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    Monday, July 23, 2007

    Fab Cheesecake, Fab Tart, Fab Family Lunch

    Once a month we have family dinner. Everyone takes a turn and it was mine this week. Our granddaughter Sophia came over early to help. She set the table. We brought the outdoor table inside so we could seat everyone in comfort.
    She cut the skin off the oranges for the lovely Toffee Orange Dessert Click here
    They are the dessert of the month for me at the moment.
    Everyone loved them, the toffee splendidly hardened on immediate contact with the cold oranges. Excellent.
    This time I remembered to sprinkle the candied peel over the completed dish
    I also stirred in a tablespoon of peel into the accompanying crème fraiche.
    Just a few Honey Roasted Almond Accents gave an extra crunch

    Sophia's mother Helen made a divine BLACK AND WHITE CHEESECAKE

    She found the recipe in Delicious magazine submitted by Australian Chef Jill Dupleix
    Helen used orange zest in the cream cheese layer to complement the Toffee oranges
    100g dark chocolate, chopped
    200g sour cream or crème fraiche
    600g cream cheese, softened
    ½ tsp vanilla extract
    200g castor sugar
    2 tbsp plain flour
    1 tbs grated orange or lemon zest
    3 large eggs

    Biscuit Base
    200g digestive biscuits, finely crushed
    125g unsalted butter, melted
    1 tbs cocoa powder, plus extra to dust

    Grease a 23cm springform pan.

    For the base, process biscuit, butter, cocoa powder and a pinch of salt in a food processor until you have moist crumbs.
    Tip into the cake pan and press firmly over the base and 5cm up the sides.
    Refrigerate while making the filling.

    Preheat oven to 180C.

    Heat chocolate and half the sour cream in a bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, stirring until smooth.

    Using an electric mixer,
    Beat the softened cream cheese, vanilla extract, caster sugar and
    remaining sour cream until smooth.
    Beat in the plain flour and orange or lemon zest, then
    beat in the eggs one at a time.

    Pour two-thirds of the cream cheese mixture into the crust.
    Whisk the melted chocolate cream into the remaining cream cheese mixture until smooth.
    Using a soup ladle, pour the chocolate filling over
    the vanilla filling until you reach the top of the crust.
    Place in the oven and bake for 40 minutes,
    until the centre is just firm and the top is slightly golden –
    it will split slightly.
    Cool, then refrigerate overnight before serving.
    Dust with cocoa powder,
    Use a hot knife to slice the cheesecake and serve.

    To start the meal Lana made her
    Goats Cheese and Caramelised Onion Tart.
    The flavours were divine.

    So To make Lana's scrumptious tart

    50 ml olive oil
    8 red onions sliced
    2 pinches of white sugar
    2 pinches of thyme leaves
    200g shortcrust pastry
    350 g goat’s cheese
    75 ml milk
    75 ml cream
    3 eggs
    Salt &
    A pinch of paprika
    Ground nutmeg to taste

    Pre heat oven to 190 deg C.
    In medium pan, heat the olive oil
    add onions and sugar and continually stir until brown and very sweet to taste.
    Add thyme leaves stir and remove from heat and leave to cool.

    Line a 26cm tart shell with pastry rolled out 2mm thick.
    Half fill pastry shell with caramelised onions and
    Top with slices of fresh goat cheese.
    I used marinated feta and then another layer of onion
    and then fresh feta on top.

    Combine milk, cream, eggs, salt and pepper, paprika and nutmeg and mix well.
    Pour over the top of the tart.

    Bake in oven until the base of the tart is golden brown and mixture set.
    Cool on a metal rack.
    Slice tart with serrated knife.
    Serve with a Fresh Tomato and Basil Salad.
    Use several types of tomatoes.
    Drizzle a little olive oil around the plate and
    Serve with cracked pepper and a little sea salt

    Of course I am still on the Mumsie Food and cooked the Corned Beef Dinner again.
    It was very good but there is a lot of prep for 15 people I am glad I got up early

    This time I accompanied it with:
    Mashed Potato
    Caraway Cabbage and Bean Sprouts
    Remove the outer leaves and core of the cabbage
    Slice it thinly
    Blanch in boiling salted water about 1 minute
    Drain and out aside you can do this earlier.
    When ready to serve
    Place a big knob of butter in a hot wok
    Add cabbage
    Season with pepper
    Toss around till coated with butter
    Add bean sprouts and 1 tbs toasted caraway seeds.
    Of course carrots and small onions cooked in the stock were a must.
    All topped off with mustard sauce.

    Someone mentioned that caraway relieved the normal flatulence associated with cabbage.
    I think they were right. All very comfortable in our house

    Of course I had leftovers
    And what did I make but Corned Beef Hash
    Take a pan that will go in the oven
    Heat oven 180C
    Place pan on stove add big knob of butter
    Squash mashed potatoes on bottom
    Throw in sliced up corned beef
    Then the carrots and onions chopped
    Then the cabbage and peas
    Top with shavings of Gruyere cheese
    Continue to cook over med heat till a crust is formed
    Place in oven and cook about 10 minutes until cheese has melted.

    Just serve and eat.

    All in all Sunday was a lovely day.
    We have decided our next family we are going to be at
    Lana’s for a “High Society” Singalong Brunch

    After the success a couple of years ago of our Sing Along with “The Sound of Music
    held at our studio.

    I want to be Grace Kelly but I guess I’ll get to be the Mrs Seth Lord (matronly)
    Dale I think will be have to be Uncle Willie he was the one always looking for the next drink..
    Dale made a fairly dodgy nun He was the flying Nun

    Here we have some delightful shots of the Sound of Music
    Here's Lana as a Favourite Thing with Sister Neil

    Dale the Flying Nun with the Wine for Mass Dan made a fetching Uncle Max
    Lisa and Ian were fabulous as the Nazis
    Here's the Flying Nun again

    Sister Neil and Mother Superior (me) Climb every mountain

    Helen made a great Maria

    Singalong with the Flying Nun
    Then we had the follow up raging Success “Grease”

    Old and Young Sandys...looks like breast envy

    Helen as Rizzo

    Sandy and Danny

    "aka Bridgie and Steve"

    There they are in latter years. Cry your eyes out Olivia Newton John and John Travolta

    Sandys in all shapes and ages So if High Society is anywhere as good as the other two. We should be having a ball.
    I'll keep you posted.


    katiez said...

    Your 'Singalongs' look like they're a riot! Love the costumes!

    Jim said...

    That all looks lovely, but with the cheesecake is it possible to substitute, say, graham crackers for digestive biscuits? I have no clue where I'd find them here...

    So Simple said...

    katiez They were such funny nights everyone ahd to sing the songs for their character.

    I think Graham Crackers are ths same as digestive biscuits or at least similar I'll check it out and let you know

    So Simple said...

    Jim I have done a bit of research and if you look at this site
    there could be an answer for you. If you have chocolate malt biscuits they make a great base.

    Barbara said...

    That really is singing for your supper. The goats cheese tart appeals to me. I've tagged you for the 4 x 4 meme.

    Jim said...

    That link is excellent; thank you for the help!

    So Simple said...

    No problem

    Arfi Binsted said...

    i love the cheesecake. sounds delicious. i am still thinking what i am going to cook tomorrow as we'll have guests as well. the idea is always coming to me at the last minute. how such an awful organizer i am hehehe...

    So Simple said...

    The cheesecake was excellent...try the oranges with it they are so good.