Short and Sweet

28th December 2011 | Daily Life, Inspirations | 1 comment

the last slice of my cheesecake

One of our Christmas presents this year was Dan Lepard’s Short and Sweet, a wonderful new book of baking recipes – breads, cakes, pies, desserts. The word ‘short’ presumably refers to pastry and not to the book itself, which is notably long (and sweet).

My eye fell almost at once on the cheesecake recipes. I often try to make cheesecake, using various recipes, but am rarely satisfied with the results. I’ve never really managed to replicate the first cheesecake I ever loved, sold at the cheese stall in Cambridge market in my student days. Immoderate consumption thereof was probably one reason why I put on so much weight in my first student year.

Anyway, on Boxing Day I thought I’d have a go at Dan Lepard’s recipe for East End Cheesecake, the closest he says he could get to the famous variety sold by Grodzinski’s bakery. My cheesecake looked lovely on a sky-blue plate at a dinner that evening. Before I had tried it myself, a couple of my guests tasted theirs and suddenly cut across the conversation with glad cries of, ‘Wow! This is gorgeous.’ It was, too. The ingredients were not so different from other cheesecakes I’ve made, but there were a couple of innovations in the method, notably the instruction to boil cream and butter, and to pour this boiling liquid onto the cream cheese before mixing. That slightly caramelised cream-and-butter combo gave a delectable fillip to the taste, evoking a high-class Middle European Konditorei rather than a suburban kitchen. So Dan Lepard’s ‘East End’ recipe is my new favourite.

1 Comment

  1. David Whitehouse

    Glad you like the book, at some point maybe I’ll get to explain the title Short & Sweet to you! Thanks also for reminding me of the cheese stall in Cambridge market, it was a regular haunt of mine (1975-78).
    David Whitehouse
    editor, Short & Sweet


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