We start with Holly at the end of October; her birthday is the same as Grandads, so I sometimes make two...then on to Phil in November, with James just two days later...then mum in mid December; we have an agreement these days, we buy each other a bottle-of-champagne birthday cake! Mine is a week later on Christmas Eve, then Matt at the beginning of January.
I do feel for Matt-and all of you with birthdays in January. After the excesses of the holiday season, we are trying to get our heads around the new year, there's hardly anything left in the shops for a decent gift (I buy his well in advance), and as for a party, well, we are all partied out...
So I get behind with my cakes.
We also have an unspoken rule that nobody can have a cake, unless the previous person(s) have had theirs. A couple of years ago I was so behind we had to have a cake fest!
This year, I was sort of ok...but Matt had not had his (again). I had promised a cheesecake, one of my special ones, the ones with many thousands of calories in, (I am including the recipe at the bottom of the page) and time had rolled on a bit since January...six months on.
As we had guests coming for dinner, I decided to make a really big one; I've got a large glass dish that is really meant to be used as a fruit bowl, or perhaps to display crudites and cold meats; it's really really big!
A large packet of McVitie's chocolate digestives went in the food processor and were then mixed with butter before being spread and flattened into the curved bottom of the dish, then 2 pounds of full fat Philedelphia was whisked up with a generous amount of caster sugar until really thick.
It MUST be FULL FAT soft cheese or it will NOT whip up!
Add a decent splodge of Vanilla Bean Paste and 2 pints of Double Cream and whisk until really thick. Chuck in two whole pots of Muller Light in Banana Custard flavour and whisk again. Pile it all up on the biscuit base and smooth with a knife. The banana flavour is only a hint, but it makes it really creamy tasting.
Before serving I sprinkle on lots of chocolate; crushed flakes, or twirl bites.
If you prefer, you can put individual portions into posh glasses, but we like to cut big slabs of the whole thing.
Matt had his first slice and went around grinning like the Cheshire Cat; apparently it makes him happy, so that's it, a 'Happiness Cheesecake'!
Since making that one, I then had to make several others, to catch up on all the birthdays, and even add in one for Tom, Matt's best mate. I'm doing one for Tom's girlfriend Georgie too, when her birthday comes around in January.
Of course, now I have a challenge on my hands; the birthday season is upon us; a mere few weeks until Holly's comes around again.
I think had better stock up.
Happiness Cheesecake Recipe
1/2 pack Crushed chocolate digestives
1 tablespoon melted butter
200g Full Fat Philedelphia
1/2 pint Double Cream (not extra thick)
Vanilla to taste
Approx 3 tablespoons Caster Sugar
Chocolate to sprinkle on top
Mix the crushed biscuits and melted butter and spread in the base of a flan dish.
Whisk cheese and sugar until thick
Add Cream and Vanilla and whisk until REALLY thick
Add yoghurt and whisk again
Spread the mixture on the biscuit base and chill thoroughly. Add choccy before serving. Smile whilst consuming!
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