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It’s been a wild night tonight.  Not in a crazy, party way – but in a windy, rainy, stormy sense.  We were half way through tea when the lights went out.

Candle

We finished eating by the light of candles.  And as the flames flickered, the children worked out just how much we rely on electricity for our evening routine.  Dinner was cooked, so that was ok – we could eat.  But no power meant no lights, no heating, no showers… even the phone doesn’t work when the power is out.  Well, the modern phone doesn’t work – sometimes the old technology is best.  And explaining how to use an old-fashioned phone to a modern-day teenager was fun!

Phone

Earlier in the day I’d made some seasonally inspired cheesecakes, leaving them chilling in the fridge… which was no longer working, but still keeping things cool.  Flavoured with cranberries, ginger and lemon, they were maybe not perfect for a winter’s evening when the heating was off, but still pretty good.  And very easy to make… no baking involved.  They are light, with a creamy, lemony topping and good crunchy base.  This recipe is heavily based on one I blogged earlier this year.  I’ve adapted the measurements to fit four 31/2” (9cm) tart tins – individual cheesecakes.  And given the cheesecake topping a Christmassy feel by adding cranberries in place of the rhubarb and ginger.  Apart from that, it’s all pretty much the same.  I used hot, homemade elderberry cordial to soak the dried cranberries, but you could use your favourite cordial or even some warmed port…

Cheesecake

Oh, and the power – it came back on after a couple of hours.  Given the rough weather, it was really impressive how quickly the power company fixed things.

Cranberry & lemon cheesecake

50g dried, sweetened cranberries

¼ cup strong, hot elderberry cordial

105g ginger biscuits

50g unsalted butter

150ml double cream

150g cream cheese

30g caster sugar

zest and juice of ½ a lemon

Soak the cranberries in the hot cordial for 30 minutes or more.

While the cranberries are soaking, melt the butter over a low heat.  Crush the ginger biscuits to make crumbs, then pour in the melted butter and mix thoroughly.  Grease four 31/2” (9cm) tart tins, then divide the biscuit mixture between them.  Spread the mixture over the base of each tin and flatten with the back of a spoon.  Put the tins in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes.

Meantime, pour the cream into a large mixing bowl and whisk it until it is good and thick and standing in peaks.  In a separate bowl, stir together the cream cheese, sugar, lemon zest and juice until the mixture is smooth.  Add this mixture to the whipped cream, along with the drained cranberries.  Fold everything together until it is all evenly combined.

Take the cheesecake bases from the fridge and divide the topping between the four tins.  Smooth the cheese mixture over the bases.  Return the cheesecakes to the fridge and chill for a couple of hours before serving… candlelight is optional, but recommended.

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