully as it chills. It will probably be best to leave it on the base of the tin to serve, though a smaller diameter pan will have resulted in a more sturdy bottom, if you’re feeling devilish…