Sometimes you just need to focus on the good stuff.  Like birthdays and strawberries and brownies and cheesecake.  And sometimes you just have to wham bam them all together.  And get something a little like this:

Strawberry Cheesecake with a Macadamia & White Chocolate BaseLet’s break it down shall we? 

  • Fresh strawberries coated in a red currant jelly so they are lovely and shiny.
  • A tangy creamy cheesecake filling
  • A base made of white chocolate and macadamia nut brownies.

Did I hear someone say cheesecake heaven? 

Well, yeah, it was me.  But you will too when you make this.  Which you should. It’s very decadent but hey, you only have one birthday a year right? And if you can’t have a Strawberry Cheesecake with a Macadamia & White Chocolate Brownie Base on your birthday when are you going to have one?

In a week of average meals, The Birthday Strawberry Cheesecake was a welcome highlight.

The River Café Spinach Rotolo was disappointing.  I had a very specific idea of how I wanted this to taste (which was EXACTLY like the Spinach Rotolo I ate at Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Restaurant many years ago).  And it didn’t meet these high expectations.  It was a weird recipe too.  You had to wrap the pasta rolls in a tea towel and place that in a fish kettle.  I cooked mine in a big roasting pan because who on earth has a fish kettle? Maybe that’s why it didn’t work.

I cooked it for longer than they said but it was still half raw when I took it out of its tea towel wrapping.  I couldn’t be bothered wrapping and tying it all up again so I put in a baking dish, made a quick tomato sauce and baked it until it was cooked through. It tasted fine but it was not at all what I wanted.

Strawberry Cheesecake

The duck meatballs were a disaster.  I had borrowed the Kitchen Aid mincing attachment from a friend and minced my duck.  Let me tell you, there is not a lot of meat in two duck breasts.  Which was kind of okay because the five meatballs that came out of that process weren’t great.  It was a good thing we had lots of brownie left over from making the cheesecake because that dinner of 2.5 meatballs each wasn’t what you would call hearty!

This week I am looking forward to cooking:

Turkey and Cranberry Meatballs with a Camembert filling from The Meatball Book.  Let’s hope it works out better than the duck! 

Black And Blue Berry Chocolate Almond Crumble adapted from my list of the year.

A Kahlua Cocktail for another new segment on the blog.  Stay tuned.  This one is going to be fun!

In Other News I Am

Reading

  • Orphan 8 by Kim van Alkemade for bookclub – have only just started but looking forward to getting stuck into this.
  • 253 by Geoff Ryman, not sure about this.  Very concept driven but, so far not not greatly compelling.
  • Hello From The Gillespies on audio. I am enjoying this. 

Listening To

  • I found a new podcast!  Billed as a cross between Serial and The X Files, Limetown is hitting all my buttons. Don’t listen to this alone.  Or at night.  Seriously creepy stuff.  I can’t wait for Episode 4!

Watching:

  • This one is old but I have just discovered and am mainlining a British TV Series called Line of Duty.  Excellent gritty police drama.  I inhaled Series 1 and cannot wait for the weekend so I can start (and finish) Series 2.
  • A new Australian drama called The Principal.  Have seen the first 2 episodes and it is shaping up to be a winner!
  • And I watched The Imposter.  I tell you, if this wasn’t true, you could not make it up!

 

Strawberry Cheesecake with White Chocolate & Macadamia Brownie Base

Serving Size: Serves 8-10

Strawberry Cheesecake with White Chocolate & Macadamia Brownie Base

A lovely decadent cheesecake, perfect for a special occasion. Leave plenty of time to make this. I made the brownies on Saturday, then assembled the cheesecake on Sunday for eating on Monday.

Ingredients

  • For The Brownie
  • Melted butter to grease
  • 150g white chocolate, chopped
  • 150g butter, I used salted
  • 3 eggs, lightly whisked
  • 150g plain flour
  • 60g whole milk powder
  • 60g caster sugar
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 150 grams white chocolate chips
  • 150g macadamia nuts, halved
  • For The Cheesecake
  • 1/2 of the white chocolate and macadamia brownie, cut into small pieces
  • 30g butter
  • 50g white chocolate, chopped
  • 1 gelatine leaf
  • 200ml thickened cream
  • 500g cream cheese at room temperature
  • 35g icing sugar, sifted
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 2 punnets of strawberries (smaller strawberries work better than large ones), with the stalk end cut off so the bottom is flat.
  • 2 tbsp red currant jelly

Instructions

  • For The Brownie
  • Preheat oven to 160C.
  • Brush a 20cm square cake pan with melted butter to grease. Line the base and sides with non-stick baking paper, allowing it to overhang at the sides.
  • Place the chopped chocolate and the butter in a small saucepan over low heat.
  • Cook, stirring often until the chocolate and butter melt and are well combined.
  • Set aside to cool.
  • Once cool, add the eggs and stir with a wooden spoon until well combined.
  • Sift the flour, milk powder, sugar, and baking powder in a medium bowl, Stir in the white chocolate chips and the macadamia nuts.
  • Add the butter mixture and stir until just combined.
  • Pour into the prepared pan and bake in the pre-heated oven for 40 minutes or until moist crumbs stick a skewer when inserted into the centre.
  • Remove from the oven and set aside to cool completely in the pan.
  • Cut in half.
  • For the Cheesecake
  • Grease and line a springform pan with baking paper.
  • Place the brownies in a food processor and whiz into fine crumbs.
  • Melt the butter and white chocolate in a saucepan over low heat, stirring to combine
  • Pour into the food processor and pulse to combine.
  • Press the brownie mixture into the lined pan.
  • Chill in the fridge for 20 minutes or until set.
  • Soak the gelatine in a bowl of cold water for five minutes.
  • Place 100ml of cream in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to just below boiling point. Remove from heat. Squeeze excess water from gelatine and stir into cream until smooth. Strain and allow to cool slightly.
  • Beat cream cheese and icing sugar in an electric mixer until smooth, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the gelatine mixture and the rest of the cream and beat until combined. Add the lemon juice and beat to combine.
  • Pour into the pan over the brownie base. Smooth the top and place in the fridge to set overnight.
  • Place the strawberries cut side down on the cheesecake.
  • Place the red currant jelly in a small saucepan. Place over a low heat and stir until melted. Set aside.
  • Once cool, brush over the strawberries.
  • Eat. Enjoy.

Notes

The brownie mixture will make enough for two cheesecakes. Or you can just eat the extra brownies.

If you are in a hurry, you can use store bought brownies. If so, you may have to add some additional melted butter to the brownie crumb mix to bind it together. The amount will depend on how dry your brownie crumbs are. You want the crumb to hold together.

Both the brownie and the cheesecake recipe are adapted from recipes found on taste.com.au

http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/2015/10/15/dishiest-dish-strawberry-cheesecake-heaven/

Now over to you.   What was the best thing you made this week?

What are you looking forward to making next week? 

What are you reading, watching, listening to?

Please share!

Have a fabulous week everyone! 

Happy Cooking!

 Signature 1 Vintage Valentine Quick as Wink2

 

 

 

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