This is my 100th post.
That means I have sat down in front of a computer exactly 100 times, writing and sharing my recipes and life with you all.
This post is a big, big thank you to all of you for reading, and commenting, and chatting, and being so encouraging. I love you guys!
Now when I asked everyone what they want my 100th post to be about, most said a decadent recipe, others said an embarrassing story, and still others said a top ten list of something fun.
A 100th post is a pretty big deal right? So what do you say we do ALL 3! And I’ll throw in a giveaway for good measure! :D yay!
First up, since we’ve just had Valentine’s Day and all that, I present my romance-themed top ten list.
Here’s my top ten list on How to be irresistible to women. (Since I’m a woman, clearly, I am an authority on this subject. Men I hope you’re reading :P )
1. Cook us a meal. Even if it’s just once in a while. Men who cook are sexy.
2. Be clean. Like not just fancy clothes, but the parts you think no one notices, like your toes and behind your ears.
3. There is no such thing as too much cologne. There is however, a thing as too little.
4. We may pretend we don’t care about things like flowers and chivalry and little surprises, but we secretly do. So be a gentleman.
5. Be good at something. Writing, dancing, being funny, mountain biking. Anything. But definitely something.
6. Love animals. Especially puppies. Don’t cringe when they lick your face and give you kisses. Smile instead.
7. Be an excellent hug giver. Hugs are important. Hugs are crucial. Just hug. And lots. Okay?
8. Read. Non fiction, Game of thrones, Asterix, 50 shades of Grey. Just read. (Don’t pretend you’ve not been tempted to read that last one there.)
9. When we ask you to sing us song, just sing it. We know you’re not Michael Buble. Just sing anyway, won’t you?
10. Be honest. Bare, naked honest. There is nothing we want more.
Ladies, do you agree?
Men, are we asking for too much? No, right? :)
Okay, now for the decadent recipe you wanted. When my friend Stuti brought me back this divine Balsamic vinegar from Modena, I knew I had to do something special with it.
What did I do? I soaked some strawberries in it and used them to top this Chocolate cheesecake.
The cheesecake has an oreo base, a chocolate cream cheese centre, is topped with cream, and then balsamic-soaked strawberries with their juices over that.
You ask for decadent, and I deliver decadent baby.
Eat only one sliver at a time, unless you enjoy passing out from over-eating in the middle of the day.
Mostly I just stared at this gorgeous thing.
It was sinfully smooth and creamy.
And the slightly tart and sticky strawberries were such a wonderful foil to the rich, dense, cream cheese.
Make it on a special occasion and watch it vanish before your very eyes.
Chocolate cheesecake with balsamic-soaked strawberries
Prep time: 30 mins
Cook time: 65 mins
For the cheesecake
2 packets of Oreo cookies, cream removed
2 tbsp butter, melted
250 g dark chocolate
900g cream cheese
225g caster sugar
2 tbsp flour
1 tbsp vanilla extract
For the topping
200ml thick cream
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp caster sugar
about 15-20 strawberries
For the cheesecake
1. Preheat the oven to 160º C. Put the oreos in a ziplock bag and bash with a rolling pin until you have crumbs. Pour into a bowl, add the melted butter and mix well. Layer the base of a 9-inch springform tin with the crumbs, pressing down well so they are packed tightly. Bake for 5 minutes.
2. Melt the chocolate in the microwave or double boiler and set aside. Using an electric whisk, mix together the cream cheese, sugar, flour, and vanilla extract. Add the melted chocolate and continue mixing. Then add the eggs, one at a time, mixing until everything is well blended. Do not overmix.
3. Pour the cheesecake batter into the tin and bake for 1 hour. Switch off the oven and leave the tin inside until the cheesecake is completely cool. Run a knife around the inside edge of the tin to loosen the sides of the cheesecake and then refrigerate for 2-3 hours once cool.
For the topping
1. Thicken the cream by whipping it well.
2. Mix the balsamic vinegar and caster sugar together. Pour over the strawberries, give it a gentle mix, and set aside for a few minutes.
1. Remove the cold cheesecake from the tin carefully and place on the serving plate.
2. Top with the whipped cream and balsamic-soaked strawberries. Pour the juices over and serve in slices.
For those who wanted to see something embarrassing, I’m sharing this video of my colleagues and I doing the Gangnam style. We performed in front of the whole office and it was crazy amounts of fun. I’m the one in a dark pink tee :P
And now for the **GIVEAWAY**!!! I thought long and hard about what to give away this time, and I finally decided on this book by my most favourite chefs in the whole world.
I still can’t believe I cooked for them a few months ago.
The book is full of easy recipes and really cute cartoons, and it’s written in George and Gary’s inimitable style.
To win this wonderful book, just comment below and tell me which is your favourite post on my blog. Yup, that’s it.
I’ll announce the winner by a random draw in 2 weeks time, so comment away :)
Now here’s one last look at the cheesecake. You know you want to.
Thank you for being so wonderful. Have a happy, happy week ahead!
Love and hugs,