Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The first of many

Firsts are often associated with fear and excitement: first days of work, first dates, first visits to restaurants, first times saying three big words. And it's the thrill and joy of the excitement above and beyong the fear that drives the soul further through life.

Call me a late bloomer, but I've finally taken the plunge into the sanctified world of cheesecake. Now, I'm one for messing around with recipes; I think that nothing requires more than 200 grams of butter or 3/4 cup of sugar. Tell that to my parade of failed capers.

I want the real deal cheesecake though - no low fat or jelly cheating. I want the luxe, thick texture of the creamy, cheesy filling and I'm not willing to compromise regardless of the aounts of sugar, butter, eggs, cream cheese, cream and lack of a food processor and beater in this kitchen.

In the pan for baking
Despite my commitment to stick to the recipe, luck would have it that I misread a little and put in about ten times more sugar than intended in the biscuit base. It should be okay, I tell myself; it's a bit crumbly but made just for the sweet tooth. With the base over-sugared and chilled, the filling is relatively simple for the ad lib stick blender, frightening for the waistline and somewhat tantilising for parts of the body not worried about kilojoules.

Blueberry toppers
My first memory of cheesecake is the lemon cheesecake from The Cheesecake Shop: tart, saccharine and utterly dreamy. I'd decided to recreate the dream with a lime cheesecake. Zest and juice of two limes later and we're in business with the aforementioned ingredients. A quick bake at a high temperature and then a little while at a lower heat quickly pushes aromas of, well, sugar and creaminess from the oven.
The cooling process is the painful part, for some. It cools in the switched-off oven awhile and then for several excruciating hours in the fridge before a knife goes anywhere near it. A topping of frozen berries and mint from the garden take a moment or two longer and then - finally - it's time to live the dream.

Lush, luxe filling
The crumbly, sugary, sugary base scares me, but the filling looks like the fantasy cheese - a rather dense, thick and heavy version with berry bleed, as opposed to a lighter mousse-like one. And the taste is spot-on, with the lime verging on eqe-squinting - the way I like it.The base is almost tooth-aching but that's certainly something I'll pay attention to next time.

For a first attempt, I am stoked,on a sugar high,not ready for another slice but ready for many more cheesecakes to come.


Betty @ The Hungry Girl said...

Congrats on making your first cheesecake! It looks very luscious indeed!

Tina said...

Hi Betty - Thanks! Could only handle a couple of mouthfuls each time!

Betty said...

im seeing cheese cake on 3 blogs today so far!

im making one on the weekend, your first looks awesome well done :O)

Tina said...

Hi Betty - Must be the season ;)


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