Rhubarb and custard cheesecake.

Happy first day of spring! After what has felt like the longest winter in history, seriously! I’m so glad to know the warmer weather is on its way! Though, I won’t get overly excited, I do after all still live in one of the rainiest parts of England. To celebrate the beginning of a new season, and the fact that my cooking mojo has returned, I thought I’d make up something sweetly spring like. In the form of a Rhubarb and custard cheesecake. A crunchy biscuit base, topped with a layer of creamy custard cheese and subtly tangy rhubarb, finished with white chocolate crumb. DELICIOUS!

 

So, here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1/4 pack Digestive biscuits,
  • 80g butter, melted.
  • 400g cream cheese.
  • 200ml ready made custard
  • 80ml double cream
  • 2x cans of rhubarb in syrup OR 400g fresh rhubarb diced.
  • 1 sachet of gelatine granuals.
  • red food colouring.
  • white chocolate (I’ve used white mini eggs) crushed.

 

And here’s what you’ll need to do:

First, we’ll make the biscuit base. A very easy process. I’ve used my food processor, but you can very easily just bash those biscuits up.

And once your digestives have been turned to crumb, add in your melted butter, giving the whole thing a good stir up.

Line your tin with a piece of baking paper (this will make it much easier to take out of your tin later on.) and pour in your biscuit base, giving it all a good pressing down. Pop it into the fridge to chill whilst you move onto the filling.

Next up, the creamy custard and cheese filling. The best part in my opinion. To do this, simply pop your cream cheese and double cream into a bowl, before giving it all a good whisk up.

Then, very slowly add your pre-made custard.

Giving it all another good whisk up.

Once all of your mixture is thoroughly combined, take out your biscuit based cake tin and layer over your custard/cream cheese mixture, making sure its spread out evenly over.

Now, pop your cake tin into the freezer and start on the topping, the sweet tangy rhubarb layer. I used tinned rhubarb for this, mainly because a) its constantly available and b) its much cheaper than the fresh stuff – handy really considering it took me three attempts to perfect it. So, to make the topping, tip out your rhubarb, disposing of the syrup from one of the tins, our the syrup from the second into the pan.

Simmer, on a low heat for around 25 minutes (until the syrup has reduced and the rhubarb has broken into strands.) Once finished, pop on the windowsill to cool – not completely but enough so it isn’t bubbling.)

Once your rhubarb mixture has cooled slightly, we can make it look a little prettier – because that brownish stringy ‘gloop’ will not make for a pretty dessert! To do this I’ve added a very small amount of red food colouring – less is more! add little, build it up slowly, rather than adding loads.-

I’ve also added gelatine, this will firm up the top layer, I didn’t want it all to fall apart once sliced into, so I added one sachet to the mixture. giving it all a good stir.

Now, you can spoon your rhubarb over the last layer. Again making sure to distribute it evenly.

Now, pop it back in the fridge (or freezer if you need it to set a little quicker) and leave it to set.

Once set, its time to turn out your cheesecake onto your cake stand (or plate, whatever you fancy.) This is where the baking parchement will come in handy. I highly recommend putting your cheesecake into the freezer for fifteen minutes prior to doing this step. It will mean no accidental breakages – I skipped this step during the second try of this recipe and ended up with a sloppy mess!

If you like, you can just serve it is it is, but I wanted to fancy it up a little bit more and so I blended up some milky bar eggs into chunks and scattered them around the edges of the cheesecake.

I saved a few of the eggs whole, for the centre.

And, that is that. The deliciously creamy rhubarb and custard cheesecake is finished!

Ready take a slice…

…And serve.

Delicious!

Do let me know if you have a try!

Robyn,

The little woman pretends.

Making time for a date night.

Once upon a time, there was. Sam and I, no children (though we did get Minky the cat pretty early into our relationship) there was working hours and free time. It was a pretty simple time, we drank more then, a hell of a lot more, we’d be out with the cool kids every night of the weekend and seen as we lived in Cyprus, we’d spend our hangovers on the beach, trying to quench our hungover dehydration with orange lucozade and Calypso lollies. Ahhh they where the days.

