Sunday, 29 January 2012
When I was little and there was something great on the horizon - Christmas, a birthday, a special trip - I used to look forward to it so eagerly that when the longed-for day arrived, it was invariably a massive anti-climax. Even if the event itself was brilliant, nothing could ever have lived up to the fantasies I'd concocted in my head. But now I'm a grown-up, things have changed. I've just achieved something I've longed for and it is absolutely bloody brilliant.
Yes, after whinging at you and everyone else I know for months and months, we have FINALLY moved into our new house! We have our own front door. Our own fireplace. Our own garden, and garden shed; walls, windows and window-boxes. We can cook in our own kitchen, watch our own telly and sleep in our own bed. And despite the fact that I've been anticipating this moment for days and weeks and months, it is so much better than I even imagined. I imagined it would be wonderful. And it's better.
For the first parental lunch party, we wanted something for pudding which would be fresh, light and, most importantly, which could be prepared the night before. An abundance of cream cheese in the fridge suggested a cheesecake, and as Mr DIne at Mine made the startling revelation that he doesn't like baked cheesecakes, a fridge one it had to be.
I can't get enough clementines in winter (I choose to think that they're inoculating me from colds and flu) so I wanted to try making a clementine one, but it seems that no one else in the world agreed with me. At least, no one who's putting recipes on the internet. So I went the time-honoured route of finding a simple-looking recipe and hacking it - and, if I say so myself, it worked brilliantly. And so much easier than a baked one! No water bath, no cracks, no trauma.
But the real reason why we chose to make a cheesecake is shown in these pictures. Notice how they look like a Which? catalogue? All appliances and high-shine gadgetry? These are our wedding presents - locked away in storage for seven long months while we waited for our new home. Now we're in! In our new home, new kitchen and new chance to pick up our life where it left off in September. We're finally opening up our presents, stroking our new cutlery and plates, making up the bed with fresh, starched sheets and playing with our new, whizzy gadgets. It's bliss. Living in our own house is bliss!
Adapted from here
For the base
- 100g digestive biscuits
- 25g demerara sugar
- 50g butter, melted
For the filling
- 500g full fat cream cheese
- 100g icing sugar (we didn't have any, so just used caster)
- the juice of three clementines and half a lemon
- 200ml double cream
Crush the biscuits into fine crumb - either in a new food processor (!), or just with a big, heavy rolling pin. Stir in the sugar, then add the melted butter and mix well. Pour it out into a 20cm springform tin and press down firmly with the back of a spoon, pushing it up slightly around the edge. Chill in the fridge for at least 20 minutes.
Beat together (in our new Kitchen Aid! Or, you know, a bowl) the cream cheese, sugar, juice and cream, until well combined. Taste to check if it's sweet enough or clementine-y enough, then get out the base from the fridge and flop the creamy mix on top. Smooth it out, swirl the top, then put the whole thing in the fridge for at least an hour (it'll happily sit for a day or so). I put some slices of peeled clementine on top and I could have used more, to be honest, so be generous.