Tasting Tasmania

I love travelling overseas, but living in Australia, it can be a very timely and costly exercise. Sometimes, when all you’ve got is a few days and you’re just desperate for an escape, it’s better just to go interstate.

With lovely summer days gone and winter setting in, I was heading for a little bit of a lull and wanted to mix things up. As one of my friends recently made Hobart her home for the next 12 months, I thought the time was right for a trip down down under.  I got a group together and we went adventuring and boy did we find some tasty Tasmanian treats!

Below are a few photos of some of the best our largest island has to offer. Chocolate, cheese and salmon galore!!

Smoked trout pate – Wicked Cheese Company


Toasted cheese from Bruny island cheese company


Bruny Island oysters


Salmon dish from Mexican restaurant Pancho Villa


Tasmanian apples


Grilled fish salad at Battery Point

The Great Debate

Lately I’ve been struggling with one of life’s deepest, darkest most profound questions… Chocolate or cheese? I’m loosing precious sleep.

When I was younger, I firmly sat on the chocolate side of the fence, cheese aka that yellow often weirdly smelling stuff didn’t even register on my radar. But since going on a bit of a health kick a few years back and gaining an awareness, alright an obsession, with nuts and dried fruit of all forms, an avid interest in cheese sort of snuck on into my psyche, riding on the back of its dessert platter sidekick’s coat tails.

Now, I’m rather partial to a creamy hunk of Camembert, a gooey Washed-rind, some home baked cheesy bread and cheesecake of all forms. Ordering dessert has now become a deliberation on par in magnitude with the decision to create a second SITC movie.

The solution to my problem

The solution to my problem

The other day, just an average week night, I was watching a Better Homes and Gardens episode when one of my favourite Aussie chefs, Fast Ed’s segment came on. Despite his unfortunate nickname, I love his recipes because yes, they are quick and easy and generally use ingredients you already have or would tend to buy anyway. In this particular segment though, Fast Ed solved my problem… Chocolate cheesecake!!!! When you are going to do something, you might as well do it properly. Ed evidently also believes this. As such, his cake wasn’t just chocolate, it was triple chocolate: cocoa powder in the cookie base, white chocolate in the cream cheese and a milk chocolate and cream icing layer to finish. Genius isn’t it!?

Check out those layers

Check out those layers

I made it for my work mates aka my guinea pigs. The ones with serious sweet teeth loved it. The others enjoyed the cheesecake part and the base but found the top layer a bit hectic. Let’s be honest here, this isn’t a light dessert designed for the sugar uninitiated. It’s for people like me.

Check out the recipe I used below. The only amendment was using dark chocolate instead of milk. My conundrum is solved. With the situation sorted, I could do with a nap…. I’ve got some catching up to do!

Fast Ed’s Triple Chocolate Cheesecake

Ingredients

375g butternut cookies (1½ pkts)
60g dark cocoa powder
125g unsalted butter, melted
1 egg white
500g cream cheese
100g caster sugar
3 eggs
20g (2 Tbsp) cornflour
1 tsp natural vanilla extract
300g sour cream
200g white chocolate, melted and cooled
140g dark chocolate, chopped
250ml cream

Method

1 Preheat oven to 150°C. Combine the biscuits and cocoa powder in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until a coarse crumb forms. Add the butter and egg white and pulse until well-mixed.
2 Press the biscuit mixture into the ides and base of a lined 22cm springform cake tin to an even depth of 2mm. Freeze for 10 minutes to firm up.
3 Put the cream cheese, sugar, eggs, cornflour and vanilla in the bowl of the food processor and purée until smooth, scraping down the sides several times. Add the sour cream and purée for 30 seconds, then add the white chocolate and purée for 2 minutes.
4 Pour the white chocolate mixture into the prepared base and bake for 45 minutes with a water tray in the oven for humidity. Set aside to cool slowly on a ire rack.
5 Once cooled, combine the milk chocolate and cream in a small saucepan and cook, whisking constantly, until smooth. Pour over the cake and refrigerate until set, then slice and serve.

 

Finished product

Finished product