Before I left CT for KB, I stopped by my favourite, favourite, favourite bookstore (The Book Lounge) to stock up.
I have already shared a few of the treasures I discovered, while cruising the shelves.
It’s been a brilliant holiday for reading.
I am twice the size I was, when I first wriggled into my bikini.
I do love to bake and cook to the sound of the waves plus Mrs Sarkozy or Loudon Wainwright III.
That’s just how it is, here at Food Beach.
One of the books I bought was Neil Roake’s latest: Shiny Happy People. Bought not only because it is deliciously shot and styled, but because I have a new game: Guess how many of his Shiny Happies are actually on anti-depressants.
Crap title, but, as is usual for Mr R, the book is beautifully shot and features wonderful recipes.
And some of them are a bit familiar, appearing as they do, courtesy of my shiny older sister, via my Mama.
One of the added delights of home cooking, vs fancier fare, is that recipes tend to be passed around.
Through generations and from home to home.
Just like the recipe for our family’s much-loved chocolate cheesecake.
Both my Mother and older sister have a somewhat different take on the cake, to mine.
(I can’t imagine either of them insisting on Loudon WIII’s Hard Day on the Planet, as a crucial ingredient.)
But check this yumminess out.
A thing of beauty and calories, of course, but to hell with that, I say.
Here’s the recipe, which is guaranteed to add joy to your 2010.
Eat, eat and be merry.
JANE AND CATHERINE AND VANESSA AND AMANDA AND EDIE AND DOREEN’S FAMOUS CHEESECAKE
For the crust:
500 ml Ginger Nuts or similar (Catherine says Marie Biscuits, but I say, oh pooh, Ginger Nuts all the way)
113g of butter, melted, or a little more, if you want.
Bash the biscuits in a plastic bag, if you haven’t got the right equipment. (I’m on holiday. I’ve got some of my stuff, but not all.)
You choose how finely you want them crunched.
Melt the butter and mix together until the texture looks like crumble.
I like my cheesecake bases …rustic.
Line the base of a spring-form cake tin and as much of the sides as you can manage.
Don’t worry about perfection.
For the filling:
2 1/2 or 2 (if you only have two) tubs of low-fat smooth cottage cheese (650 ml.) Or, you can use full-fat if you are feeling robust.
1 tub (250 ml)sour cream
2 bottle tops of brandy
A generous slug of real coffee
3/4 cup (180ml) of sugar (Sorry, but you have to)
200g (2 bars) of dark Lindt or Cadbury’s Bourneville Chocolate
2T of cocoa
Preheat oven to 175/180 deg centigrade.
Melt chocolate over heat.
Mix cottage cheese and sour cream and blend well. Add the eggs, sugar, coffee, brandy and vanilla and beat well.
Mix in melted chocolate and cocoa.
When it’s a handsome cappucino colour, pour into crust and bake for 45 minutes.
When you take it out the oven, it looks a little wobbly.
Let it cool down and stick it in the fridge.
It’s best the next day, and super-delicious with a glass of very good champagne.
Or two or three glasses.