I don’t usually blog on a Sunday, and this post may well only just make it onto the blog before midnight, but I was really keen to join in with The Bloggers’ Cut – a blogging event created and hosted by Michelle who writes over at Veg Plotting. The event is part of the Chelsea Fringe 2013, and brings together garden bloggers, linking up to share their gardens and cakes… that’s right, it’s that perfect combination of gardening and cake. To get your fix of gardens and cakes, you might want to take a look at ‘I knew you were coming so I baked a cake’. But, before you go, I thought we could have a quick ‘catch up’ on a couple of things that I’ve posted about recently and, of course, there will be cake.
Firstly, news of the bee house. The bee, and I think it may just be one bee, has been working very hard, and now two of the tubes have mud seals. I’m hopeful that the sealed tubes are full of eggs, each one well provisioned with pollen, and that next year there will be a whole new generation of bees emerging from the bee house to pollinate the fruit trees in the garden.
Then there were the blueberry plants, a bargain buy from the diy store. They had a wee setback during the hardening off process, when I forgot to put them back in the cold frame on an especially cold night. The leaves turned a little purple at the tips, and the plants looked a bit sorry for themselves for a while afterwards. But they seem to have recovered from this neglect now and are growing well, and flowering… there may yet be a handful of blueberries to harvest later this year.
And now for the cake. This is a cheesecake based on a recipe that my daughter made in a food technology class at school. It’s an unbaked cheesecake – easy to make, pretty quick compared to the baked variety, and delicious too. We’ve added to the original flavours, using rhubarb from the garden (I know, more rhubarb…) and stem ginger, to make a cake perfect for sharing on a warm afternoon in early summer.
Rhubarb & ginger cheesecake
3 tbsp syrup from a jar of stem ginger
1 heaped tbsp (about 2 knobs) stem ginger, finely chopped
150g ginger biscuits
75g unsalted butter, melted
250ml double cream
250g cream cheese
50g caster sugar
finely grated zest of 1 lemon and juice of ½ of the lemon
Grease a 20cm loose-bottom cake tin and line the base with baking parchment.
Chop the rhubarb into small chunks. Put in a saucepan with the ginger syrup and cook over a medium heat until the rhubarb is tender and falling apart. Stir in the chopped stem ginger, remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
Crush the ginger biscuits to make crumbs. Add the crushed biscuits to the melted butter and mix thoroughly. Tip the biscuit mixture into the prepared cake tin, spread evenly across the base and firm down gently. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
While the base is chilling, whisk the cream in a large mixing bowl until it forms stiff peaks. Add the cream cheese and sugar and stir through the cream until everything is combined and you have a smooth mixture. Add the lemon zest and juice, and stir through.
Now there are two ways to add the rhubarb and ginger to the cheese mixture. You can either spread the cheese and cream mixture evenly over the chilled biscuit base, then spoon the rhubarb over the top and gently mix it in so that it flavours just the upper 1cm or so of the cheesecake. Or you can add the rhubarb to the cheese mixture and swirl it through before spreading it over the biscuit base.
Either way, once assembled the cheesecake should be put back in the fridge to chill for an hour or two. Then you just need a pot of coffee, a warm afternoon and a garden to sit in.