Here is tonight's supper. There are a lot of colds going around at the moment. Hubby is suffering from man-flu. I used left-over chicken bones to make our usual flu busting hot n sour soup (with shitake mushrooms) and the kids and I put together little blackberry cheesecakes, made with the blackberries from the hedgerows (just a bit cheaper than you get in the local supermarket or farm shop.)
Plus, we have home-brew plum wine which Hubby made. All very effective in clearing the sinuses, boosting the immune system and soothing aches n pains... unless you drink too much plum wine. Then you are guaranteed a headache in the morning!
The cheesecakes are a combination of a Delia Smith and a CBeebies 'I Can Cook' recipe. As follows:
1. To make the base, we crushed a few ginger and a few digestive biscuits in sandwich bags with a rolling pin and binded the mixture together with melted butter in a saucepan.
2. The biscuit mixture was divided into individual little pudding glasses, flattened with the back of a spoon and left to set.
3. In a mixer we put a tub of Quark cheese, about 3 tablespoons of sugar, few drops of vanilla essence and a squeeze of lemon juice... and whizzed it all up.
4.) This mixture was then spread as the next layer on top of the biscuit mixture.
5.) Then for the blackberry topping. We put about a cereal bowl full of blackberries in a pan with a few spoons of sugar and simmered without any added water. Then we put in 2 teaspoons of arrowroot which had been mixed with a tablespoon of water. This gives the mixture a thicker texture, similar to what you get with shop bought cheesecakes. This mixture was then spread over the top as the final layer.
What about quantities? Well, I don't bother too much with that kind of thing. I have O'Level cookery so I have a feel for what is right (hee, hee). When it came to the sugar, I think we go less than what would be used in a typical recipe as only Henry seems to have a sweet tooth. The rest of us are happy with natural, even sour flavours. I did end up with too much blackberry mixture though. That has been put in a jar in the fridge and I think will be perfect for putting on top of museli or porridge with some yoghurt. Or could even be spread on toast - it is quite jam-like.
I'm going now to watch the last part of 'Gareth Malone's Extraordinary School for Boys'. I wonder if he succeeded in his goal to raise the boys' reading age by six months. I do hope so.