Saturday, 31 January 2015

A little bit of Nigella for Australia Day

Chocolate Baked Cheesecake

Gosh  it's been a long time since I blogged. I assure you I have been cooking quite a bit, but just haven't had the time to blog about it! 2014 rolled on with work, study (almost finished my final year), buying and selling (and shifting) houses, and a bad bout of depression. Now that that is mostly out of the way  and there's no study until March, I thought it was time to share an update and a recipe.
We have bought a home at Warrandyte and moved just prior to Christmas. Warrandyte is like a country village but only 15 minutes further from the city than Doncaster was (and the same distance to my workplace). We really are in the bush and while this means we have to be mindful of bushfire risk,  it is just so beautiful and peaceful, alive with wildlife, and friendly and relaxed. It's like being on holidays all the time!

My son James hand-feeding Barry the King Parrot
Moving day saw our new next door neighbours bring us home made scones fresh from the oven, complete with tubs of home made jam and fresh whipped cream. It was about 3pm and we hadn't had time for any lunch so it couldn't have been a better thing for them to do. Food is a great way to say "Welcome". They had somewhat underestimated our penchant for  consuming scones though (scone eating being a Higgs family tradition) and they disappeared very quickly. These same neighbours have since had us over for home made pizzas from their backyard pizza oven, and these were divine. Sharing food and drinks is such a good way to get to know people. I took a batch of my special choc chip cookies I've been making for years and these were a hit with the kids and adults alike. We have had a few friends and family round for meals on our deck already, but must return the neighbourly favour. Also on moving day the removal truck got stuck in our very steep driveway and could not get out. After an hour of struggling with makeshift tow ropes, neighbours over the road took pity and came over and towed them out. Yes it is very friendly around here.

Our home among the trees
So on to Australia Day (January 26th) and of course we had the good old Aussie BBQ. For dessert on Australia Day, pavlova is always a favourite being an Australian icon, but I wanted to try something new. I've made a couple of cheesecakes lately (as I often do) and the kids haven't liked them as they have had fruit and so forth in them.  I have beautiful recipes for choc-orange and chocolate and raisin, but they wanted plain chocolate. I prefer to make baked cheesecake for special occasions, so I searched and found a recipe for baked chocolate cheesecake from Nigella Lawson. I chose Nigella's as I have never had anything of hers fail me. It was a bit of a fiddly recipe, cooking the cheesecake in a water bath, which I have not done before. But the result was a superbly textured light cheesecake, not terribly sweet. Nigella recommends you can eat it without anything if you choose, but I added her glaze, some berries and some clotted cream. It didn't really need the cream given the texture and lack of sweetness. For me, it probably wasn't sweet enough. I would be inclined to add a sweeter sauce, or a bit more sugar. But it is nonetheless a beautiful dessert, and depends on your taste. Our guests loved it.

Oh, and you have 3 left over egg whites with this recipe, so you could still make that pavlova after all!

I was a little sceptical about the use of McVitie's 'digestive' biscuits in a base of a baked cheesecake, but it was actually quite a nice crisp base. My favourite baked bases are shortbread style. If I made it again I might experiment with a baked chocolate shortbread base. What is a digestive biscuit anyway? I know my late mother-in-law always ate them (she was Irish). Similar to a wheatmeal biscuit, digestives originated in Scotland and were said to aid digestion. They are easy to crumble and you don't require a food processor. I have also used the chocolate topped McVities "Hob Nobs" in a variety of slices in the past.

For the base

·      125 grams digestive biscuits

·      60 grams butter

·      1 tablespoon cocoa powder

For the filling

·      175 grams dark chocolate (chopped small)

·      500 grams cream cheese

·      150 grams caster sugar

·      1 tablespoon custard powder

·      3 large eggs

·      3 large egg yolks

·      150 ml sour cream (or just use a 142ml pot)

·      ½ teaspoon cocoa powder (dissolved in 1 tablespoon hot water)

For the glaze (optional)

·      75 grams dark chocolate (finely chopped)

·      125 ml double cream

·      1 teaspoon golden syrup

Ingredients, including McVitie's Digestive Biscuits.


1.   To make the base, process the biscuits to make rough crumbs and then add the butter and cocoa.

2.   Process again until it makes damp, clumping crumbs and then tip them into a 23cm / 9 inch spring-form tin. Press the biscuit crumbs into the bottom of the tin to make an even base and put into the freezer while you make the filling.

