Wednesday, 29 August 2012

'Y' is for.......Yellow Cheesecake

Yellow Cheesecake.....white chocolate cheesecake on a lemon crumb biscuit base, topped with lemon curd
Seems I like making cheesecakes...I have a few posted up on this blog:) This one was quite tricky to make and initially I was not very happy with it, but my testers ate it all and my Nutty Knitters were positive with words and empty plates! Baked cheesecakes always taste better than they look, but covering this one with lemon curd helped its appearance and taste:)
Yellow is a happy colour and always reminds me of sunflowers. When ever I see those beautiful flowers I am immediately transported back to my Grans cottage garden. She had a very neat vegetable garden and greenhouse at the back, with fruit bushes and trees towards the end, along withh the dreaded the outside toilet. At the very top stood my Granddad's shed and a chicken run. Why is it so many men have their own sheds at the end of the garden? Mind you I am a fine one to talk as my studio is at the end of mine he he.
Her front garden was very different. Although she was a Shropshire lass, then moved to London when she married she always hampered to live back in the clean country air, in a cottage with roses around the door. She followed her dream when her 4 children married, and she moved down to Wiltshire, tucked up in a little hamlet called Patterdown, just outside Chippenham. I have been back to visit and the area has changed so much with houses and retail parks....... So back to the front of her was alive with all sorts of flowers, a riot of colour in the summer attracting butterflies and humming with bees. Any vegetable seedlings that she had left over would be planted at random between the flowers. 
And along the back of the borders sunflowers would be standing tall and proud, their faces following the sun, and smiling. When they lost their petals she left them standing there so during the winter months the birds could have a feast.
I  have a lovely bunch of 6 sunflowers siting on my kitchen windowsill right now....and as I look at them I am always reminded of my Gran.
So a yellow cheesecake in honour of a very special lady hugs 4 smiles Gran wherever you may be xxx

Cheesecake Ingredients and method
1 cup unsalted butter
2 lemon cream biscuits crushed
1 tablespoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons sugar
10 oz. good quality white chocolate, chopped
3 x8 oz. packages cream cheese I used Phillidelphia)
3 eggs
1 jar of good quality lemon curd
Melt 1/2 cup butter in a small saucepan over low heat or in microwave. Allow remaining 1/2 cup butter to soften at room temperature. Mix together cookie crumbs, lemon zest, sugar, and 1/2 cup melted butter. Put mixture in bottom and up sides of buttered 10-inch spring-form pan. Freeze for 30 minutes.
 Place pan containing crust on a baking sheet. Melt chocolate in top of a double boiler or in a small saucepan over a larger pot of simmering water. Remove from heat and cool 5 minutes. Beat chocolate and cream cheese in a large bowl until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until incorporated. Beat 1/2 cup softened butter until thoroughly blended. Pour into prepared pan over crust. Place baking sheet with pan in middle rack of oven. Bake 1 hour at 170c until cheesecake puffs up and knife inserted off-center comes out clean. Cheesecake center will continue to cook and become firm once removed from oven and cake will sink slightly as it cools. Place baking sheet with pan on wire rack. Cool to room temperature then spread lemon curd over the top. Chill and turn out of tin when ready to serve. Decorate with a dusting of icing sugar and a few raspberries. Mmmmmm x
Following the sun with their faces
The field of flowers were sharing secrets
Rustling and whispering, hopes and dreams,
All except one....all alone....
She followed the star ..but could not share
Keeping her secret in her heart until she faded.

"Sunflower" why do you weep?
"For lost dreams" she said.
Well be beautiful inside
And in all that you do
Then ...well then your dreams will come true.

We could go to France, find the field of sunflowers
Have what should have been ours.
The French they say they know about love
That's why they grow sunflowers
They won’t disappoint us.
And there may come a day, Who knows....
That's the future when it comes

The fairies knew her secret
What stories could they tell?
Of far off places, Tales were told,
Of hopes and dreams to spread,
Chose your path and follow that dream,
The one to happiness they said.

Yes, there were truly fairies in her tree,
Helping her to hang onto dreams,
Weaving silver threads of love and hope.
She nodded....smiled...
And saw all the colours more clearly now.

The fairies knew her summer would come,
She would know for sure that she was truly loved.
Looking to the sky
She smiled at the stars
And carried them off to her dreams.

Don't cry for me he said
As the summer days ebbed.
She started to fade
Keeping her secret, her dream,
Tucked away forever in her heart
She waited
Scattering seeds and petals
In the long shadows
Of the autumn sun.....

The fairies danced and rejoiced
Happy for her
Happy in the knowledge
That she would fade....and know
That they had helped her
Hang on to the threads of dreams..

So for another long winter
Spring warmed the ground
Seeds she had scattered sprang to life.
The fields bloomed that fine summer
No longer alone
She shared sunflower secrets with her friends
The fairies watched
And smiled
She looked to the sky
And said goodbye ....It was time for new beginnings
Maxine Owen 2002

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