Tag Archives: vanilla

The Fastest Cheesecake in the West

Yes, there is such thing as an emergency cheesecake, sometimes cheesecake is the only thing that will do.  Such it was on Saturday night – we wanted cheesecake and we wanted it fast.  You can use anything you have to flavour or decorate it; grated lemon or orange rind, grated chocolate, tinned fruit, fresh fruit, ginger, even a little peppermint then decorate it with After Eights.

If you don’t have a mini-chopper, biscuits can be crumbed by putting them in a sealed plastic bag and assaulting them with a rolling pin. You could write the name of your least favourite politician on the bag before you start thumping it.  You get everything here – recipes, therapy…

This is how I made it using things I had in the cupboard.


1 x 7” flan dish
1 x mini chopper
1 x electric whisk
1 x medium saucepan

3oz / 90g butter
4oz / 120g digestive or ginger biscuits – reduced to breadcrumbs in the mini chopper
8oz / 240g cream cheese
¼ pint / 150ml double cream – whipped
1 egg white – whisked to soft peaks
2oz icing sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Something nice to put on the top.  I had nothing so I used a bit of raspberry sauce although jam or cranberry would have worked as well

Melt the butter in a saucepan
Add the pulverised biscuits and blend well
Grease the flan dish and press the crumb mixture firmly into the bottom
Place in the fridge to chill
Fold the icing sugar gently into the egg whites
Fold the cream gently into that, then
Fold the cream cheese and vanilla extract gently into that
Spoon the cheese mixture onto the flan base
Decorate the top if you have anything
Return to the fridge until needed

Total time from fridge to gaping maw – 15 minutes


Filed under Food, Leftovers, Recipes, Storecupboard

Home Made Sweets 2: Fudge

Home made fudge

There isn’t a child on earth who doesn’t like sweets and I confess that I have an exceptionally sweet tooth myself.   I see no reason to deprive children of sweets as long as they’re a treat and they’re eating plenty of good healthy stuff as well.  I constantly remind my children that if their everyday diet is good, from time to time they can eat rubbish with a clear conscience.

But have you ever looked at the ingredients on some of the stuff they like?  Not for nothing is something called ‘Toxic Waste’!  If you make your own, you know exactly what’s in it and homemade sweets are really easy to make.  Fudge is also made using storecupboard ingredients so can be made at the drop of a hat.

Warning:  This fudge is so delicious it has to be locked away or you will find that you take a piece every time you pass the plate and you may find you have gained 20lb in two days.  I know I have.  And, as you might as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb, have a look at these truffle recipes.

I would recommend buying a sugar thermometer if you don’t already have one, as it saves a lot of time dropping boiling gloop into saucers of water.  If you don’t have a thermometer, the mixture has reached ‘Soft Ball’ when a teaspoon of the mixture dropped into cold water forms a soft ball when rolled between your finger and thumb.


1 x large, heavy based saucepan
1 x electric whisk
1 x shallow tin about 10” x 8” – buttered

1lb / 480g granulated sugar
2oz / 60g butter
¼ pint / 150ml cream
¼ pint / 150ml milk
½ teaspoon vanilla essence

Put all the ingredients except the vanilla into the pan
Heat gently, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved
Bring to the boil, then keep it on a good, rolling boil stirring from time to time
When the mixture has reached 115oC / 240oF or soft ball, remove the pan from the heat
Place the pan on a cool surface and add the vanilla essence
Beat the mixture until it becomes thick and creamy and starts to develop a slightly grainy texture round the edges
Pour it immediately into the buttered tin and leave until cold
Cut it into squares in the tin when set.


Filed under Food, Recipes