Monday, April 28, 2008

Baked Black Cherry Cheesecake for the Dessert Carnival

The Day of Cielo's Dessert Carnival is finally here. Go and join in the fun and taste every dessert from all over the world. The desserts will make you drool, they are a real feast for the eyes.

I participated using this cheesecake. I love cheesecakes, especially homemade ones. Because I prefer the cheesy part to be a bit more fluffy and smooth than slippery, I like the texture of a baked cheesecake, rather than using gelatine and have it set in the fridge. I know some people can be a bit nervous when it comes to making cheesecakes, but if you follow the steps here, you'll be pleased with yourself and it'll definitely be worth the effort. Here's the recipe:

For the base:

125g Digestive Biscuits or any plain sweet biscuits, crushed
60g Butter, melted

Combine crushed biscuits and melted butter. Spread evenly over the base of a greased 21cm springform tin. Press crumb mixture. Cover and refrigerate for 30minutes or until firm.

For the filling:

375g cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon cornflour
1/2 cup thickened cream
425g can of pitted black cherries, cut in halves save around 5 whole, drained

Using electric beaters, beat cream cheese and sugar until light and creamy. Add eggs gradually, beating well after each addition. Add juice, beat until combined. Sift over cornflour and fold through cream. Scatter approx. half can (or just a lil bit more) of cut black cherries over pastry base. Pour over cream cheese mixture. Bake 30-35 minutes at moderate 180C or until firm. Leave to cool.

For the topping:

1 tablespoon corn flour
1 tablespoon sugar
reserved syrup from can of pitted cherries

Blend cornflour, sugar and reserved syrup in a small saucepan. Stir over heat until mixture boils and thickens. This needs to be thick enough so it won't run. Spread on top of baked cheesecake. Use the other half can of already cut black cherries with the topping. Garnish with the saved whole cherries in the centre. Whip up some extra fresh cream
and pipe onto cheesecake. Serve cold.

Enjoy. Mmmm! It's Superb!!!

As for the "excessive" decorating and garnishing with roses and flowers, my only explanation is I couldn't help it. There's no such thing as "excessive" when it comes to decorating with flowers, is there? It's a Carnival afterall! Besides, Rosy Inspiration has to be rosy, doesn't it? (You can click on pictures to view larger versions)
Can you hear them sing?

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Savoury Crepe with all the goodies

Here is a simple one for lunch, brunch or even dinner. My kids simply love crepes. I learnt how to make crepes for the whole family when I was around ten. We used to have them for breakfast with jam. So I don't have a set recipe as such when I make crepes, I simply mix self-raising flour with eggs, water and a bit of milk to get the consistency and amount I want, crepe batter is usually a bit runnier than pancake batter. You also make crepes thinner than you normally would pancakes. Then to top your crepe, you can use all sorts of meat and vegies. Some people roll it all up, but I eat it flat and open with all the goodies heaped on it. I used lettuce, cooked fresh mushrooms, sweet corn, tuna and a bit of mayonnaise and heaps of cracked black pepper. Well, after having savoury crepes, my kids made their favourite sweet one topped with chocolate topping and icing sugar. I let them as that is truly delicious, I know, I say it's not as healthy, but I graciously let them have it as a dessert. Have a yummy weekend, hope you get to cook...........crepes.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Keeping the Flow of things

I have been so busy with kids being home for their school's term break. I have so many things I want to post, but I'm afraid this will just be a quickie. Here I'll just show you some photos I took to keep the flow of things going for now. Have a great weekend, all of you sweet friends and readers, till next time.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Dessert Carnival at the House in the Roses

Cielo at The House in the Roses is hosting a special Spring Dessert Carnival on Wednesday the 30th of April at 8am which promises to be fantastic, she would love as many of you lovely readers as possible to participate. It is such a clever idea, you should go along to her blog and check out more details and send your picture and recipe to her. Here I quote from her blog how it works:
Send via email a photograph of one of your homemade dessert of your choice. You can post more photographs along with the recipe on your blog, the day of the carnival. I'll post your pictures and put some fun music on my blog, inviting you to join in the fun. Leave me a comment telling me the name of your dessert and make sure you have a link for me to get back to your blog.

The good thing is no matter where you are, you can join in the fun!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Bedroom Rose Bliss

I often cut my roses and bring them indoors to enjoy, the fact is the more you cut them, the more flowers you'll get on the bush, so why not? One of the places I love them in is our bedroom. Their fragrance is especially strong inside a room and permeates the whole space. They are natural air-fresheners.

Hope you enjoyed the little tour of our bedroom, I've painted the furniture white, changed drawers' knobs to glass ones(on bedside cabinets), put appliques/embellishments on wherever possible. The only thing I haven't painted is the bed. I like it the way it is, it's brass coloured, I didn't think it'd look good white , so I left it alone. In fact the white bedding was the starting point to all the other furniture painted white. Many people think white looks too sterile and cold, but I have lived with white beddings for many years and have no desire to change the colour scheme because it's been such a soothing and restful colour which I don't get tired of so quickly. I simply love it!

Here the roses were St.Cecilia (the lighter pinks), Louise Odier, Radio Times and Pink Simplicity (all medium pinks), they were so deliciously scented I nearly ate them.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Queens in Focus

Since roses are the Queen of flowers, whether or not they are named after a Queen, they are still Queens in their own right.Some even like to sit on white thrones, rain or shine.But then there are those that are actually named after a Queen, for instance David Austin's Anne Boelyn. She's not the prettiest of English Roses, but she's not stingy with her blooms. She constantly puts out a great number of canes and wants to spread in the garden. So staking her branches is not only a good idea, but also makes her look taller and tidier instead of letting her rub her face on the ground. Then there is another one which was named to commemorate Queen Elizabeth the Second's 50th anniversary on the throne. It's called "Jubilee Celebration". I love it for its very frequent repeat flowering and it always greets me with a smile, even when it gets microwaved in the hot sun in summer. Can you see her smile indeed? Oops! I need to sweep my path. But then I'd rather have fallen petals on the path than none at all.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Romancing the Roses

I love Autumn, it's not too hot, not too cold. I especially love roses in Autumn, they are superb in shape, size, form and colour, they also keep forever on the bush. With the help of a bit of rain, and the not-so-harsh sunshine, they are happy to keep producing the more extraordinary than usual flowers at this time of the year.

English Rose Abraham Darby is definitely one of my favourites in terms of flower form. Sometimes it appears in pink, but most of the time it has an apricot shade. It has very strong perfume with loads of petals.Louise Odier is a very old variety, I think it was bred in 1850 if I remember right. It just loves flowering and the scent is simply superb, and strong.Tamora, also by David Austin, is a very good flowerer, I love her flower form, she always keeps her head up, which helps one notice her more amongst others.
Now, let's have some fun with them. The pale pink ones are St. Cecilias, they are in the most gorgeous soft pink in Autumn and I just feel like eating them.

It was a pleasure to photograph these pretties, as they wore the most pleasing perfumes and were very good and easy to work with. They simply sparkled!!!!