Update: These are long ago memories I’m sharing in this post, though it’s true I’m still not a fan of birthday parties. Hope I haven’t upset anyone – it just came together as a nice little piece of writing for me.
I don’t have birthday parties, as a rule. Something awful happened to someone I cared about in the middle of the biggest birthday bash I’d ever had and I handled it badly. After that, I kept it small – a few friends for lunch, a date for dinner, sometimes a family get together. I broke that rule once and got some karmic payback as a reward.
The person who hosted the party had just broken up with a mutual friend, who’d also disappointed other people we had in common. The guest list was filled with people her ex liked, only two of whom I really knew. The cake was a horror of dank cream and hidden pellets of jelly. And the only other sweets, a box of cookies her ex brought me from one of my favourite bakeries, disappeared into the host’s cupboard shortly after the ex’s hasty departure. I spent the rest of the evening in uncomfortable silence as the host complained at length about her break up. I took it as a sign that I still had penance to do for failing my friend all those years ago.
Needless to say, I went back to small gatherings. But I’ve made sure that my birthday sweet, whether it’s a pie or a cake or a pile of homemade cookies, is excellent and shared widely.
This year, I made the Simple and Splendid Chocolate Cake from The Sweetapolita Bakebook, filled it with salted caramel ganache from this Bon Appétit recipe, then topped it with Sweetapolita’s Glossy Fudge Frosting. I was left with only two regrets: dropping the third layer onto the kitchen floor and not starting early enough to have enough time to ice the…two-layer…cake fancily. After the first round of slices, I sent some home with family and some to our lovely neighbours downstairs, leaving me with just enough for dessert (and let’s face it, breakfast) the next day.
This week’s French Fridays dish, the last dessert on our agenda, might just be next year’s birthday sweet. It’s light and rich at the same time, while being casually elegant – perfect for small gatherings, no?
I used dried cranberries, since raisins and I only get along one-on-one. Dried cherries or blueberries would be nice here, too. And I used a mixture of cottage cheese and sour cream, since fromage blanc is a bus ride away for me and I didn’t have the gumption to go far for ingredients. The mixture of cottage cheese and sour cream stood in admirably for fromage blanc.
We’ve ended the dessert chapter on a keeper, though that could also be said of almost every recipe in the chapter. Next week, we’ll have our last scheduled fish recipe (aren’t you glad, Mardi?). The week after that, we’ll have special posts for Food Revolution Day. And then, we cook the cover to finish off the last recipe.
Hard to believe.
You can find links to the rest of the French Fridays crew’s posts on this week’s recipe here: Cheesecake Tart.
13 thoughts on “FFWD – Cheesecake Tart”
I think that is an excellent rule to follow! But, i agree, even amazing chocolate dessert tastes better in better company 🙂
I can’t believe we’ve almost finished this journey. I’m glad this one is a keeper for you. I enjoyed it, but kept dreaming of the NY style version. It will make a lovely celebratory dessert for your birthday.
Teresa, sounds like you had a wonderful birthday party this year. Your Cheesecake Tart looks delightful in that square tart pan. Yes, the last dessert form the book but I look at from the angle of how many desserts I got to try that I would not have made otherwise…
Have a wonderful Sunday – sun is shining here today and we had the most wonderful weather on the weekend so far.
I’m totally with you on the birthday thing… And wow – that cake! It’s bookmarked in my copy too! I did love this recipe for cheesecake tart though – elegant and unfussy and not too sweet. And um, TWO RECIPES? I can’t believe it.
I would definetly make this for my birthday, Teresa. Elegant, creamy and delicious! And that cake looks fabulous! Salted caramel ganache…amazing!
I really can’t believe that we are at the end of our journey. I have two desserts still to post that I made a while back…soon. Hopefully before the end of our adventure.
Our last two months, with the exception of the sardines, have been a lovely surprise.
Both of your desserts look fabulous. This week’s recipe seems to be a winner with all.
I’d like a little of the chocolate cake myself. I don’t know how long it’s been since I made a cake and frosted it. Liked your little story also – just can’t figure out what to take away from it. Do I or Don’t I? Nice job on the cheesecake. I like your photos.
Oh, my gosh, that is one exquisite birthday cake! And your tart looks marvelous, too.
Chocolate cake with caramel filling – yum! Happy belated birthday. The cheesecake tart was tre elegant and one I’d make again.
Your chocolate cake looks delicious. Happy belated birthday:) I’m with you on birthday parties; though I haven’t had a traumatic experience but they rarely live up to expectations. A quiet gathering with loved ones always works better for me. Your tart turned out great. It is hard to believe we are almost finished with Around My French Table. Its been a great experience, hasn’t it?
Happy belated birthday. I think your birthday is a wonderful excuse to spoil yourself and that chocolate cake looks like just the ticket. My birthday falls right before Christmas so I gave up trying to throw parties a long time ago. Instead I usually treat myself to a fancy dinner out.
Lovely pictures and that chocolate cake looks to-die-for. That is quite a birthday story, hope it is all behind you now. We enjoyed this cheesecake and I liked it better cold the second day. On to next week.