Dinner With The Omnivore

Archive for the ‘desserts’ Category

Following my recent cheesecake post, I suddenly found that I could barely leave the house without bumping into further cheese dessert related recipes. A bit like buses, evidently – wait for ages and then three turn up at once. Though admittedly the resemblance between buses and cheescake begins and ends there.


The Franco Phoney - Antipodean in the Alps.

One of the best of these Johnny-come-lately upstart pudding recipes was supplied by the Franco Phoney, an Aussie journalist and blogger who lives in La Clusaz and writes about cheese for a living. And let’s face it, if you’re going to do that at all you might as well do it in France.

All things considered, I think Audrile’s baked cheesecake pips this one to first prize, but having said that, the second one makes a much better summer dessert, as the lack of egg and addition of lemon juice give it a much lighter and fresher taste. It also has the significant advantage that it needs no cooking, a boon when you’re already dealing with temperatures heading for the 30s and have no need to go getting involved with ovens.

Janelle’s vegie-friendly cheesecake

You will need: can condensed milk; 550g cream cheese; 140ml lemon juice; 2 drops vanilla essence; 150g cheapo butter biscuits; 50g butter.

Crush the biscuits, add melted butter and squish the misture into the bottom of a baking tray. Whisk all the other ingredients together and pour over the base. Chill in the fridge for at least four hours or overnight.

There, how easy was that? I might try it with a ginger biscuit base at some point – could be good with the lemon.

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Soft fruit: very short window of edibility

Desserts don’t feature prominently on the summer menu (they’re not all that prominent on the winter menu either, what with work and skiing taking up all the available cooking time) and when they do appear they tend to consist largely of soft fruits which need to be eaten urgently before they disintegrate into small piles of green fur.

But inviting people for dinner provides a flimsy excuse for indulging in piggy pudding, particularly when you’re doing roast veggies as a main course and can therefore fool yourself into thinking that you can afford to stuff your face with mega-calories afterwards because you haven’t really eaten much. We will obviously gloss over the fact that the veg are roasted in generous quantities of basil oil.

Bossy goverment ad campaigns. Just piss off and leave me alone, will you.

Cheesecake is a fairly heatwave-friendly dessert, since it is eaten cold and can reasonably be served with fresh fruit. So it even qualifies as counting towards that five-a-day rubbish, yet another piece of idiot government advice which turns out to be based on no evidence whatsoever and isn’t about to make you immortal after all.

There are multiple different recipes for cheesecake out there in the webworld, but this one is courtesy of a Lithuanian friend in Portsmouth. She made some for our wedding, where it went down a treat, along with banoffee pie, Savoyarde cheeseboard and (in my case) for too much champagne. But let’s face it, if you can’t get ratted on expensive champers at your own wedding, when can you?

Audrile’s cheesecake

You will need: 215g of cheapo butter biscuits; 115g melted butter; 675g of Philadelphia or similar cream cheese; 175g caster sugar; 2 eggs; 1 tsp vanilla essence.

Make the base by crushing all the biscuits, mixing with butter and then squishing the mixture into the bottom of a baking tin, preferably one of those ones with a removable base. Chill in the fridge for about 20 mins. Mix together the rest of the ingredients then pour the filling over the base and bake in the centre of the oven at 150°C for about 30 minutes until set. Turn off the heat and allow the cake to cool in the oven. Chill before eating.

Since I’m making this in France I have virtually zero chance of finding Philadelphia cheese, but fortunately St Moret produces just the same result, despite what the various purveyors of expensively imported US/UK groceries would have you believe.

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Food for thought

“Ask not what you can do for your country. Ask what’s for lunch.” ― Orson Welles

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