Sunday, 22 April 2007

Chocolate Cheesecake - Gluten free, Egg free, Dairy free

The foundations of our marriage have been rocked on a few occasions, and always by the same thing. Not by extra-marital dalliances, nor by money, but by…the washing-up.

In The Early Days of marriage, smug wives told me of the OCTOWU principle. They spoke happily of this easy and simple formula for marital bliss. One Cooks The Other Washes-Up. I thought this sounded marvellous and decided we should implement OCTOWU without delay.

Alas, OCTOWU was a non-starter in our house. I would hold up my end of the bargain and enthusiastically cook tasty dishes (it was The Early Days). Yet when it came to keeping up his end, the bargain tottered and fell down. He agreed in principle, but argued that a completion time for the washing-up had not been specified. He thought it was OK to wash-up the next day. Yet he would arrive home AT dinner time, so I would have to wash-up in order to cook dinner. Remonstrations, debates, glass-smashing, nothing would prevail on Monsieur to wash-up directly after dinner.

We didn’t resolve the problem. We skirted round it, patched it up, tried again, pretended it didn’t really happen and that it wasn’t that bad. We even bought new toys to try and spice things up, but dishwashers don’t wash everything, and the washing-up is always there.

Over the Easter weekend I put the children to bed and husband ‘did’ the kitchen. I eventually stumbled down to find the sink full of pots and pans. I was too tired to control my reaction and launched off.

We don’t really do shouting, we flick razor-sharp barbed comments at each other in a very nasty way. The spat escalated and I had my final parting barb balanced on my thumb ready to flick in his direction. I was going to launch it and then retire to the bedroom. What happened next was very unexpected. HIS barb hit me just above the ear, and then HE left the room and went to bed. He never does that, and now I had nowhere to go.

So I made some truffles. The furious whisking was cathartic. And as I whipped the glossy custard I realised I could probably add some ‘eggs’ and make a ‘cheesecake’. So here is my ‘cheesecake’. I hope it doesn’t have a bitter and cross aftertaste. It is Raspberry Coulis on the plate, not my husband’s blood.

Cross CheesecakeFor the base: (this step can be done at least 24 hours in advance)
200g sunflower seeds
100g (+ 2 extra tbsps) linseeds
100g rice flour
175g dairy-free spread
200g sugar

For the filling:
350g dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids, gluten-free, here is a good one)
250g dairy-free spread
5 tbsps cognac
2 tbsps ground linseeds
1 tsp baking powder
0.5 tsp bicarbonate of soda
5 egg equivalents (I used Orgran ‘no egg’ egg replacer. I only mixed in 9tbsps of water instead of the 10 that would normally be required)
A few tbsps of sugar, use your judgement and tastebuds.

For decoration and for the raspberry coulis:
About 50g dark chocolate (minimum 74% cocoa solids, gluten-free,)
2 x 250g punnets of fresh raspberries
1-2tbsps icing sugar depending on taste

For the base:
  • Pre-heat oven to 190 degrees Celsius.
  • Grease and flour the base of a 26cm springform cake tin.
  • Put the sunflower seeds and linseeds into a liquidiser and whizz until they are ground. It doesn’t matter if there are lumps and bumps, it adds to the final texture.
  • Put the linseed mix into a large mixing bowl. Remove 2 tbsps and place in a separate bowl.
  • Add the flour and sugar to the linseeds and stir.
  • Melt the dairy-free spread in the microwave and stir it into the linseed mix. It should form a stiff paste.
  • Press the paste into the base of the springform tin, squidge it around until it is all even. You can use the back of a spoon to smooth it and make it even.
  • Bake in the oven for approximately 10 mins. Parts of it may rise up, but don’t worry, you can just push it back down. Aim for a pale golden colour on top and then remove it from the oven. It can cool for 24 hours if it needs to.
For the filling:
  • Pre-heat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius.
  • Melt the chocolate in a bain marie. (Put a small amount of water into a small saucepan. Place a large heatproof bowl on top. Heat the water until it boils. Put the chocolate into the bowl and stir until it has melted. The water shouldn't come into contact with the base of the bowl, but if it does, it's not the end of the world
  • When the chocolate has melted and is glossy, take it off the heat and mix in the dairy-free spread. Beat until it is smooth.
  • Add the Cognac, then add as much sugar as you feel it demands.
  • In a separate bowl whisk the egg replacers until they are frothy and have increased in volume. I did it manually, you could try an electric whisk, it would save your arm.
  • Fold the egg replacers into the chocolate mix. Add the 2tbsps of linseeds, the baking powder and bicarbonate of soda. Mix until it is smooth.
  • Pour the chocolate mix onto the biscuit base and place in the oven. It may help to put the tin on a pizza tray, it makes it easier to get in and out.
  • Bake the cheesecake for approximately 40 minutes although it may need slightly longer. It is cooked when the edges feel firm-ish and the middle is still a bit wobbly, don’t worry it all tightens up as it cools. It will rise around the edge during cooking and may sink as it cools. The surface may well go wrinkly and look a little too dark. Fear not, it can all be hidden as you shall see…
  • Cool the cake and then chill in the fridge, overnight is fine, it will probably need at least 4 hours.
  • Run a knife gently around the edge of the cake and release the springform tin. You’ll have to serve it on the base of the tin as the biscuit base is quite tricky to remove.
  • When ready to serve sprinkle the grated chocolate over the top of the cake and press it in slightly so that it adheres. Add more if required.

