vicki’s no-bake cheesecake

>The lovely Vicki at work made me this divine cheesecake for a birthday morning tea. It’s the nicest cheesecake I’ve had in years.

250g sweet biscuits
125g butter, melted
375g cream cheese, softened
zest of 1 lemon
2 tsp vanilla essence
1/3 cup lemon juice
400g tin condensed milk

1. Grease and line a 20cm spring form tin.
2. Place biscuits in food processor and finely crush. Add butter and process until mixed.
3. Press half of the mix into the base of the tin, and press the remainder around the sides, using a glass to firm it into place. Refrigerate for 10-15 minutes.
4. Beat the cream cheese until smooth and creamy. Add lemon rind and vanilla and beat. Add the condensed milk and lemon juice gradually, and beat until smooth and the volume has increased.
5. Pour into the tin and refrigerate overnight.
6. Decorate with diced strawberries and icing sugar, or as desired

1. To make gluten free, substitute gluten free biscuits for the base. I use Arnott’s Rice Cookies (supermarket biscuit aisle) and use approximately 90g of butter as these biscuits are shortbread-like and don’t require much butter to bind.
2. Recommend using 500g of cream cheese if making as per the recipe above.
3. Use 375g of cream cheese if adding melted chocolate (150, maybe 200g?).
4. I substitute vanilla paste or bean for the vanilla essence.

christmas pudding ice cream

>A colleague of mine at work gave me this recipe because he heard I was a foodie.


375g packet mixed fruit
¼ bottle brandy
2 oz dark chocolate
4 egg whites
150g icing sugar
600ml cream
1 level tbsp mixed spice
1 rounded teaspoon cinnamon
1 level teaspoon nutmeg
2 oz slivered almonds, toasted

Soak the fruit overnight in the brandy. Next day beat the egg whites until stiff, then gradually add sugar into the egg whites, slowly so the mixture holds its air.

Melt the chocolate and fold carefully into the egg white mixture.

Whip the cream until it holds its shape, adding the spices. Fold the egg white and dream and fruit together, adding the almonds at the end.

Freeze in a covered metal or plastic container for at least three hours before serving.

Keeps up to three months in the freezer.

chocolate heaven

We wandered the last little pocket of the grounds as the crowds started to die away. Many of the stallholders had sold out and were tidying up or standing around chatting. I noticed a preserves stall and Mena and I tried a Food Symphony divine raisin, tea and tokay preserve – perfect for a bread-and-butter pudding or, well, simply sitting quietly and eating with a spoon direct from the jar.

The outright winner was an impossibly rich chocolate, vanilla and port dipping sauce made with real Belgian chocolate. Even Orlando was deeply impressed. I immediately asked to buy a jar and Jamie, the owner, said he only had tasting stock and had none to sell. I vowed to go straight to David Jones the next day and buy some. We thanked him for his time, took a business card, and walked away. Moments later I felt a tug at my sleeve. Jamie stood with his last remaining jar of the chocolate sauce, and handed it to me. “A gift”, he said. “You loved it so much I couldn’t not give it to you.” What a lovely guy.

Orlando took it straight off me and put it in his backpack. I guess I won’t be seeing that again.