Cost: ~€5.50 – €8 depending on the season, brands used and so forth
Preparation and cooking time: ~40 minutes preparation and 100 minutes total cooking
Calories: ~560 calories a slice, if divided by 8
Allow me to start the post today by telling you a story of something that happened a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away. Ok – it wasn’t that long ago…, only three decades, and by “galaxy” I actually mean country, and it wasn’t even so far away – more like 410 kilometres, as the crow flies – give or take a few. But thirty years ago today something amazing happened – something that would alter the course of the very fabric of nature itself. Something that would impact hundreds of people in unimaginable ways. Yes – you wouldn’t even be here reading this right now were it not for this momentous occasion. Yep – before I make it sound too grandiose, the “magical” event was in fact my birthday, for today I turn 30. Today, my friends, I become a man!
In honour of the occasion I’ve even had my mother pick out some photos of me when I was younger. My father dutifully scanned them and sent them over to me and so, since you only turn 30 once, and in celebration of me being alive for 10957 days so far, here are a couple of photos of yours truly (please excuse my awesome haircut in the later one!). As you can see, I started off my life with a funny little mohawk-style.
This is me again, probably around the same age as my son William is now, Chilling out in the sun, shooting the breeze :).
Once I hit “toddlerdom” I think I was actually pretty darn cute… then I got a bit older, and I’m not quite sure what happened after that. I always thought I looked a bit like a potato with a space-helmet on, but my mother always claimed I looked “lovely”, and everyone knows that “mother knows best”, right?! On the right in this picture you can see me looking all smart for my first day at my new school. I think I was around 11 here, and yeah – that is a briefcase, because I was just that cool!
Given the timing of this post, it wouldn’t have been feasible to post my actual birthday cake today, so the cake will be coming later, hopefully. Today though is something which I made last weekend which is the perfect thing to enjoy for a celebratory meal. Inspired by my last baked cheesecake post I decided to take it up a notch and make it a wee bit more exciting. I didn’t top the last one with anything and – well…, let’s face it: cheesecakes need a good topping. A delicious puddle of sweet, tooth-melting caramel, blueberries, and whipped cream ought to do it. Not to mention the strawberries which I substituted in for the cherries in the cheesecake itself.
I usually make my cheesecakes in a much shallower, wider pan and was rather concerned about the cooking time of this one. I made a much deeper cake then normal, using a tin with a 20cm diameter. As a result, after the usual 45 minutes cooking the cake was still very “wobbly”. I had to continue baking it for a full 30 minutes more., and I was very concerned the cake would become dry after the longer cooking time, but in the end I need not have worried and it really turned out rather well.
I recently went on an outing into Paris in the evening to take some photos which I’ll share with you all soon, but in the meantime, I hope you all have a good day – I know I will – and I’ll be back in a few days :).
Strawberry, Blueberry, and Caramel Cheesecake
For the cheesecake
- ~340g Oreo Cookies, or similar dark sandwich biscuit
- 70g Butter
- 600g Cream Cheese
- 100ml Cream
- 2 tbsps Plain Flour
- 150g Caster Sugar
- 3 Eggs
- 250g Strawberries
For the topping
- 80g Sugar
- 100ml Cream
- ~25g Salted Butter
- 100ml Whipping Cream
- ~100g Blueberries
You’ll also need
- A 20cm cake tin, with removable bottom
- An Electric Whisk
- Start off by preheating the oven to 180 degrees Celsius, and then separate the Oreo Cookies into two halves and discard the cream filling. Crush the cookie halves into a fine crumb and then melt the butter in a small pan or the microwave and pour into the crumbs. Mix well until it clumps together easily.
- Press the crumbs into the base of your 20cm cake tin, pushing down firmly with a flat-bottomed implement, such as a glass to ensure everything is well packed. Place the tin into the preheated oven and bake for 10 minutes, to set the base.
- Using an electric whisk, whisk together the cream cheese, eggs, and flour in a large bowl. Add in the sugar and the cream and continue to whisk for another couple of minutes. In a smaller bowl, crush the strawberries roughly with a fork and add them to the cream mixture in the large bowl. Pulse the mixture for a few seconds with the electric whisk to ensure even strawberry distribution and then pour the mixture into the tin, directly on top of the biscuit base.
- Bake in the oven for about 90 minutes, until the cake is starting to brown and crack a little on top. The cake should still be a little “wobbly” when hot, but will firm up as it cools. Once done, remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin. Meanwhile, heat the sugar for the topping over a gentle heat, stirring periodically, in a small pan. Keep stirring and heating until the sugar has completely melted and then gently pour in the cream. This will cause the contents of the pan to froth up so you may wish to temporarily lift the pan away from the heat at this point. Once the cream and sugar have been completely mixed together remove from the heat. Add in the butter and stir until completely melted. Once the cake has cooled pour the caramel sauce over the centre of the cake, leaving a border at the edge.
- Whip the cream until very stiff and pipe, or spoon, around the outside edge of the caramel sauce in the centre, and finally decorate with the blueberries, by dropping them into the caramel. You may wish to complete this last step the next day, once the caramel and cake have completely cooled. Once the blueberries are on, slice the cake and enjoy!