3.   Preheat the oven to gas mark 4/180ºC/350ºF. Put a kettle on to boil (a big one!). Melt the chocolate either in a microwave or double boiler, and set aside to cool slightly.

4.   Beat the cream cheese to soften it, and then add the sugar and custard powder, beating again to combine. Beat in the whole eggs and then the yolks, and the sour cream. Finally add the cocoa dissolved in hot water and the melted chocolate, and mix to a smooth batter.

5.   Take the spring-form tin out of the freezer and line the outside of the tin with a good layer of cling-film, and then another layer of strong foil over that. This will protect it from the water bath.

6.   Sit the spring-form tin in a roasting pan and pour in the cheesecake filling. Fill the roasting pan with just-boiled water to come about halfway up the cake tin, and bake in the oven for 45 minutes to an hour. The top of the cheesecake should be set, but the underneath should still have a wobble to it.
7.   Peel away the foil and cling-film wrapping and sit the cheesecake in its tin on a rack to cool. Put in the fridge once it's no longer hot, and leave to set, covered with cling-film, overnight. Let it lose its chill before un-springing the cheesecake to serve.
8.   To make the chocolate glaze, very gently melt the chopped chocolate, cream and syrup. When the chocolate has nearly melted, take off the heat and whisk it to a smooth sauce. Let it cool a little, and then Jackson Pollock it over the chocolate cheesecake on its serving plate. Use the remaining glaze as an accompanying sauce.
Enjoy if you make this one! And I promise it won't be such a long break until my next blog!

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Food for the Moon walk

45 years ago today man walked on the moon - What were you eating at the time?

It's funny how the memory of that day brings back memories of food! I know what I ate that day!

I was nine  years old and attended a small country school of about 40 pupils, We only had one television set, and it was in a small room where we wouldn't have all fitted to watch the moon landing. So a few groups of us were sent to pupils nearby homes. Mine was just across the paddock.
I can't remember who was there with me from school, and I can't even remember much about the moon landing on the old hazy black and white TV, but what I do remember is that mum made us all sardine sandwiches! Yes, those ones out of a tin that everyone ate in the 60s.
Mum was very keen on all things tinned in those days - sardines, herrings in tomato sauce, lambs tongues in aspic jelly, tinned corn beef, camp pie, and of course at Christmas the inevitable tinned ham. I suppose it was a hangover from pre-refrigeration days, this penchant for canned protein.
We did at one point only have an ice-chest for cold storage. I used to love going with dad to the ice store and picking up a massive ice block. The men who worked there would haul huge blocks of ice around with gigantic ice plyers (not the technical term) and place it on the tarpaulin in the boot. The ice block went in the top and the food went underneath.

It's interesting how our food norms change in relation to technology, plus lots of other reasons of course  (such as reality cooking shows!)
So when I think of the moon landing I think of Sardine sandwiches. What about for you?  What were you eating (if you were around then - I think most people who have the ability to post on blogs weren't born back then!).
I have to say I eat a lot less tinned food these days, and haven't touched a sardine since my childhood!

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Cookie Monster!

As well as the pumpkin fest today, I also made another sweet treat from the blog of the Brown Eyed Baker  Since starting blogging recently, I've found one of the best things about blogging is being able to follow other people's blogs. There are some wonderful ones out there - I've signed up to follow a range of cooking, design, and photography blogs- but my favourite (so far) is this one.
While I cook many more things than I find time to blog about, The B.E.B blogs several times a week and has a huge trove of past recipes to link to. The collection of recipes to accompany the Superbowl was nothing short of breathtaking!
Brown eyed baker is an American blog, but there are some good conversion tables online to change the tablespoons of butter to grams, and decipher the various flour varieties etc.
Early in the year I made Christmas Crack, an addictive American treat made with Saltine biscuits (Premiums here). Apparently it's a common Christmas treat there, but I had never heard of it. For Valentines day I tried the Red Velvet poke cake - again a new one on me, Very very sweet, but it went down a treat at the office. And recently I made her sea salt and cashew chocolate chip cookies, which were the best cookie I've ever tasted!
Today I made a chocolate chip cookie cake. Apparently often used as a children's birthday cake, but again a new idea to me. It looks great, like an enormous tart-like cookie, and we'll try it  tomorrow with some vanilla bean ice cream.

