14 February – St Valentine’s Day

Say cheese… cake

If you were going to make a special dessert today (because sugar goes with sweethearts),[1] consider using up the biscuit crumbs you froze after Christmas by making a crumb crust for a fancy cheesecake.

Here’s my favourite cheesecake recipe – make it with strawberry yoghurt if you have chocolate crumbs, apricot yoghurt if you have gingerbread crumbs and any yoghurt that takes your fancy if you have vanilla crumbs.

Strawberry Cheesecake


START : the day before
PREPARATION TIME : 5 + 20 + 5 minutes

3 tbs butter                              500g cream cheese                   ¼ cup brandy[2]

200g biscuit crumbs               ¾ cup castor sugar                   200ml strawberry yoghurt

2 eggs                                        1 tbs cornflour


GARNISH: whipped cream and strawberries

Melt the butter, stir in biscuit crumbs and press into the base of a 20cm springform pan. Refrigerate.

Set oven to 150°C. Separate the eggs.

Blend the cream cheese with half a cup of sugar until smooth. Add egg yolks and beat thoroughly. Blend cornflour with brandy and add to mixture with yoghurt.

Beat egg whites with remaining sugar until stiff peaks form. Gently fold into cheese mixture.

Pour into the prepared crust and bake for 45 minutes. Turn the oven off and leave undisturbed for a further hour. Chill thoroughly and decorate with whipped cream and fruit.

Speaking of love, I don’t speak of love with my book club friend Sharon (who is quite reserved so we mostly discuss books and social politics) but I have deduced from her comments on the romances in our literary choices that she had a terribly deep and terribly sad love affair a decade ago. (I’d like to ask her if she thinks it’s better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all but I can’t because I don’t officially know anything about her love life.)[3]

[1] One Valentine’s Day, Matthew made a chocolate cake for his partner Dharma and received in return a bitter tirade on the damage sugar does to teeth. He later realised that this was the first sign that she was having an affair with her dentist.

[2] Or green ginger wine if you’re going with the apricot / ginger combo.

[3] For the record, my own marriage gave me my two beloved children so I don’t regret it for a second and, even if you take Hannah and Jeremy out of the equation, the first few years were so wonderful that I side with Cupid even though my love affair ended as a hate affair.

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