matrioszka 1

Hi,

Matryoshka (rus. матрёшка) is a hollow, wooden figurine, with smaller, smaller, smaller, smaller, smaller and smaller figurines inside. 

The shelf above my desk hosts a Matryoshka from an antique shop. It is beautiful, colorful, with all the right imperfections characteristic of hand-made gadgetry. It comes with two missing figurines and this is yet another reason why it is rendered infallibly legendary:)

And one more thing: just like oil-painting, puff pastry, tiramisu and this blog, it’s got layers.

Magda

Halinka's cheesecake

Halinka's cheesecake

Halinka’s cheesecake

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My very first recipe features a cheesecake, you know, the yummy one, simple to prepare but the best, the one that P. liked so much at Christmas, whose cooking instructions always gets lost in the depths of instant messaging communicators*. 

*EDIT: It was just yesterday when my sister for the hundredth time asked me for it. 

For the record, I will provide the name of the recipes’ author or a link to another blogger whenever possible. However, many of them are from unidentified sources, as is the case of this Halinka’s cheesecake.

As a downright fan of minimalist raisin and orange peel-infested cheesecakes of my childhood, I had weeped dearly over the revolution introduced by my own mother. A crumble under a cheesecake and peaches on top of it? Why would she have done that, as to what unfathomable end? And so I fell in love with the taste of this cheesecake from the first bite. I had received the recipe from I. and it had been attributed to a certain mysterious Halinka. Hence the name: Halinka’s cheesecake.

The cheesecake is concocted in no time, then it wallows in high temperatures endlessly, but is this of consequence?, and it gets gobbled, guzzled, gulped and bolted down ... well, with a degree of unmistakable pleasure, which forever dooms its end before the sun is sent to dwell elsewhere.

To my sister.

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Baking time: 1 hour

Baking temperature: 180 °C / 356 °F

Ingredients:

1 kg cheese (ground, pacynka or bucket, the smoother the fluffier)

8 eggs

3/4 cup sugar (they say a full glass, but I play it down to have it cheesier than sweeter)

1 cream pudding or 2 tablespoons of potato flour

2 tablespoons cake flour

1/2 margarine / butter (melted)

pinch of salt

Optional:

- replacing raisins with cranberry does the trick (sprinkle it with flour, and it will not sink in the batter),

- chopped nuts (cashews, hazelnuts, almonds, pecans) to prettify the bottom with a gratifying crunch within the cheese delight,

- for those with time on their hands, melt a bar of dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa) with a spoon of butter and spread it thinly on the cooled down king of cheesecakes (Ha! That is if your salivary mucus resists the aroma throughout the cooling process; may take time to adjust).

Preparation:

Mix all ingredients into a smooth mass (melted margarine/butter add after processing all other ingredients). Pour into a 30-cm diameter baking mould with an elevated edge to prevent the eagerly unrecommended experience of the cheesecake wandering around the oven. Bake for 1 hour in the convection mode. Please resist the temptation of unnecessary heating the top.

Just this and there it is.

And a short anecdote. I baked this cheesecake for Christmas just before the gallop to Grandma’s. Within the flawlessly perfected Christmas time management, the cheesecake was cooling down in the company of a bar of chocolate in the pram basket as Godzuki was chucked out "to take his sleepy walk in the freshness of the smog”. Let me just say that there was no time to mess with any toppings, let alone for cooling them down on their rightful place.

At one point, A. entered the room with a piece of cheesecake on her plate: ‘Emski said that as soon as I try, I would go and get another piece in no time’. Thus she had her share, went through an internal struggle for about 15 seconds and admitted that she was left with no choice but to yield to what seemed like an irresistible temptation. 


No more stimulation. Just do it. (Like) Nike!




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Gallery of Saturday excavations with accompanying narration

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