Saturday, 22 February 2014

A Pumpkin kind of Sunday

 A Pumpkin kind of Sunday

Flo Bjelke Petersen may have been ideologically unsound, but she sure knew her way around a pumpkin! Today I made her Pumpkin Tea Cake for the birthday celebration of a workmate (Mary) tomorrow. It's a simple yet deliciously light recipe, with a hint of orange, cinnamon icing and toasted coconut. I have made this recipe many times over the years, and it's always perfect! Like all food, it brought back memories. I recalled my mum making Flo's fabulous pumpkin scones for a party I held back around 1984. I was given to hosting crazy fancy dress parties in those days. This one was an ethnic food and dress party at which people came in dress from a variety of lands and brought a variety of  exotic food and drink. Apart from dressing as a gypsy and drinking sake (big mistake), all I can recall is my mum and dad and them showing us how to jitterbug to Glenn Miller while the floor of my grandma's old house (where I was living at the time) nearly gave way under the booming music and weight of the crowd. Ever the comedians, they had come dressed as Flo and Joh, Mum  bearing a tray of freshly baked pumpkin scones, while Dad was adorned with a giant peanut he had chiselled out of wood for the occasion! After all, they said, Queenslanders are a race apart! I have a photo somewhere, but could only find this one of Mum in her Flo outfit including the obligatory apron and clutching copies of the pumpkin scone recipe for anyone who wanted one.

I like to use butternut pumpkin in my cooking as I like the flavour, but any pumpkin would be fine. The other note I make is about herbs and spices.  I have to say I prefer fresh herbs and have a reasonable herb garden. You can't under-rate the  excellence of grinding your own or buying upmarket dried herbs and spices. The cinnamon I used today is Sri Lankan Cinnamon from Phillipa's in Armadale, one of my favourite providores. I also have some amazing sweet paprika a friend brought back from Hungary!

Flo's Pumpkin Tea Cake
250g butter
3/4 cup caster sugar
11 teaspoon grated orange rind
2 eggs
1/2 cup mashed pumpkin (about 100g raw)
1/2 cup dessicated coconut
2 cups self raising flour
3/4 cup milk
60g butter
1 cup icing sugar
1 tablespoon milk
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Beat butter and sugar together. Add orange rind. Add eggs one at a time. Add mashed pumpkin and coconut. Stir in sifted flour alternately with milk. Grease a deep 20cm round pan and line with greased baking paper in the bottom. Pour mixture into prepared pan and cook in moderate oven (180c - 200C) for about 1 1/4 hours. (My oven is quite hot and I only cooked for 50 minutes).

While I was at it with the pumpkin, I decided to make some Roast Pumpkin pasta sauce for Meg. This is a fairly easy and yummy sauce. It uses chicken stock but I substitute vegetable stock to make it vegetarian. I use fresh thyme from my garden, you can't beat it! My son also likes this one. It can be served with any pasta, but I use pappardelle.

Roasted Butternut sauce on Pappardelle
1.4kg pumpkin, cut into 2cn pieces
4 garlic cloves
3 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
100ml olive oil
2 tablespoons cream
1/4 cup hot chicken (or vegetable) stock
500g pappardelle
shaved parmesan and fresh thyme leaves
Preheat the oven to 200C. Place the pumpkin, garlic, thyme and 1/4 cup (60ml) of the oil in a bowl and toss together.
Season with salt, transfer to a baking tray and cook for 30 minutes until golden and tender. Meanwhile cook the pasta in a large saucepan until al dente. Drain and return to the pan. Toss through the remaining oil and keep warm.
Place the cooked pumpkin and the cream in a processor and blend till smooth. Add the hot stock and process again till smooth. Season with salt and black pepper and gently toss through the warm pasta. Divide into 4 servings and top with parmesan  and thyme. Serve immediately.

Sunday, 2 February 2014

A high time at tea

Doesn't everyone love a high tea?

There's something magical about sitting down with beautiful table linens, pretty china, a crystal glass of bubbly and a range of dainty sandwiches, savouries and sweet delicacies.

One of the loveliest Mother's Days I had was spent at the Waiting Room at Crown Melbourne having High Tea with family and friends.

I wanted to invite my workmates over for a get together away from the office. Work's been stressful lately so they needed spoiling.  So on Australia Day weekend, six of them who weren't going away popped over for the afternoon and high tea.

