Monthly Archives: September 2012

Baked American Cheescake Recipe – Just amazing !

I have been a lover of cheesecake for as long as I can remember. Cheesecake, of course, comes in various styles but my favourite is the baked variety. I have eaten baked American cheesecake in New York, Las Vegas, Florida and Chicago but this recipe makes better cheesecake !  I have been using this recipe for many years and when I make this for dinner guests they all say how fantastic it is and they want the recipe !

It’s easy to make, and the preparation takes me about 30 minutes and the cooking time is about an hour.

Baked American cheesecakeThis receipe serves eight people and here are the ingredients:-

350g digestive biscuits

100g butter (melted)

675g cream cheese (full fat)

225g caster sugar

3tbsp cornflower

2 large eggs, beaten

300ml whipping cream

1tsp vanilla extract

350 frozen mixed summer fruit berries

Extra 4tbsp caster sugar for the sauce

You will also need:-

1 round 24cm loose bottomed cake tin, greased with butter and lined with grease proof paper.

1 roasting tray

Method

Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C on fan) or gas mark 4

To make the base, crush the biscuits until they look like breadcrumbs. I do this by weighing the biscuits and then putting them in a freezer bag and hitting them with a rolling pin.

Put the crushed biscuits in a bowl and then pour in the melted butter and mix it all together. Put the mixture into the base of the lined cake tin and press down until it’s level.

I then use a Magimix food processor to mix the cream cheese, caster sugar and cornflower, and then add the eggs, cream and vanilla. The mixture needs to be smooth before pouring it onto the biscuit base in the cake tin.

Pour 2cm of boiling water from a kettle into the roasting tray and then sit the cake tin in the hot water and put it into the oven for about an hour or until the top of the cheesecake goes light brown all over. To get an even brown colour you may need to turn the cheesecake around in the oven once or twice.

To make the berries, put them in a saucepan with the 4tbsp of caster sugar and gently heat until they turn into a nice sauce. Leave them to cool in the fridge ready to pour over the cheesecake.

I guarantee that this is a “melt in your mouth” cheesecake !

Haworth to Top Withens and a nice chat with a wheel clamper !

It was a pleasant September day as we headed for Haworth and Bronte country for a 11km Saturday walk.

I parked the car in the first car park I found in Haworth and walked over to the pay and display machine. It suddenly occurred to me that this might be the car park that has been in the news for wheel clamping. As I approached the ticket machine an elderly man approached and asked if I wanted to buy his book.He said he was also the car park owner. I asked if he was the Haworth car clamper who has been in the news, and he said he was, but that it was all blown out of proportion and he hadn’t clamped anyone for years!

Anyway, my wife, who is an avid reader, bought his book for £10 because he said all the money went to charity and if we displayed the book in the car windscreen we could park for free. I read the sign next to the ticket machine and noticed that the sign said cars must be parked in the bays or they would be clamped. I checked and sure enough I had parked correctly.

Anyway. with boots on, we set off with map in hand past the Bronte Parsonage nearby and followed the path towards cemetery Road which lead eventually from the road to a walkers path towards Bronte Waterfalls. A lady dog walker we chatted to said that we should cover up as there were a lot of midges – we have the bites to prove she was correct !

 

The path to Bronte Waterfalls is a little rough in parts but the waterfalls themselves are not the most spectacular I have seen but its a pretty spot. On the way there you can see Lower Laithe reservoir on your right. At Bronte Waterfalls we then crossed a small bridge and there is a short steep climb to the top where you can look back on Bronte Waterfalls and fabulous views beyond. It’s probably a good 30 minute walk from here to Top Withens, which you can see in the distance on a hill.

The views from Top Withens are great and we sat on a bench next to the ruins of the old house that was once someones house and are said to have been the inspiration of the novel Wuthering Heights.

Heading back down the hill we joined the Pennine Way and it was a pleasant walk down to the village of Stanbury. After the village turn right and cross the dam of Lower Laithe Resevoir and then left near the water treatment works and back to Cemetery Road and then it’s just a short walk back to the Parsonage in Haworth.

Overall, the walk is about 11km and it took us 3.5 hours.

