When I got a request from now 8 year old friend, and recent baker, to make a lemon cheese cake for her birthday I was hesitant because, 1. lemon is not a universally adored fruit, unlike its rounder sibling, the orange, 2. I have never attempted a lemon cheese cake, 3. now that I am getting paid for these things, there's a whole lot more stressed involved.
Fortunately, I have like 200 cookbooks at my disposal, so finding a recipe for lemon cheesecake was as easy as looking for news on snatch thieves in the local papers. But I think we all gravitate to our roots eventually, and I found myself using Catherine Lau's recipe from Cheese cake seduction. What I like about her recipes is that they are quite easy to follow.
Fortunately, it turned out quite well. It was fairly light, not too sour, just the right amount of zest, and well, a few of my friends had seconds, and since they were paying for it, I guess I could have relied on them for brutal honesty if the cake stank.
I originally wanted to add a layer of chocolate in between the biscuit base and the cheese filling, but completely forgot. Last Friday, I was doing some "market research" and had a slice of lemon cheesecake in Chinoz on the Park, which had chocolate glaze. But that was a baked cheese cake. This particular one, as you can see, is the chilled variety.
The other thing I tried over the weekend, which was inspired by the Duck Pasta in Delicious, was Roast Duck Pasta. Too lazy to cook the duck myself, I bought some roast duck.
Although none of my guest raved about this, I personally liked it very much, and even had the leftovers for lunch the next day. This is how I went about it.
Some diced raw garlic (about 1 bulb, I guess)
Oyster Mushrooms, sliced finely (about 300gms)
Half a Roast Duck, deboned, and sliced finely
Generous amount of coriander, finely chopped
10 basil leaves, finely chopped
250ml olive oil
4 red chillies, diced
500gms vermicelli pasta
1. Heat a little bit of the olive oil, or grapeseed oil, fry a small portion of the garlic until fragrant, and fry the roast duck together with the oyster mushrooms, to impart a lovely garlicky ducky flavour to the mushrooms. Set aside
2. Using rest of olive oil, slowly fry the garlic, and diced chilli. It should give a lovely aroma.
3. Boil the pasta to al dente.
4. Toss all the ingredients together, and sprinkle chopped herbs to incorporate.
5. Serve with parmesan if desired.