Thursday, January 03, 2008

Best Cheesecake...and other Triumphs!

I am not sure about you, but Christmas has a host of family gatherings (being 1 of 7, and DH 1 of 11.) They can be a little terrifying (early married life) but now the only trauma is the FOOD LIST that goes round to all the gals... and the ensuing pressure to produce the award winning (aka it gets eaten and finished first) edible contribution.

This year I got stuck with/alloted the Chilli & Cheesecake. I have to say that I thought Chilli would be easy - but I managed to fluff it when I mistakenly listened to some 'sound expert advice' and poured some cocoa powder into the mix. Talk about unservable... I tortured it to death and eventually didn't even allow it to be placed on the altar of all that is eaten. BUT, they do say that with disasters come delectable victories. Such is the story of my {totally eaten first, folks begging for more} cheesecake. I cannot take any of the credit, beyond page 81 of Nigella Express being served on a stunning cake stand that I picked up on my last trip to the US (from a shop that I adore - anthropologie)

If you are in the mood for some culinary adoration from any desert lovers you know... then just try this:

300 grams Philidelphia Cream Cheese
60 grams Icing Sugar
1 teaspoon Madagascan Boubon Vanilla (you can taste the difference believe me, and I get mine in bulk from Costco)
1/2 teaspoon Lemon Juice (I use lime just for a kick)

Mix together and put to one side
Whisk by hand (until whippy and creamy - but not overkill and know when you have gone toooo far!) 250ml of Double Cream

Fold the two mixtures together and layer gently over a biscuit base. If you need tips on the biscuit base, the idea of NOT FRYING the butter first seems to work wonders. Rather blend softened (room temp) butter (75 grams) with digestives (any old kind will do - shop own is what I prefer: 125 grams)

Seriously... yummy!! I actually had to recreate one this morning for my MIL who babysat whilst I attended my Gran's funeral yesterday. So if my MIL (Queen Chef) adores this cheesecake, it is a fitting stamp of approval ;)

OKAY - food triumph dutifully trumpeted...

So 2008

A triumph has to be seeing the beginning of scrapbooking to the masses. My personal journey started 5 years ago. I began life as an agent for Pebbles Inc. having scrapbooked/photo journalled for over a decade and wanting to find (branded aka quality) product more readily available over in the UK. When I started ScrapGenie, it really grew out of the natural progression to wholesale... and now I find myself taking one much bigger leap. My main desire to see products more readily available (and at a great price) is finally finding some wings... and I think 2008 will be a HUGE year for scrapbooking in the UK.

For ages this has been a niche market, misunderstood (I mean who the heck gets 'scrapbooking' when you say it to them?!) and totally under serviced. Product has been pricey, random, late, sporadically available and the main champions have been scrapbookers opening websites to get hold of product they want to personally use. Our UK pure scrapping magazines went from 5-6 to just 2 - and I have walked into my local 'craft shop' to see Tim Holtz ink pads piled on the floor *gasp* with loose patterned papers shoved into a knitting pattern rack *gasp* and the owner ushering me out with my daughter to the joyous news that "scrapbooking is over" *large intake of breath and count to 10 slowly* (Did I mention that I was also with the owner of a US scrapbooking company at the time... I think she was traumatised!!)

Which is why there are changes a foot... there HAS TO BE. Oh and Apples to Apples is a GREAT game amongst friends!

More later, Becks x


Pam said...

Do you know, I made a recipe very similar to that cheesecake one, and I was the only one in my family that liked it- I had to eat the whole thing all to myself over the christmas/new year break- how sad is that?

Katy said...

Just wanted to stop by and say hi!! That cheesecake sounds yummy!! I'll take a slice!