Despite good intentions my plans for last week did not happen quite the way I had hoped so this week I found myself with a lot of ingredients in the fridge that were in urgent need of cooking up. Every time I opened the fridge door I was reminded of all the things I did not get around to last week and it was getting quite annoying.
So today with time to use and no wish to garden in the pouring rain I caught up on some of that cooking. Highest on the list was the ShortandTweet challenge which for last week was cheesecake. I had missed the report back deadline by several days but as I had bought all the ingredients and they were now very close to their use by dates it was time to knuckle down. I opted to make the 'Classic Cheesecake' from p458 of Dan Lepard's book Short and Sweet. The recipe makes rather a lot of cheesecake so I halved the ingredients and it worked out fine.
I did change the biscuit base a tiny bit as instead of adding butter to the crushed oat biscuits I added a finely ground hazelnut butter (another ingredient lurking in the fridge in need of using up). I really like the taste of toasted hazelnuts but if you are not sure about them I would stick with butter as the hazelnut flavour is quite pronounced. I also baked my cheesecake in a square rather than round pan but only because I could not find a suitably sized round dish.
So here is my dessert garnished with a home produced blackcurrant sauce, a good tangy contrast to the smooth and rich cheesecake.
This cheesecake was very easy to make as there was no fuss with the usual separated eggs having to be whisked and folded or water baths to struggle with. By the time the biscuit base had been baked for ten or so minutes in the oven I had the filling prepared. It was then into a slow oven for over an hour so plenty of time to get on with something else.
Next on the list was the excess of cauliflower. I had forgotten that last week's veg box cauli was still in the fridge when I ordered another one for this week. I have been using the www.eatyourbooks website for a while now to manage my collection of cookery books and 'must cook' lists and it is now the first place I look when I need a recipe to use something up. The web site authors are now also indexing popular food blogs and sites along with magazines so it has become quite a wide ranging resource. I quickly found a recipe from the ChocolateandZucchini blog for saffron roasted cauliflower The florets of cauliflower are roasted in saffron infused oil and are liberally sprinkled with ras el hanout spice mix. This made a perfect lunch along with some feta style cheese.
I am rapidly becoming a bit of a bread anorak and if you will forgive the indulgence my last pic is of a slice from a loaf I baked today. I was really pleased with the crust and even crumb texture, but yes, it is just bread.