Very few people will refuse a piece of cheesecake. I have found this to be a universal truth — except when it’s not — like last week, when I hosted my first ever CHEESECAKE GIVEAWAY.
The long and short of it is that no one showed up. And it was almost time for me to go home for the day — and I couldn’t take it with me. No, no, no. Howard and I had quite enough of this indulgent full-fat homemade mascarpone cheese filling, rum, ladyfinger crumb crust and coffee (espresso) extract glaze.
Next time, I won’t require the winner to tell me that “Island Vittles Rocks!” I guess I found the limit of what Penderites will do for a free piece of cheesecake.
In the end, it was Roger, the skilled craftsmen who built our deck last spring who won the cheesecake by default. He had no idea about the giveaway, but he walked in the store at the right time (and he did a really good job on our deck).
As for the cheesecake itself, I have to tell you you’re sorry you missed it. New York in style, Italian in flavour, Pender in execution.
The tastes are rich and decadent, but not overbearing. The rum is subtle, the mascarpone create a slightly soft texture, the ladyfinger crust is less sweet than the traditional graham version, and the espresso crowns it all — and provides the “pick-me-up” — the literal translation of Tiramisu.
My Culinary Skills Instructor, Chef P, taught us to bake cheesecakes low and slow. (My words, not his. His often involved a thick, near unintelligible french accent.) As you’ll see this cheesecake is baked at 200° F for 3 -4 hours. A long time, yes. And worth every minute. No cracks on the top, and a texture so soft, people will think you baked it in a water bath.
This cake should be baked the day before you plan to serve it. Glaze it the morning of your event and keep it in the fridge until you’re ready to serve.