Here's for some more Father's Day bakerage. I spent dinner on Father's Day with my dad, but for lunch we spent it over at my boyfriend's place with his dad and immediate family.
Occasions with his family are often a food-centred affair, but particularly so if it's a celebration. If we go out for the meal, there's usually more food and hot drinks waiting to be consumed at home. If it's all home cooked food, you can be sure that there's going to be more food than you could dream of finishing, and then some. All of it is as delicious as it is plentiful and you will find yourself lamenting the appetite required to try it all. Or at least I do. The boys usually find a way to squeeze most, if not all, of it in. Us girls can seldom match their appetite, but we all still insist on making an enormous amount of food.
When we're dining at his place, I seldom bring things along mainly because there's so much already. I'm often caught somewhere in between feeling like I should contribute, and being too self-conscious about doing so. For this occasion, I decided to bring something. Knowing there would be an abundance of food already, I settled for something small.
After a delicious lunch, there definitely was an abundance of dessert. His sister-in-law brought a delicious ginger cake she'd baked, and his mum provided a hummingbird cake as well as platters of different biscuits, nuts, chocolates and other sweets. In between these two courses, we all had this vanilla cheesecake slice:
This slice is a layer of vanilla custard and a layer of vanilla cheesecake sandwiched between two layers of puff pastry.
It's then dusted in icing sugar and patterned with a caramelised lattice.
It is a little difficult to cut when fresh. You need a hot knife and a bit of patience to avoid squishing the custard out in every direction. With care, you'll end up with two even layers of filling. Once the slice has been refrigerated for a day or two and the pastry has taken up some of the moisture, it is much easier to cut through — if you can wait that long!
Cut the slices as big…
… or as small as you like.
I cut them into 16 squares. At this size, it was large enough to enjoy while still leaving plenty of room for more dessert (or a second slice if you can't resist). If serving as a dessert or treat by itself, you may want to cut it into 9 or 12 pieces.
I didn't use any gelatine in the custard portion. If you want to stabilise it and make the slice easier to cut, you can add the same amount required for the cheesecake layer. If aesthetics doesn't bother you, you don't have to bother with it.
Now to be all Mother Hen: If you are going to make the caramelised sugar lattice, please use caution in doing so. In order for it to work, the skewer needs to be red hot (literally, the metal will turn red) or close to. If it is not hot enough, your sugar won't caramelise. This can deceive you into thinking the skewer is not hot – don't touch it to check. While not hot enough to burn the sugar, it will be more than hot enough to burn your skin.
If you sucessfully caramelise the sugar, it will smoke so do this in a well ventilated room and be wary of it getting in your eyes as it will irritate them. Lastly, if you do heat the skewer to the point it is glowing red, it may ignite a flame once you touch it to the sugar. This will quickly burn itself out, but do be mindful of this when attempting this technique. Don't work around distractions (kids, pets, etc) as them plus flame and metal can cause a painful accident.
If you would rather skip this part, just dust the top of the slice with icing sugar, or add any other topping you prefer.
Vanilla Cheesecake Slice
2x 23cm squares of puff pastry
You'll find the printable version of this recipe here.