Monday, August 3, 2009

How to Give someone Bad News


Bake a cheesecake. Put a whole bunch of cherries on top. Serve before delivering the bad news or an awful truth.

Cherries are are an import item to the Caribbean. They come in cans, or as artificially coloured and sweetened maracshino cherries.

I have long been curious as to the taste of imported cherries as compared our local Barbados cherry. When you do see fresh cherries they are just too expensive - beyond the budget of your average person. That is until some weeks ago.

Some nearly heart-shaped cuties winked at me from between the plums and the grapes. They were expensive but not outrageously so and I bought a few, just to satisfy my curiosity. They were delicious but I must admit that I was a a bit disappointed that their taste wasn't wildly exotic and different. They tasted a bit like imported plums.

A later trip to a another grocery and there they were again. This time the price was three times more than the first place that I had shopped! Like a crazed person I sped back to the first supermarket and stared at the price on those cherries. Surely this was some kind of pricing error. I promptly bought ALL that were left on the shelf and approached the cashier, certain that the mistake would be discovered and I would be forced to return them to the display but noooooo.....A few minutes later, I was out the door with my huge bag of cherries, feeling for all the world that I had just won the cherry Lotto.

second helpings post

When I got home - disaster! My attempt at making cherry pie failed. Trying to shortcut things, I used a store bought, frozen, pastry dough. The finished pie dough was doughy and soggy. Ugggh! No way did I intend wasting my cherries, so I rescued the cherry filling. I made a cheesecake instead and covered it in the delicious pie filling.

For all my good luck with the price, the fact remained that these cherries were still an expensive, over the budget item, on my shopping list. There was some concern on my part that Mr. H might not be happy to hear how much I paid for these. So, the following day, I made sure that the 'bad news' about the price was divulged after I had served him a slice of this cheesecake. Mmmmmm......a bargain he agreed and asked for another slice.


Cherries On Top Cheesecake
Serves 8-10

6 tbs butter
7oz/200g graham crackers
16 oz cream cheese ( 2 pks Philladelpia )
2 large eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
16 fl/ 400 ml/ 2 cups sour cream

Melt butter over low heat. Stir in the crackers, then spread in an 8 inch/20cm springform pan (Cheesecake will be higher than mine as I used a 10 inch pan.) Bring ingredients to room temperature. In a food processor or with a hand mixer on low speed blend together the cream cheese, eggs, 1/2 cup sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Blend until smooth. Pour over the cracker base. Place on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated oven, 375 degrees F/ 190degrees C for 20 mins (less time if using a larger pan as I did). Bake until cheesecake is set. Remove from the oven and let cool for 20 minutes

Cherry Filling
4 cups sweet cherries (pitted),
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 small lemon , zested to yield 1 teaspoon zest and juiced to yield 2 teaspoons juice
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon almond extract
1 tablespoon brandy
3–4 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca
2 tablespoons unsalted butter , cut into small pieces
1/4 cup water plus 2 tablespoons

Place sugar, lemon juice and zest, spices, almond extract, brandy and 1/4 cup water. in a pan over low heat. Stir until sugar has dissolved. Increase the heat and add the cherries. Cover and cook until they begin to soften. Remove from the heat. Add the tapioca. Add a few tablespoons of water if needed. Return to low heat and cook until the tapioca thickens. Let cool.

Remove cheesecake from the pan 1 hour before serving. Spoon the fruit topping over and let chill until ready to serve.

*This is not actually what I did as the filling was first cooked in my failed pie. However my recipe book, "Perfect desserts" says this is the way to do it if you don't have the benefits of a ruined pie like I did :-)


  1. Hi there Wizzy. Am I glad I came here, & can I also say that if this is what you get with bad news, let it come!! Brilliant cheesecake, & worth the dent on the budget & second slice for Mr H! LOL...I think Kent in the UK & Sydnet have the best cherries...nothing like fresh produce!
    O I ♥ your blog & the pictures. Beautiful!

  2. Like the story. Last year I have found some American Cherries, which are huge as compared to the European ones. But very expensive. I ended up to eat them just the way they were: fresh. As the signature picture for this story I would have used the combined one with the one bigger and the three smaller photos below. I certainly would place it at the top of the blog entry. The top one in this is nice, because it is using the diagonal for the crust. And with the single wedges below you get an idea on the juiciness.

  3. Hi Thorsten,
    As always thanks for stopping by. I did wrestle with which picture should be top post. I love the first one because I feel I could just dive in and roll around in it's deliciousness LOL. Your pick for first post is nice too - more professional...oh I really don't know they are both nice!

  4. I was just thinking about it composition wise and from a read point of view. The combined one is a real anchor point and eye catcher. And composition wise I find it more interesting, because you have all in one photo: the cake, the wedgers from different angles and the cherry.

  5. Thanks Deeba,
    Thanks for the compliment. I am very flattered since I get inspiration from your photos. I am sure you recognize yourself in my attempt at the photo collage. I don't have photoshop but I found a free online that did a decent job I think - thanks for the idea:-)

  6. Thoooooooorsten! You are killing me. You are right! The collage is the more sensible and logical choice. Still for reasons I can't quite articulate, the one I put first is more interesting to me....It's not even a perfect shot- I am looking at it and thinking the foreground should have been a different colour....the composition is odd but it reminds me of a smile which is what I did when I tasted this. I think I'm just hypnotized by those cherries. I'll switch it later but for now any suggestions on a foreground colour that might work?

  7. Yup, give me any bad news as long as you give me that cake too :P Seriously, that is one luscious looking cake!

  8. Looks yummy and mouth-watering, OMG wanna right now...

  9. Thanks Lorraine and Mythreyi, not surprisingly it did not last long.

  10. Lol sounds like me and my husband. Sometimes I want to splurge on expensive ingredients and when I do I make it up by giving him tasty food. I got some for 4.38 usd and it did not last 1 hour between us.

  11. I'm curious. How many cherries did you actually get for that price?

  12. ROFL - those are some deliciously expensive cherries :)
    Love your photos...gorgeous!

  13. You are welcome to bring a gorgeous cheesecake like this any time there's bad news to share. I love cherries, but haven't made a sauce like this before. Clearly, it is the cherry lotto ; )

  14. Lol - I'm going to use this when I next have to give any bad news to anyone! It looks great! I'm sure Mr. H wouldn't have been able to say a word after tasting it!!

  15. Oh I love how this cheesecake looks!I'm saving this recipe as one of my "piece de resistance"! I'd love to guide our readers to your site if you won't mind.Just add your choice of foodista widget to this post and it's all set, Thanks!

  16. It's horrible when things don't work to plan!
    However, your cheesecake looks amazing!