    For the raspberry coulis:
  • Either whizz the raspberries through a juicer, or liquidise them and then strain them through a sieve. (This takes ages, thankfully someone else did this bit for me. Debs, you’re a doll!)
  • Add the icing sugar and stir through. Arrange in pretty patterns on each plate, and have the rest in a jug on the table.
  • Leave the washing-up for someone else.
© Pig in the Kitchen 2007

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dulwichmum said...

Hurrah PITK you have returned!

I hope you didn't let Mr PITK have any of your truffles - the cheeky scamp!

If I was you, I would pop a cork on something he was treasuring in the cellar, let him see who is boss!

Pig in the Kitchen said...

He was allowed one truffle and a little piece of cheesecake. And he did some fabulous washing-up on saturday morning, so I think he's forgiven.

very bad at treasuring stuff in the cellar...I tend to drink the good stuff if his business trips last too long. Who was that woman who left her philandering husband's wine on all the village doorsteps, like milk bottles? Lady someone?! What a girl...

mutterings and meanderings said...

Welcome back Pig!

From a purely selfish point of view, I rejoice in your row because it led to the creation of what looks to be an amazing cheesecake. I adore cheesecake...

rilly super said...

dearest pig in the kitchen, what results can be hoped for by those fans of your receipes whose husband washes up or is away in London all the time, sigh? I think at the very least you should lend them your husband or add some barbed comments at the start of the recipe which couples can exchange to get them in the mood. Some stage direction will obviously be needed for the particularly lucky cones who never have rows such as 'puts hands on hips and shrugs' or 'storms off and slams door'. Glad you are back dear.

Drunk Mummy said...

Dear Pig,
Glad to see you back!
I'm impressed that you restrained yourself to 5 tablespoons of cognac in your "Cross Cheesecake" recipe. I might have been tempted to take a few additional crafty swigs out of the bottle.

spymum said...

Piginthekitchen, the spy household has exactly the same problem! And when he does do the dishes I have to redo them as they are usually covered with a delicate film of grease. Grr!

You are a very loving, kind wife for letting him have some truffles/cheesecake!

Pig in the Kitchen said...

M&M, hope this cheesecake is suitably adorable for you!

Rilly Super, how lovely to have your enigmatic self back for round two, you do intrigue me. Not least because you apparently have the perfect husband.

I think we can dispense with 'hands on hips and shrugs' and cut straight to the 'throws cutlery viciously into the sink and kicks stool out of the way whilst releasing a snarling stream of hissed invective from mouth'. Maybe that will help you the next time your hubby forgets to put petrol in the Saab. Have a super day dahling...

Drunk Mummy, not a big lover of Cognac, it's the red wine that does it for me!

Spymum, You are a better mum than me for re-doing the dishes. Try smashing them to make a point?!

Brom said...

I used to enjoy doing the washing up, when it was just two of us. I used to gain a lot of satisfaction putting everything away again (I'm not a tidy person generally I should add) Now, the additions to the family have shifted the work-novelty ratio into the procurement of a dishwasher.

Pig in the Kitchen said...

Brom, you are a wise man to buy a dishwasher. But does everything go in it? Do you put saucepans and the like in? Ay, there's the rub, there's always a bit that won't fit in!

mind the gap said...

As I have long maintained - a dishwashing machine is a marriage saver!

Anne Onn said...

So what do you do when after you've bought the dishwasher in the hope of restoring marital bliss you find your beloved dumps the dirty dishes ON TOP of said machine as opposed to in it! Men opening doors may no longer be the done thing but please - does he have to be so literal?

Pig in the Kitchen said...

Oh Anne, that really is twisting the knife. I'm afraid I have no answers...perhaps lay his best shirt out on top of the dishwasher? Might that work??!! Welcome, by the way!

Pig in the Kitchen said...

Mind the Gap, welcome! Yes, I think a dishwasher saves marriages...but perhaps the jury on that is still out?!