SUMMER BERRIES DESIGN
Life is good; lazing away balmy summer evenings under the cooling aura of an old oak tree or simply gazing across the ocean for sunset, bubblies glass at hand.
For ANPA, the Cape summers are all about “joie de vivre”, enjoying what South Africa has to offer whether sharing a selected bottle of wine with friends or indulging in fresh cuisine either at their cottage “La Folie” in Franschhoek or their little beach hide away in Scarborough. The exceptional fruits the Cape has to offer are ANPA’s choice for hot summer days. What better than to enjoy delicious Cape berries on a sexy, little cheese cake?
Their time is precious, both Andreas & Patrizia are at their busiest during this season, welcoming new and existing clients in both their galleries.
Luckily Chris Smit a wonderful friend and master of all culinary disciplines lives close by to come to the rescue. He spoils everybody with his wonderful dishes. A definite favourite is a recipe that includes both the sensational wealth of Cape fruits as well as the sublime textures of his divine cheese cake.
In the kitchen with Chris to make
Vanilla Cheese Cake
1 Packet Tennis biscuits
100gr Butter, melted
750gr Cream Cheese
1 Cup of Castor Sugar
5ml Vanilla extract
½ Cup of Flour
1 Cup of fresh Cream
- Pre-heat your oven to 160’C.
- Place the biscuits into a food processor and process until fine crumbs, place in a mixing bowl and add the melted butter. Mix well.
- Place the crumb mixture in the bottom of your preferred baking tin and press down firmly so the base is nicely compacted. Place in the fridge to chill while you prepare the filling.
- To make the filling: Place the cream cheese in the mixing bowl of a stand up mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment. Mix the cream cheese, on medium speed, until light and smooth, this might take a minute or so.
- Now add the sugar and whisk until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is smooth, start adding the eggs one at a time. Make sure it is well mixed in after each addition.
- Add the vanilla extract followed by the flour. Only mix until the flour is absorbed be careful not to over mix the filling once the flour is added.
- Stir in the fresh cream and pour the filling into the baking tins. Place the baking tins into the pre-heated oven and reduce the temperature to 140’C.
- Bake the small cheese cakes for 20 – 25 minutes, large cakes for 50 – 60 minutes, until the centre in just set, switch the oven off and open the oven door slightly, allow to cool in the oven for 30 minutes before removing them.
- Once the cheese cake reached room temperature carefully remove from the baking tins and refrigerate for a few hours before slices.
- Once ready to serve decorate to cake/s with a selection is fresh berries and fruits such as figs or peaches.
For Chris Smit, the magic of a meal goes far beyond a fleeting pleasure of the palate. He holds a deep conviction that food can succeed where words fail, and that a shared meal can stimulate a convivial flow of conversation and companionship while satisfying the stomach’s appetite.
This passion for food as a means of expression has its roots in a bucolic childhood, with many happy hours spent among the simple yet tasty delights of a farm-style kitchen. Family secrets in the form of tried-and-trusted recipes for corned beef, pastries, sweet biscuits, preserved fruits and seasonal jams and curds were passed down from his grandmother to his mother – and later to an utterly fascinated Chris.
The medieval healer Hildegard von Bingen noted in her compendium:
“A person who has the desire to improve memory and good understanding, should place a sapphire in his/her mouth every morning upon getting out of bed”
whereas modern day scientists believe:
“that color pigments in berries are powerful antioxidants. Blue, purple, and red color has been associated with a lower risk of certain cancers, memory function, and healthy aging.“
The best way to go about it according to ANPA & Chris Smit is to lick the sapphire first, enjoy the berries thereafter. Your memory should be sharpened enough by then to not forget about the cheese cake.
HAPPY SUMMER DAYS TO ALL OF YOU!