Lemon Meringue Coconut Cupcakes

Rhubarb and Vanilla, Mango, and Raspberry jams, served with Raspberry Cream and Chantilly Cream (and scones of course!). I made pineapple jam but it was overcooked ( I am not an experienced jam maker - will have to practice)

Love my Royal Albert Country Roses

This Sugar and Creamer  set was a gift from my late Aunt Nell

Sandwiches : Red salmon with cream cheese, lime, dill and lemon pepper
Lightly curried egg mayonnaise with watercress
Home cooked corn beef with Jarlsberg cheese and wholegrain mustard
Cucumber with tarragon butter

Passionfruit curd and marscapone tarts - one of my favourites (recipe below)
Mini sausage rolls with smoked hickory sauce
Curried vegetable puffs with pickled cucumber sauce (not pictured)

Scones made by my daughter Meg.

It was a beautiful day, and not too hot after our severe heatwave.

Our final conquest for the day was an old favourite of mine, the no-bake biscuit cake. This recipe uses Nice biscuits dipped in coffee and rum and sandwiches them between layers of chocolate buttercream. It is a superb recipe and reportedly has been served to the Royal family at Balmoral A fitting end to an English tradition.

Passionfruit Marscapone Tarts
These little tarts are so delicious and not too difficult to make. The shortcrust pastry, made in a food processor, turns out beautifully every time and can be used with other fillings. They can be made in any size tart cases, I use small fluted loose based flan tins. I have also made this recipe as a single large flan.
300g plain flour
200g cold butter, cut into squares
100g icing sugar
25g almond meal
1 egg yolk
Combine dry ingredients in the food processor and pulse to combine. Add butter and pulse till mixture resembles bread crumbs. Add egg yolk and pulse again until mixture forms a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill until required.
You can make extra and freeze till needed, this recipe freezes well.
1 tub marscapone
2 tablespoons caster sugar
Mix until sugar is dissolved and mixture is smooth
Passionfruit curd
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup sugar
50g butter
85ml passionfruit pulp (a small tin or about 4 fresh passionfruit)
1/2 tablespoon custard powder
Mix custard powder with passionfruit pulp and whisk until there are no lumps. Add remaining ingredients. Microwave on high in 15 sec intervals, whisking in between until thick. Can also be done on the stovetop, stirring constantly, but microwave is easier.
Cooking the pastry:
Roll out the pastry and cut circles to fit pans. Or if, like me, you find this unbelievably tedious, just pop a blob of pastry in the tin and work it around and up the sides evenly with your fingers, using a knife to cut across the top of the tin to level. Prick with a fork and chill until quite hard. Cook at 180c until golden (6-10 mins). Cool.
Assemble tarts:
When pastry is cold, fill with marscapone and top with passionfruit curd. Chill until required.
These tarts keep quite well in the fridge in an airtight container for several days.
Chocolate - Coffee - Rum No bake biscuit cake
A little technical difficulty but a wonderful result in a short time.
100g/4oz plain chocolate in small pieces
175g/6oz unsalted butter
3 egg yolks
75g/3oz lump sugar
6 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon sugar
150ml strong black coffee
2 tablespoons dark rum
32 Nice biscuits (about 1 1/2 packets)
Melt the chocolate. I prefer to use the microwave to melt chocolate, 30 second intervals at 30%, stirring in between until melted. Cool slightly. Cream the butter until light and fluffy (I use the mix master), and then beat in the chocolate.
In a separate basin whisk the egg yolks lightly. Put the lump sugar and water in a small, heavy based saucepan and stir over low heat until sugar is dissolved. Boil rapidly until temperature reaches 105C/225F on a sugar thermometer (thread stage). Whisk into the egg yolks gradually until the mixture has a mousse-like consistency. Add to the butter mixture a little at a time, and beat well.
Dissolve the extra sugar in the coffee and add the rum. Quickly dip 8 biscuits into the coffee syrup and assemble into a rectangle on a plate. Spread with a little of the chocolate buttercream. Repeat layers twice more and finish with a final layer of biscuits. Spread the remaining buttercream over the top and sides of the cake. Finish by sprinkling with chocolate vermicelli or flakes (I use the Lindt tinned hot chocolate flakes). Chill until firm.
This  cake also keeps very well in the fridge for several days.
Happy high tea-ing!

Saturday, 1 February 2014

The Other Chef in the House... Dave's Cheesy Tomato Veal, with Hasselback potatoes and green beans

My husband Dave might say he's not much of a cook. Until a few years ago he was limited to bacon and eggs, or fish fingers.  That changed when he was off work for a few months and I was working full time for the first time in almost 25 years. He started to plan meals, shop and cook. It was great to come home and have dinner prepared. Food is so much more enjoyable when someone makes it for you!

