Monday, 22 March 2010

I Need Your Family Secrets!

In late May or early June I will have an exam at Tante Marie... the “Celebration Lunch” exam to be precise. It is a similar vein to the budget lunch exam I did a few weeks ago, except this time I have a larger budget to play with.

The mission should you choose to divulge your family secrets.... is to tell me what your favourite recipes are for a cheesecake biscuit base and/or your favourite crumble topping recipe. I have my own recipes for both, but to be honest they are fairly bog standard, tasty but lack that little something. I am looking for a few little quirks that could help elevate these dishes to something a little more special. Maybe you like to put toasted oats in your crumble mix, or maybe you have a favourite biscuit that you like to use for your cheesecake base.

Whatever it is, I would like to know about it. There is absolutely no kind of reward for your family secrets other than a smile and a thank you from yours truly. At this stage I don't want to go into any detail about my plans for the desert, all I will say is that it is fruit based, so maybe that will have some impact on your recipes? Maybe not though!

So “help a bruva out” and dish up those recipes, all weird and wonderful ideas will be considered.... and who knows, I may decide to use your idea and then publish the pics of the final dish here, making you so very very nearly famous as a result!

Find the little link below this post that says 'comment' and spill thoses beans... do it now!

Thanks in advance,


p.s. Mother – don't bother posting your recipes, I have endured them on enough occasions to know they don't coupé le moutard. You will just be wasting everybody's time. ;-p


  1. I used to use shortbread for my biscuit base for my cheesecake.It was lovely and rich.

    But now that my grand daughter has ceoliacs I am experimenting with my own biscuits made with almond meal and gf flour. I just cream butter and sugar, add an egg, vanilla essence, then fold in roughly 50/50 almond meal and gf flour. Then cook the bickies and when they are cool I crush them up like normal biscuits.

  2. The wife and I do our crumbles in what's known in the US as a "crisp," with oats, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and butter.

    Recipe/instructions/photos here:

    Our version is much more oaty, buttery and sugary than most people prefer, so you can make it a bit more crumbly, so to speak, by increasing the ratio of flour.

  3. I'm not sure if this is what you are looking for but I made a gluten-free cheesecake for a friend of mine and used flourless peanut butter cookies crumbled as my base. My filling was a marbled chocolate cheesecake filling so to tie it together, I froze Peanut Butter cups, chopped them up and put them on top with a chocolate drizzle.

    Good Luck on your exam!

  4. If I'm making crumble I use demerara sugar and throw in a handful of chopped nuts (almonds and/or hazelnuts) so it's nice and crunchy. And for cheesecake I use the bogstandard digestive biscuits & butter but I also add a squeeze of honey which makes it taste lovely.

    I wouldn't inflict my mother's cooking on you though, especially if you want to pass your exam.

  5. Crunchy Nut cornflakes, softened smooth peanut butter and butter (I usually throw them in until it looks and tastes good so I don't have the proportions).

  6. I have a favourite Aussie Lemon Cheesecake recipe from a cookbook I have about cakes from around the world. What I think sets this cheesecake apart is the pistachios in the base. I have popped the recipe on Foodwise on Jamie Oliver's site.

  7. I have an idea that's very simple & basic. Most people when they try my cheesecake love it, but then can't identify what that "certain" something different in it is. When I first started making my cheesecake base this way and told people what I did, I was surprised that many people would tell me that they'd never thought or heard of it.

    Instead of using plain or regular graham crackers, I use cinnamon graham crackers (come coated in cinnamon & sugar). I never thought I was doing anything unusual, until I started seeing people's reactions when I told them.

  8. Hello...

    I use graham crackers, cinnamon, butter and sugar....tastes perfect..

    Check it out on my page:

  9. Son, Thanks for the parting shot. Note the garage door is open and your sleeping bag has taken residence inside !

    PS: by the way, it is LA MOUTARDE !!! get your act together ;o)

  10. Dylan,

    The best cheesecake I make is Rose Levy Beranbaum's from her forum. The texture is divine.

    I must ask -- were you rude to your mother, or is this a family joke that will bring a smile to her face? The latter, I hope.

  11. Thanks for all the comments!

    You have all given me some ideas to mull over once I finish my work experience.

    Oh and Kathleen... the answer to your question is in the comment right before yours!

  12. I have a recipe that does not use biscuits at all. It makes a 9 inch base.
    2 oz unsalted butter at room temp
    2.25 oz all purpose flour
    1.75 oz finely chopped pecans, hazelnuts, walnuts or almonds
    2 tbsp brown sugar

    you will have to change the ounces to grams but it should be easy to convert. It adds a nice depth of flavour.

  13. To Marie Christine:

    You go girl!!!!!!! ;-)))


I look forward to reading your comments whether they are good, bad or indifferent!