This Wednesday is one of Tim’s favorite Jewish festivals. It’s Shavout. Now he’s not religious. In fact he’s not even Jewish! And I don’t think he could tell you what Shavout is all about. But he knows which cake goes with which festival and for Shavout it’s Cheesecake. Tim loves cheescake. So, you can imagine how happy I was to receive this new book Cheesecake, by Hannah Miles, Ryland, Peters and Small publishers in the post last week.
Hannah Miles was a finalist on Masterchef back in 2007 and has since written loads of mouth watering books including The Gluten-free Baker: Delicious Baked Treats for the Gluten Intolerant, Doughnuts, Popcorn Treats and Mini Cakes to name just a few. Let’s just say she’s been pretty busy!
The latest book has ’60 classic and original recipes for heavenly desserts’. Each page has the most yummy looking cheesecake. I seriously want to try them all. There are some really clever concoctions and mixtures in here that I would never have thought of.
I decided to let Tim choose which cake I would make this year for Shavout from the book. Would it be Sticky Toffee cheesecake or Key lime pie cheesecake? Or maybe something really different like salty honeycake cheesecake? Nope! He wants a New York cheesecake – complete with added black cherries. What is it they say? You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him step away from his favorite flavour! So New York it is!
So, What’s in the book?
Well there are tons and tons of great recipes including baked, fridge and gelatine based cakes. Most gelatines aren’t kosher so I haven’t tried any of those yet, but as I love a baked Cheesecake the most I don’t think it’s going to be a problem!
I love it when an author spells out exactly what it is she uses for her ingredients. It’s also great to have the bare basics explained – ie what the different types of cheescakes are and how they are made. This is the part of the book that teaches us the most I think. It’s what I read while enjoying my breakfast each morning. Planning my day. Escaping into a world of cream cheesey yumminess!
Vanilla, Fruits of the forest, Raspberry ripple to name just a few!
These flavours are not what you would expect- Champagne rhubarb cheesecake, Lemon meringue cheesecake, Caramalised banoffee cheesecake are just a few that look really moreish.
Candy bar cheesecakes
Now these will really whet your appetite – Rocky road cheesecake, Honeycomb cheesecake, Chocolate hazelhut cheesecake (that’s what I would have chosen to make first!)
These are the ones I would make for a dinner party to impress! Chocolate chilli cheesecake, Hibiscus, raspberry and pomegranate cheesecake or Crème brȗlèe cheesecake.
Around the world cheesecakes
For an interesting twist on cheesecakes these look yummy. American pumpkin cheesecake, Greek Baklava cheesecake, Polish cheesecake and Black forest cheesecake – I think Tim must have missed that one!
So, to sum up…
This book is yummy. It doesn’t have any of those odd or wacky flavours you often find in books on just one type of cakes – like the cook has run out of ideas and has had a look in her kitchen cupboards for inspiration and thought ‘I know, I’ll make tea flavoured cheesecake’ – I have a book with tea flavoured cheesecake in it! Every single cake looks amazing and is really straightforward to make. There aren’t any difficult to get ingredients and for those that are less run of the mill Hannah makes alternative suggestions. We couldn’t get clotted cream so we just used double cream- that sort of thing.
In all I think this is going to become my dinner party favorite cook book. Whenever we have anyone over I am going to make a different cheesecake because everyone loves a cheesecake… don’t they?
Cheesecake by Hannah Miles is published by Ryland Peters & Small at £16.99 and is available from www.rylandpeters.com