After a well-earned coffee and cakes at The Stirrup in Haworth village we walked back to the car park. It was when we entered the car park that I noticed there were several annoyed car owners. At least 3 cars had been clamped for parking outside the bays and their owners were remonstrating with the clamper. Our car was not clamped. I went over to talk to the clamper and he said our car was fine. The car owners had to find £90 to have the clamp released and they were not at all happy !

As we headed back to Leeds feeling good about our walk we couldn’t help feeling sorry for the clamped car owners who had by a matter of inches fallen foul of the infamous car clamping rules at Changegate car park.

Cat Bells walk from Littletown

Last weekend I spent two nights in The Lake District. There were four of us and we stayed at Little Town Farm near Keswick, a Bed & Breakfast guest house with amazing views of the Newlands Valley.

We headed off from Leeds on the A65 towards Kendall and Windermere and then north towards Keswick. It’s a few years since I have been to Keswick and it’s now pedestrianised which is great. We checked in at Littletown Farm with a welcome from the owners Rob and Sarah and fresh coffee and homemade cake. The rooms are small, but with comfortable beds and amazing views to the fells from the bedroom windows.

 

On the Friday night we caught a taxi into Keswick costing £10 and went for a drink at Bar26, a trendy cafe-bar on Lake Road, before heading off to Morrels. Morrels is a restaurant I can highly recommend. For £19.95 we had a superb 3 course meal. Maybe it was the fresh air but the food at Morrels together with a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc and  nice bottle of Rioja went down very well.My Braised Daube of Beef on Mash with Red Wine & Root Vegetable Gravy was excellent.

Top of Cat Bells in The Lake DistrictThe next morning after a very good Cumbrian breakfast at our Bed & Breakfast we put on our walking boots and set off from Little Town to Cat Bells. It’s a fairly steep climb from Little Town but when you reach the top at Hause Gate you get brilliant views of Derwent Water and beyond. At Hause Gate we turned left and headed towards the summit of Cat Bells which is only another 20 minutes walk. As we reached the summit of Cat Bells we were asked if we wanted a cup of tea ! On Cat Bells there was a tent and a group of men were raising money for a trip to Pakistan to climb K7. That tea went down really well and we then headed off down the other side of Cat Bells. During the walk down there are a couple of tricky rocky sections that you have to negotiate. If it’s wet you have to be careful but otherwise you will encounter a steady stream of people including families. It’s no surprise because Cat Bells is one of the most popular walks in Lakeland.

We soon reached the road and we then walked to Hawse End where you can catch the ferry-boat that runs around the lake at regular intervals. Two stops later we arrived in Keswick. It was a Saturday and a busy market day.One of our party had to find a pharmacy as he had been stung. I had an ice cream !

 Later, we headed back to the ferry as we were catching the ferry to Brandelhow Bay landing point which is at the south end of Derwent Water. We were heading back to Hawse Gate which involved a steep climb. This is where I discovered that I was not as fit as I should be !

From Hawse Gate we descended down the other side to Little town Farm and I slipped on a loose rock and ended up going down heavily on my knee. There was no lasting damage though and we reached our B&B where we sat outside drinking tea and eating cake in the glorious sunshine.

The next morning after yet another fantastic cooked Cumbrian breakfast we paid our bill and headed off towards Buttermere. It’s a 20 minute drive over a high pass called Newlands Hause and you also see Moss Force waterfall which is a spectacular sight. There is a small parking area where you can stop at this point to take photos and walk over to the falls.

We parked behind the Fish Hotel in Buttermere and our plan was to walk around Buttermere. Buttermere is a beautiful stretch of water surrounded by high fells, one of which is Hay Stacks. It’s about 5 miles around the lake. Our intention was to climb Hay Stacks but the exertions of the previous day had taken its toll on unfit walkers so we decided to leave that for another time. The walk around Buttermere is easy and it’s a popular walk.

Arriving back in Buttermere an hour and a half later we found a nice coffee shop before heading back to the car park to set off on our journey back to Leeds.

I would highly recommend Littletown Farm guest house. The owners are very friendly and they also do evening meals from time to time. We ate there on the Saturday night and we were impressed with the food.

Overall we had a great weekend in The Lake District.