A brief statement of purpose

There are already about a billion food blogs, so what might be a justification of yet another one, and who am I to do it?

What I aim to do in this blog is more than simply provide recipes. While recipes of my own will, in fact, be posted, some of the blog will consist of a variety of comments about restaurants and their practices, food preparation tips, personal annoyances (such as loud restaurants and the epidemic of misspellings on menus), and whatever else pops into my head relating to what we put in our mouths (and swallow, I hasten to add). The whole thing is meant to be somewhat provocative. I hope, if nothing else, it won't be boring. I, of course, solicit reader participation.

As for who I am and why I think I might have something to contribute to public discussions on this essential and pleasurable activity - eating - you'll have to click here.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Blueberry, banana, chocolate cheesecake

I like cheesecake very much. I also like bananas, blueberries, chocolate, and coconut milk. This recipe is a happy, even if polygamous, marriage of them all. Since this is also blueberry season, I offer it as a refreshing, not at all heavy, conclusion to a meal. Even in the off-season for blueberries, store-bought berries shipped thousands of miles will be fine for this recipe. If my wife hadn’t eaten the berries left over from this dessert for breakfast this morning, I would’ve perched some atop the slice you see in the photo - so just imagine they’re there. 
I used an 8-inch springform pan, which yields about six normal-sized servings. If you want to use a 9-incher, increase the cheese from 16 ounces to 24 ounces and the chocolate wafers from half a package of Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers to three-quarters of a package. Other ingredients can stay about the same. 
I seem to recall many years ago - maybe in the 1970s - word got out that Nabisco was going to drop their chocolate wafers. This bothered me so much at the time that I wrote them a letter pleading that they reconsider. Obviously, my interventionist efforts worked. Still, they can’t be found in every grocery store, so if you must, substitute Oreo or Hydrox chocolate cookies with the cream inside removed. 
Half of a box of Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers
1 Tbs ground cinnamon
5 Tbs butter, softened
16 oz mascarpone (substitute cream cheese if necessary)
3/4 cup sugar
5 tsp cornstarch
3 eggs
1 egg yolk
1 banana
1/4 c banana liqueur
4 or 5 oz coconut milk (not coconut cream)
2 tsp real vanilla
However many blueberries looks reasonable
  1. Place the wafers and the cinnamon in a food processor and reduce to a crumb consistency. Add the butter and process until the mixture feels slightly sticky. If it feels as dry as it was after processing only the wafers, add another Tbs or so of butter.
  2. Spray non-stick spray on the bottom and the sides of the pan. Press the wafer mixture on the bottom and the sides.
  3. In a food processor, combine the mascarpone and the next eight ingredients. Process  until well-mixed. Pour it into a large bowl, add the blueberries, and mix with a spatula.
  4. In the meantime, you will have turned on the oven to 350 degrees. Pour the cheese mixture into the prepared pie pan, and place in the oven for 15 minutes. After the passage of the 15 minutes, turn down the temperature to 231 degrees. (Actually, I’ve found it makes no difference whether the temp is 225 or 240 or 245.) Bake for an hour and 30 minutes. The top should show signs of slight browning, and it should be just a bit jiggly. It should not be clearly wet all over. If it is, keep it in the oven for another 15 minutes or so. This is the only tricky part about cheesecakes. You’ll just have to keep checking. When it appears to meet the above two criteria (in the fourth sentence before this one), remove from the oven and carefully run a sharp, thin knife around the edges. Allow to cool at room temperature, then place in the refrigerator uncovered for several hours before serving. 

No comments:

Post a Comment