Happy weekend everyone! I have actually been meaning to get this post up for a week, but being out of the house for 4 out of 5 nights last week really threw any kind of routine out the window. Between training for my volunteering opp, pole dancing & Valentine’s Day, come Friday night I was one tired girl. I’ve been in training all weekend and now have another week of work ahead, so I am REALLY looking forward to next weekend when I can relax a little and get my bake on!
I decided to try my hand at a cheesecake early last week – I’ve never attempted one before and this recipe for a White Chocolate Lime Cheesecake sounded amazing, plus it made use of the limes my tree is starting to produce more and more of. Since I am trying to limit our sweet food intake, I made 2 mini cheesecakes rather than 1 large one (although I am fairly sure I could have eaten the whole of the large one myself!).
Since I still haven’t gotten around to getting myself a food processor, I crushed up my Nice biscuits using my trust mortar and pestle. It did a fine job of producing a fine crumb and I stopped just short of turning it into a powder after getting a little carried away! The base was so simple – all it took was mixing the crumbs, coconut and melted butter together and then pressing it into the tins. I used mini springform tins – springform, where have you been all of my life?! These little tins make life so, so much easier – everyone should run out and buy them now.
Be warned, the base does get very hard, very quickly – after only 20 minutes in the fridge mine was rock hard!
Making the filling was equally as easy as making the base – mixing, folding and then it’s ready to pour into the tins. I did make the amateur mistake of not pre-reading the recipe and found myself needing to whip the cream and beat the egg whites when I already had the KitchenAid bowl in use – a second bowl will definitely be getting purchased soon, as I do find it inconvenient having to wash the bowl part way through a recipe. In terms of flavour, the white chocolate was definitely more subtle than the lime, but it contributed a delicious creaminess and hint of sweetness to the cheesecake – this definitely isn’t an overly sweet recipe.
I was so happy to see my intact cheesecake when I removed it (ever so gently) from the springform tin. I had visions of it cracking or crumbling before my eyes, but I managed to produce two perfect looking cheesecakes! The filling was definitely on the softer side – even after overnight refrigeration – so I am thinking that this was just the way they were supposed to be (as I did follow the recipe perfectly). This wasn’t a problem for me, as I enjoy eating anything soft to avoid hurting my braced up teeth, but my Pilot would have preferred a slightly firmer filling (but he certainly had no complaints about the taste).
The base was buttery and I loved the pieces of coconut throughout – I would suggest taking the cheesecakes out of the fridge for a while before serving though, to avoid having a super rock hard base! Overall, I think this was a great recipe for a novice cheesecake maker such as myself – it was so easy and there were no complex steps to follow. I’m planning to make this my basic cheesecake recipe and am looking forward to making some variations next time I make it. The recipe is at the end of this post if you’re interested in giving it a try!
February 14th rolled around again last week and my pilot outdid himself, much to my surprise! We have never celebrated a Valentine’s Day together, and aside from receiving a rather enormous bunch of roses a couple of years ago (when he was overseas), we’ve never done gifts. This year the plan was to visit a nice French restaurant in Cairns, but this was foiled when A. their set menu didn’t appeal and B. my pilot got called in to work. My pilot offered to cook for me once he finished work, but I was expecting him to be very tired and assured him I would be happy with takeaway.
Imagine my surprise when he hand delivered a big arrangement of roses to my work that afternoon, and then I arrived home to be greeted with wine AND macarons! In the couple of hours since finishing work, he had been all over town picking up things for dinner (Note: I do all of the cooking in the house 99.9% of the time!).
My Lolcat was quick to investigate the suspicious smelling new addition to our dining table – nothing gets past her!
After the macarons, I was treated to bruschetta with cream cheese, fetta, tomatoes and thyme, on crunchy French bread – I would have been happy with this alone, but there was more to come!
My Pilot then whipped up a fragrant and delicious green chicken curry – I could eat this again and again. He even went to the trouble of cutting up my less favourite ingredients very small so I wouldn’t notice them. Unfortunately for him, the secret is now out that he CAN cook, so I’m considering making him a regular fixture in the kitchen…
Dessert was the most decadent chocolate ganache cake, which I loved 100% more for the fact that it was covered in sparkles! This one came from the local patisserie (although my pilot did whip the cream and operate the KitchenAid by himself), which I hadn’t been to but I will definitely be heading there to check out the rest of their range because this cake was awesome! Very rich though, even I had trouble finishing it although my Pilot didn’t have the same problem.
All in all I was VERY spoiled this Valentine’s Day – I did get the pilot a customised card which was very cute, but I have to say that he blew me out of the water! I hope everyone else had a great week, regardless of whether you had a Valentine or not xx
- 1 cup sweet biscuit crumbs
- ½ cup desiccated coconut
- 80g butter, melted
- 1 cup thickened cream, extra, softly whipped
- Icing sugar, for dusting
- 500g PHILADELPHIA Block Cream Cheese, softened
- 1⁄3 cup caster sugar
- Finely grated rind and juice of 2 limes
- 2 teaspoons gelatine dissolved in ¼ cup boiling water
- 200g CADBURY White Baking Chocolate, melted and cooled slightly
- 1 cup thickened cream, softly whipped
- 4 egg whites, beaten to soft peaks
- COMBINE the biscuit crumbs, coconut and butter. Press into the base of a greased 20cm springform pan. Chill.
- BEAT the PHILLY, sugar, lime rind and juice with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the gelatine and chocolate and mix until combined then fold through the whipped cream. Stir through one third of the egg whites then gently fold through the remaining whites.
- POUR the mixture over the prepared base. Chill for 3 hours or until set. Spread the extra whipped cream over the cheesecake then sprinkle liberally with icing sugar before slicing. Serve immediately.