Best friends are a wonderful thing. You understand each other, know what the other likes and dislikes, can talk for hours on end about utter nonsense. And, most of all, you have habits. Rituals, one might say. And for me and Miss Shiny, one of these rituals involves what-to-get-for-her-birthday. I don't remember when it started, but somehow, around March each year, the question will pop up. "Hey, Miss Shiny, what do you want for your birthday this year?" And sometimes she will reply "I think chocolate" or "Can it be fruity?" or "I don't know. Surprise me!" But before I get into what I made (and how I made it) I have to mention the party. A morning tea swap party, where everybody cleaned out their wardrobe and brought anything unwanted, unwearable or unfitting (due to excessive cake consumption) along and dumped it on the lawn or hung it on the clothesline. If you liked something you saw, it was yours! And anything left over at the end of the day was bundled off to charity. And the spread, like the lady herself, was just lovely. Cupcakes, crackers and cheese. Finger sandwiches galore! Oh, any my cake. method:
We are of course, talking about cake. Birthday cake specifically. And so she has gotten a cherry ripe cake, a pirate cake and other such inventions over the past few years with much glee from her (and double glee from her parents). This year was a little different. "Do you think we could do a cheesecake?" she asked. It was a toughie. Mainly because I don't make cheesecakes. And because her boyfriend doesn't like cheesecakes. And oh! This was going to be a toughie.
morning tea at Miss Shiny's
Following the happy success of the brownie caramel slice at the Bean's birthday fiesta, I decided to do a little crazy adapting for Miss Shiny's. A rich, fudgy chocolate brownie base. A light, gooey, tart-and-sweet vanilla and raspberry middle. And a chocolate crumble topping for those who like their traditional cheesecakes, albeit a little upside down. So a little messing around later, I had a recipe. One big cake for her, three little(r) ones for me. Hurrah!
miss shiny's birthday cheesecake
for the brownie base
50g (½C) cocoa powder
440g (2C) brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
225g (1½C) plain flour
for the cheesecake middle
500g cream cheese
3tsp powdered gelatine
250g frozen raspberries
for the crumbly topping
250g chocolate ripple biscuits (or crunchy chocolate biscuit)
100g melted butter
happy birthday miss shiny!
1. Let's make the brownie base. We made it yesterday, remember? For the caramel slice? If you've forgotten, head over to the recipe and follow steps 1 to 6. This recipe will make enough for the 25cm square tin plus three 1 Cup ramekins (for eating by yourself later).
2. You want to let this cool completely and then, for safety's sake, lift the brownie out of the pan once it is cool and stick an extra layer of glad wrap in underneath the greaseproof paper (This will help you to lift the entire cheesecake out in one not-falling-apart piece later on). Now put the lot back into the original cake tin.
3. Now for the lovely cheesecake middle. Cube the cream cheese, add sugar & beat until it is smoothght. Add the cream and vanilla and beat again until it is light.
4. Dissolve the gelatine in warm water and stir until you can't see the grains anymore. Tip this into the cream cheese mix and beat briefly to combine.
5. We're adding the tasty bit now! Dump about 100g of the raspberries into the mix and stir to combine. Some of the juices will leach out at this point. Now add the rest of them and stir ever-so-carefully so they don't break up as much. This way you'll get a nice mix of whole raspberries and raspberry juice swirls.
6. Spread the cheesecake mix over the top of the brownie base.
7. For the topping, break the biscuits down to a crumb using a food processor. Add the melted butter and stir through. It should hold shape when squished into a ball, but then fall apart when you poke it.
8. Press this mixture down on top of the cheesecake mix and stick it in the freezer for an hour or until set. Voila!!
But before I get into what I made (and how I made it) I have to mention the party. A morning tea swap party, where everybody cleaned out their wardrobe and brought anything unwanted, unwearable or unfitting (due to excessive cake consumption) along and dumped it on the lawn or hung it on the clothesline. If you liked something you saw, it was yours! And anything left over at the end of the day was bundled off to charity.
And the spread, like the lady herself, was just lovely. Cupcakes, crackers and cheese. Finger sandwiches galore! Oh, any my cake.