Since then, and even now he's back in a demanding job, we share the cooking, and he's caught the bug, even seeking out recipes  in magazines (although not as much as I do!). One of his (and my) favourites to cook is this one. Its a low kilojoule recipe (although we use extra cheese) that is also absolutely scrummy and fairly easy to prepare. It uses fresh basil with tinned tomatoes, onion, garlic, and  is topped with mozzarella and parmesan cheeses.


Potatoes are a big part of our family's culinary life. With two vegetarian daughters who have been fussy about a lot of things, potatoes have always been a favourite staple. Not to mention the influence of our Irish ancestry! One of their favourites is scalloped potatoes in cream and cheese, but I have several other favourite ways of preparing the humble spud, of which a more recent one is Hasselback. So crunchy on the outside but soft inside..

1 tablespoon oil
1 chopped onion
1 crushed garlic clove
1 x 410g tin crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 chicken stock cube
1/2 teaspoon sugar
4 x 125g veal steaks
60g grated mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoons grated fresh parmesan cheese

Heat half the oil in the pan, add onion and garlic, cook, stirring, until onion is soft. Add tomatoes, half the basil, crumbled stock cube and sugar. Simmer uncovered for about 15 minutes, or until mixture thickens.
Heat remaining oil in pan, add veal and cook on both sides until lightly browned and tender. Transfer veal to a shallow ovenproof dish , spoon tomato mixture over and sprinkle with combined cheeses.
Cook under a hot grill until cheese melts and browns. Sprinkle with remaining basil.
Serve with steamed green beans and Hasselback potatoes.

I'll be doing a potato blog in the not too distant future, so watch out for my various potato cooking ideas there.

Sunday, 26 January 2014

 The Cheesecake Queen and the Professor

It sounds like a good title for a sitcom, don't you think? But it's actually about my opthamologist and our mutual love of cheesecake! I made him a raspberry swirl cheesecake when I had my most recent eye injection. But more about the cheesecake later. If you're just recovering from the thought of an eye injection - it's not as bad as you may think, especially when it's performed by someone skilled who has, as the receptionist said, 'a great bedside manner'.
Some background to my eye condition first. My mother was legally blind by around the age of 60. As far as any of us knew, she had macular degeneration, which is an age related deterioration of the macular. This causes distortion and ultimately total loss of  the central vision. I've known for over twenty years that I ran the risk  of developing AMD. My optometrist identified some early signs around the age of 30. In my  mothers case she had already experienced considerable distortion of her vision before it was detected, and in those days there was no treatment.  I was however placed on vitamin therapy which was having some success as a preventative measure. I have spent thousands on this over the last 20+ years. My mother grew up during the Depression and had a poor diet and no vitamins. So while I knew I was at risk, I was feeling fairly confident I'd be OK and if I did experience problems it would occur when I was much older.

My mum circa 1944

 About six months ago I happened to take the Amsler Grid test. It's a simple test (you can download it online) which you take to check for any signs of distortion. Had I known what I know now, I should have been taking it every week or so to pick up any changes early. I think I had been having troubles for up to 6 months when I finally realised. Because it is only in one eye for now, my other eye was compensating. I kept thinking my glasses were dirty. It wasn't until I picked up a grid while tidying my desk, and covering my 'good' eye, that I realised with great panic that my vision was quite distorted in one eye.
There were tell-tale signs over the past few years - I found a distinct loss of night vision and couldn't see in underground car parks, I couldn't see the lines on the road at night when it was raining. I kept telling my optometrist and he said maybe I should see an opthamologist, but never got around to referring me. But when I went straight in after the poor Amsler result, he said I had significant change in the eye and needed immediate opthamology. He warned me my 'AMD' may have changed from the slow moving but untreatable 'dry' type, to the potentially catastrophic (but treatable) 'wet' type, and that the treatment was an injection in the eye. Luckily a wonderful ophthalmic clinic was just upstairs and they had left for the day that day, but I spent several hours there the next day having many scans and tests, fluoriscene dye xrays, and was scheduled in for my first injection 2 days later.

