This post is brought to you by Woolworths Gold
Over the past few weeks, Mr NQN and I have been making the most of this gorgeous spring weather. As we live so close to Centennial Park, we find ourselves taking a picnic lunch there often. And with Daylight Savings, we have even had a dinner picnic watching the dwindling crowds pack up their blankets or sunbathe in the last vestiges of the dappled sun. We watch as last balls are tossed around-these always make me nervous as I have a habit of attracting stray balls to my head.
While we were watching a football game from our picnic rug, I told Mr NQN of my recent travels to America where Belinda and I happened upon a football field of high school Gridiron players. She almost hit the brakes hard as we watched about a dozen of them doing push ups and I squealed "OMG it's like Glee!!!" Instinctively, I grabbed my camera as I wanted to take photos of this scene that we'd seen on television but not in real life.
It was at that moment that the football coach looked up and saw me excitedly snapping away. His brow furrowed and he blew his whistle-I'm not sure if he was blowing it at the players or in protest of us and I suspect that if we were a couple of older perverty looking men or cougars (which made me wonder, did we appear like cougars?) then he might have shooed us off. As for us, we swung the car around the corner and giggled at our sighting. And yes, we are easily excited.
Back in Australia, the football players in front of Mr NQN and I were less novel and less "exotic" so I turned my attention to the food we had in front of us. I had a strawberry flavoured yogurt cheesecake. Which brings me to some very exciting news, I'm going to be developing some recipes with Woolworths with their Woolworths Gold range for the next 10 months!
It's Woolworths brand spanking new range of the ultra premium products where they source Australia and the rest of the world for the best in suppliers. The idea behind these is affordable luxury and each "Gold" item has a gold hallmark stamped on each product signifying the main feature of the product. As a scrupulous label reader, most of the items are using ingredients that you would use if you made them at home. We had a very thorough briefing where I'm sure they got tired of all of my questions... :P
The official launch in store is November this year but some of the products that are already out are their jams and honeys. I decided to create a recipe using their "Summer Berries & Elderflower jam" which is jam made just like how I like it: soft set with lots of plump fruit. The strawberries, raspberries and blackcurrants are from Tasmania and come as large chunks and are such a gorgeously sweet contrast to the tart, light cheesecake. Mr NQN couldn't have cared less about the football in front of us as he ate this.
So tell me Dear Reader, how do you like your jam? Soft or firm? And what is your favourite jam flavour?
An Original Recipe by Not Quite Nigella
- 150g/5 ozs butter cookies
- 50g/1.7 ozs walnuts
- 50g/1.7 ozs melted butter
- 2 tablespoons white sugar (not caster or superfine)
For cheesecake topping
- 1/2 jar Woolworths Gold Summer Berries and Elderflower jam
- 500g/1 lb. natural yogurt
- 250g/0.5 lb. reduced fat cream cheese at room temperature
- 1/3 cup caster or superfine sugar (you can use 1/2 cup if you like it sweeter but I like to emphasise the tartness of the yogurt)
- 4 teaspoons gelatin powder
- 1/2 cup cold water
Step 1 - Line a 8x8 inch/20x20cm square baking tin with parchment paper. Place the cookies and walnuts in a food processor and whiz until you get fine breadcrumbs. Add the melted butter and sugar and process briefly until it comes together. Empty into the prepared tin and press down to make an even layer of breadcrumbs. Store in fridge until needed.
Step 2 - Sieve the jam to separate the liquid sauce from the fruit-do not discard the fruit. Place the liquid sauce in a ziplock bag or piping bag fitting with a very small plain nozzle. Set aside with the nozzle sitting up so that the sauce doesn't spill out.
Step 3 - In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a beater attachment, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the yogurt and sugar and beat until combined.
Step 4 - Sprinkle the gelatin powder over the bowl of cold water in a microwave proof bowl. Heat for 30 seconds on 50% power and then check to see if it is clear and not cloudy. Mine needed an extra 20 seconds on 50% power to turn clear. Cool for a few minutes.
Step 5 - While the gelatin is cooling, spread the reserved fruit from the jam along the base of cookie crumbs. Add some more jam if needed.
Step 5 - Add the gelatin mixture to the yogurt mixture and beat on low speed until combined-it doesn't take long. Pour the yogurt cheese mixture over the jam covered cookie base.
Step 6 - Snip the corner of the zip lock bag-just a little is ideal as you just want to draw vertical lines using the strawberry jam sauce. Taking a skewer, chopstick or a knife, draw lines horizontally or the opposite way going back and forth. Carefully carry to the fridge and refrigerate for at least two hours. Cut into slices and serve as is or with extra jam if you prefer it sweeter.