Obviously, our lives have changed a lot since then, we’ve kids for one. Sam runs his own business now as well, so its work for him 8am-7pm every day. I have goals and ambitions now, so if I’m not making sure the house runs efficiantly, I’m blogging, or doing college work. When, finally we do find ourselves finished for the day, both to tired to actually do anything, we opt for tea in bed and whatever box set we’re currently engrossed in.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with this, one of my favourite times of day is when I slide in between those sheets after a hot shower. And when I asked Sam what he wanted to do for his birthday a couple of weekends ago, well…. it was to ‘do what we always do’

But sometimes, sometimes you’ve gotta’ make a little bit of effort. So when I got an email inviting me to Solita Prestons big unveiling of their private function room. Well, I double checked with Sam that we didn’t have too much on that day and signed us right up.

I was completely ready to cancel a couple of hours prior to attending, I was tired, I had to get dinner ready, cleaning to do, get Mischa to Rainbows. But then I realised… there is always 101 reasons not to go out. So, I applied some make up, dragged something out of my wardrobe and sorted a babysitter (thanks mother-in-law!)

I hadn’t been to Solita before, no real reason, its just on the off chance we decide to go to dinner on a child free night, we usually head to Franco’s, I order the same thing every time, as does Sam. I have two glasses of wine, and when we leave I say the exact same thing to him. ” I’m always so content when we leave here.”

Having said that, it was a lovely change to go somewhere different. I absolutely adore the Winckley square area of Preston, the grand Georgian buildings, the fact that its a suburban middle point between the sprawling peaceful landscapes of Avenham park and the bustling city centre. In fact, Sam and I have been lusting after a house just around the corner from Winckley square for the past few months. So, if anyone would like to give me £250,000 to buy it, that would be lovely! ha.

Anyway, back to our date night. I wasn’t sure what the plan for this event was, but I kind of hoped we’d just be left to it, like a dining experience rather than group activities. Thankfully, I was right and after being met by the front of house staff and guided through the truly chic interiors, we were ushered into the not as big as I expected private dining room.

It was by no means small, not at all. The type of place to host an intimate birthday party – in fact, if I were at all a ‘birthday party’ person, I would definitely choose this place. We were told the drinks on offer for the event, to sit were we fancied and that food would be served a bit later.

Simple.

The whole experience was very relaxed, from the seating arrangements, to the gentle music in the background. And oh, the food! Served in bitesize portions, we got to try a little bit of everything, the mini beef burgers were DELICIOUS – seriously, I’m still raving about them now!- to the chicken drumsticks with BBQ sauce. I even loved the vegan burgers – though it was a happy accident, I actually bit into one expecting fried chicken. Ha. The kitchen staff worked tirelessly, to keep a constant stream of food being brought out to everyone and the bar staff kept the drinks flowing nicely – maybe a little too nicely!

By 8pm, I had a full stomach, a wine induced gidyyness and I knew it was time to leave, I did after all have the school run and a whole load of pre-birthday preparation to be getting on with on Friday.

So, off we popped home, to do the bedtime run. Back to reality.

Our entire evening was lovely, we got to sit, eat, drink and just chat without any interruptions. something we definitely need to do more off. If anything, I remembered just how important it is for us to have regular nights off from life, we really did have a fabulous time enjoying each others company at Solita. Somewhere we’ll definitely be visiting again.

 

 

Robyn,

The little woman pretends.

Home life project: March edition.

I’m really loving this months HLP, I seem to have gotten my mojo back a little bit after barely picking my camera up for the past month. For this months edition, I wanted to get out of the house for the day, watch my little un’s run free and capture the beginnings of spring with it. My favourite season is Autumn, however there is something so special about spring, especially in the early days, the beginning of a new cycle, the purity of clear blue skies and the thirst for warm rays against your skin. This weekend has given me everything I needed to tackle this new month.

I documented our Saturday, a beautifully bright and kinda’ warm day. We had a lovely slow morning, lazing around, I did some cleaning, spent the majority of the morning outside clearing up the decking and giving my hens some attention. For the afternoon we hit Brockholes nature reserve, one of my favourite places. We walked for a couple of hours, through the woods, the open meadows, let the children play over on the park for a while before finishing up with ice cream by the lake. All in all it was a lovely day, and definitely what the doctor ordered.

 

 

 

 

 

Robyn,

The little woman pretends.