My doctor is a professor  and so I just call him the "Prof". I had extensive neo-vascularisation he told me, and I didn't have AMD as such. My problem was genetic and no amount of vitamins would have helped it. But depending on my genetic markers, my prognosis could be quite different to my mothers. In the future he said I will need to have my genome sequenced (it could be sent over to China for about $2,500, however just last week a new machine was purchased here in Australia and we will be able to get it done locally for $1000. When you think it cost a billion just 10 years ago, we've come a long way, baby) and this will help in determining prognosis and treatment. He couldn't disguise it either - he seemed pretty excited to have someone to treat with this rare condition in amongst his mainstream clientele with AMD or diabetic retinopathy.


The injections themselves are of a chemotherapy drug. When I went home I scoured the internet and found that the therapy had only been given in England and the US for about 6 years, and had only been approved in Europe a few months previously. So it is still in the almost experimental stages and more is being learned as we go along. I like the idea that my journey can contribute to  learnings that can help others. But I found that on current data half of people's eyesight actually improves with the treatment, 40% gets slightly worse and 10% gets much worse.
So I had 4 injections at 1 month intervals, then this one
was an 8 week interval. I have responded well to treatment and next time is a 10 week interval. They are finding the maximum time anyone can go is 12 weeks before they relapse, although some have to go every 3 weeks. My eyesight did get worse sadly, and I think this is because I was fairly advanced when I started. When I started I could read with the bad eye to a reasonable extent, now I can not read at all, except for very large signs. But the Prof tells me if I hadn't started treatment I would probably be blind in that eye now, so I can't complain. And of course we will catch my good eye early when and if it also deteriorates. I have an 80% chance of that, regular AMD is around 50%. I was going to post a pic of an eye injection but decided it looked a bit confronting, but google it if you're interested, and in the meantime here's some raspberry puree!

So what does all this have to do with cheesecake? When I had that first shot I got some valium from my GP but was still feeling fairly shaky and apprehensive. The Prof started talking to me about cricket to distract me. Really? The cricket? Sorry, but I call the cricket "the boringness"! I come from a cricket mad family - my siblings and parents were all crazy about the cricket - watching it, playing it, talking about it. My mum, even when legally blind, sat in front of the TV watching from dawn to stumps as best she could, scrawling oversized calculations across copious notepads to tell us how many runs per over or ball they needed to average to win/lose. But sorry, I didn't share their enthusiasm and I did not want to be talking about the cricket at that moment in my life. But how Mum would have loved it if she had the chance!

So he changed the topic to dessert. What's you favourite dessert he asked. Cheesecake of course I said. Me too! he replied. He went on to tell me his favourite is the Cheesecake Shop strawberry flavour and he boasted he can eat a whole one! He also gave me permission to have dessert after my injection, a tradition I keep up.
At this point I wasn't even sure how many of these I would need to have. After it was over I asked the question - how long do I have to have these? He said well it's like this - until I die or you die. Mmm. Well I guess that means we are going to be a part of each other's lives then, and I cook for the people in my life. He says that even though I may not ever like the injections, I will 'make my peace' with them. I'm getting there. He said for someone who doesn't like them (er, does anybody actually like them?), I do very well.
So we have talked about dessert a few times, except for  the day he forgot and started talking about the cricket again!
I wanted to make the Prof and his many troops of nurses, doctors and radiologists a cheesecake for Christmas but didn't manage it in the rush, so took one today as a belated New Year offering. I made a no bake raspberry swirl which is not overly sweet but very creamy and delicious if you are fond of raspberries. He thanked me several times, proclaiming it his favourite. They were all planning to eat it for morning tea  the next day. I hope they enjoyed it!

All packed up and ready to go
250g butternut snaps
90 g butter
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons gelatine
500g light cream cheese
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 1/4 cup cream, whipped
250g frozen raspberries
2 tablespoons caster sugar, extra
Line the base of a 22cmspringform tin with foil and brush with oil. Process biscuits finely and mix with butter. Press firmly onto tin base and sides. Chill while making filling. 
Beat cream cheese till softened, add juice and sugar, beat until smooth. Gently fold in whipped cream.
Process raspberries and extra sugar until smooth.
Sprinkle gelatine over water in a small bowl. Stand bowl in boiling water and stir until dissolved. Cool slightly.
Fold just over half gelatine mixture into the cream mixture, and the remaining gelatine mixture into the raspberry mixture. Swirl the mixtures together in the tin.
Refrigerate 4 hours or until set. Decorate with whipped cream and raspberries.
Tip - this cheesecake is quite tart, if you like sweeter cheesecake I suggest adding more sugar to the raspberrries.