|Here's a cheesecake. Not the one I made. Mine was considerably|
messier - but tasted very nice!
HERE I am, a well-padded Devon Maid of a certain age. I bet you assume I’m a good cook. Well, you’re wrong. There are certain dishes I have got down to a fine art, like Sunday roasts and cottage pie but you will never find me in the kitchen rustling up a nice piperade or blanquette de veau, although I have been known to turn chicken stew into coq au vin by chucking in half a bottle of red wine - all right, you've caught me out, a full bottle.
I am quite good at cooking fish as I have a nephew who goes sea fishing off Exmouth and brings me mackerel and pouting. There’s nothing better than mackerel fillets, from fish that were swimming in the sea a few hours ago, simply pan-fried and seasoned. I use pouting as I’d use cod. Occasionally there’s a lovely big bass which I stuff with herbs, butter and lemon juice and bake in the oven.
He, incidentally, is a brilliant cook, unlike his brother whose foray into domestic science when he was at school consisted of flapjacks and sausage rolls in his morning cookery lesson. They were carefully packed into a cake tin and placed in his duffel bag. He then proceeded to play football with his friends all through the day’s playtimes while the bag bounced around on his back. In the evening he proudly opened up a tin full of a jumbled mass of cake, pastry and sausages
As for me, there are no home-made jars of chutneys and pickles lining my shelves or a nice sourdough or focaccia loaf still warm from the oven on my bread board.
The only time I tried to make bread, the better half used it as a door-stop. He thought he was hilarious. Me, not so much. In my defence, I had been using an ancient bread-maker given to me by my mother who neglected to tell me that this machine had been made at the dawn of bread-making technology. I
So each evening at around 6.30pm I am usually flinging open cupboards to see what I can throw together to make something vaguely edible, before the starving man gets home for his tea.
Recently, though, I have realised you don’t actually have to cook to present a delicious meal. What could be better than a plate of oat cakes with two or three different cheeses and pickles or a platter of assorted cold meats, chutney and fresh bread?
My absolute best no-cook creation is a cheesecake. Even the better half loves it - I think he does, at least he made no attempt to use it as a door-stop. So here’s the recipe:
No Cook Cheesecake
125g digestive biscuit crumbs
5 tablespoons dark brown soft sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
75g butter, melted
450g cream cheese
2 teaspoons lemon juice
450ml whipping cream
5 tablespoons caster sugar
some kind of fruit, like strawberries, raspberries or oranges
a coulis and/or cream to serve (both optional)
1. In a small bowl, stir together the digestive biscuit crumbs, dark brown soft sugar and cinnamon. Add melted butter and mix well. Press into the bottom of a tin with removable base. Chill until firm.
2. Beat together the cream cheese and lemon juice until soft. Add whipping cream and beat with an electric mixer until mixture becomes thick. Add the sugar and continue to beat until stiff.
3. At this point stir in some of the fruit (roughly chopped), leaving enough to decorate the top of the cheesecake.
4. Pour over chilled biscuit base, and top with fruit. Chill for several hours or overnight.
5. Serve with a coulis and/or cream.
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