Four and Fifty

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Four and Fifty

Of moons past and sunlight beyond
His eyes warm and fond
(like the days gone)

He clasps the knife in hands
Etched with lines and ends
Dropping his lids
His upturned lips
Utters a precious wish
– Oh, perhaps just for more fish! –

Happy Birthday, Dad
We are so glad!

Made dad a mango-rosemary-cheesecake since it was his birthday AND mango season. Check out those mango trees around the island – they’re sporting ’em ripe goodies! In fact, the proverbial kiasu aunties have been spotted trying to spear the fruit down with bamboo (laundry) poles and the like.

Man, Goes the Cheesecake!

Makes a 6-inch round of yummy

125g Marie biscuits, crumbled/broken (Graham crackers/Digestives will do too)
80g unsalted butter, majorly softened

250g cream cheese, room temperature
1 large, ripe, honey mango
1/3 sprig of rosemary
1 egg
40-60g sugar (icing, fine, raw – anything goes!)

Using a food processor, blitz the Marie biscuits to oblivion (I take that back; close to oblivion). Be sure to pulse it a bit at a time; food processors are delicate beings, tough and gritty as they seem. I put 1-2 tablespoons of milk in while processing them, just to make sure the blades work their magic. When the biscuits are reduced to crumbs (leave some crumbs for some bite), add the softened butter in and blend well.

With the oven at 175 degrees Celsius, line the bottom of a 6-inch cake round with the crust mix. Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven, and let it cool completely while trying not to nip and snack on loose crumbs.

While baking the crust, get the filling a-going! Remove the skin of the mango, and cut the flesh into tiny cubes. Leave a few aside for garnish (which I admittedly didn’t do). Chop the leaves of the rosemary up finely. Mix the rosemary and the mango in with the cream cheese. Finally, add the egg and sugar in. Aside: I genuinely forgot the sugar lol, but it turned out okay because the mango saved the day/my ass.

Spread the filling generously and evenly onto the baked crust, then bake for 45-60 minutes – remember, there’s a raw egg in there so this is a half-bake half-chilled recipe. Then, chill the cake overnight (so it gets cool, geddit) and serve accordingly.

Perhaps not the most rad thing I’ve made in a while, but I’m sure the Greeks had pretty mainstream cakes (the tradition of birthday cakes and their flaming candles go back this far) as well. After all, any rad cake pales in comparison with the rad person who deserves this cake – Dad!


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