Saturday, March 17, 2007
My family has had an affinity with green for a long time. It started with a birthday present for my dad about 10 years ago. My mum bought him tiny green glasses (he has always liked glass in general) in the antiques shop which had the most vibrant color. It's a really in your face, limy, fluorescent kind of green and really after some research we found out it is called Anna green, was made at the start of the 20th century and is produced using very slight amounts of uranium oxide (this makes the vibrant color). My dad being physicist loved this even more and so started the collection.Over the years they have accumulated quite a lot of small pieces and it has gotten to a stage where non of us can go to a second hand shop/ flea market/ garage sale without looking for it and then, when you find a possible one, deciding if it really is or not, or perhaps once with less uranium, or just a dye etc.
But with a irish boyfriend the love for green reaches a whole new level. Not only is he a keen glass hunter but he is convinced it's the best color in the world (and why would people think otherwise)! When we were furnishing our new apartment in Basel, he would have bought everything in green if he had the chance (furniture/bedlinnnen/towels/appliances) so in the end we compromise on a green couch (which I secretly love, but don't tell him!) and 3 green chairs. Don't get me wrong, I like the color, but more in plants or when I'm outside in a forrest or the mountains. But today, I thought I'd make a gesture as it's St Patrick's day! St Patrick, who was originally Welsh, came to Ireland to chase the snakes (devil) away and bring christianity to the island. For the Irish it's a great excuse to wear their national color and enjoy a few pints of Guinness.
Over on Kochtopf, they also felt patriotic about today I decided to bake something for the event. I stuck with the green color and made a green baked cheesecake. It's very lightly based on a green chocolate mousse my mum makes (and we actually eat out of the green glass) which is made with white chocolate and creme de menthe. I really like it but somehow felt it was a bit to delicate and light for the occasion (how are you meant to hold your Guinness on that?!). Instead, I made a base using a mix of chocolate biscuits and ginger nuts and added a few teaspoons of creme de menthe to the cheese part. It didn't become as vibrant green as I had hoped but after being in the oven, the green was more pronounced in a velvety green tone. The tart was lovely and creamy with a hint of mint. I liked the taste but next time I think I will add something to the cheesemix to give it a bit more texture.
Minty Leprauchaun Cheesecake (serves 4-6)
100g biscuits (mixed gingernuts and chocolate biscuits)
1 egg +1 yolk
350g cream cheese (the proper stuff-light just doesn't set as well)
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
2 Tbsp creme de menthe
Crumble the biscuits, melt the butter and mix these two together and spread over the bottom of a pie dish. Then whisk the eggs, cream cheese and sugar till it's creamy, then add the essence and the creme de menthe. Spread it on top of the base and bake roughly 45 min. Leave to cool in the oven, then place in fridge for at least 2 hours preferably overnight.