Back when I first started teaching myself to cook, when I first lived away from my folks and grew so very sick of pasta I bought a cookbook. It was a thin little thing called “Quick and Simple Chinese” and I got it at Oscars Art Books for about $4.99. Contained within was a recipe for something called Son in Law Eggs. The idea is that a prospective son in law would make these apparently quite complex but actually very simple eggs to impress the parents of his lady love. For a while now I’ve been toying with the thought of stealing this idea and applying it to dessert. All I needed was a foolproof dessert that anyone could make with very little actual effort or skill involved. I think I have it, too. A simple cheesecake with some fun flavours that really isn’t as hard to make as you might think. A Son in Law Cake, if you will.
In my experience, most people like cheesecake, even people who say they don’t. Not sure why that is, but it just seems to be the case. Although it seems fancy (and we’ll be dressing it up just a little) there’s really not much to it. Cheesecake is made with simple and common ingredients. It’s easy to put together and is best made the day before. As an added bonus, and also because I don’t think a good cheesecake ever needs a crust, it’s gluten free for those that care about that kind of thing.
500g Hard Cream Cheese (room temperature to prevent lumps)
Juice and Zest of 1 Lemon
30g Grated Ginger
Beat the cream cheese until it’s noticeably lighter and the volume increases somewhat. Next, combine the cornstarch and sugar and whip that mixture into the cream cheese. Once your mixture is smooth and creamy (this process is appropriately called “creaming”) add in the ginger and lemon stuff. Next mix in the eggs, one at a time and finally mix in the cream. Once the batter is smooth, pour into an 8″ round cake pan lined with parchment and bake at 325° for about 45 minutes or until it just barely wiggles when you shake the pan. Pull it from the oven, allow to come to room temperature and toss in the fridge overnight. To get it out of the pan just run a hot knife around the edges and turn out on to a plate.
Cheesecake is fine on its own but, as promised, we’ll dress it up with some pseudo-fancy topping which will both elevate it and give a little extra moistness. For that we really can’t do better than macerated strawberries. Aligning nicely with the theme for today, they’re easier than you might think. Just slice a bunch of strawberries and toss in just enough sugar to lightly coat and leave it alone for an hour or so, Just put a few of the strawberries on the cake and bask in the praise you will no doubt receive. Done.
Now for some classy dessert music. Happy Monday, folks.