Cheesecake Filled Easter Eggs

Cheesecake Filled Easter Eggs 7

“Easter says you can put truth in a grave, but it won’t stay there.”  Clarence W. Hall 

I’ve been teaching for over ten years. Ironically, it is not my calling. It is, however, a means to put money in my bank account so I can buy cheese. And chocolate. And bacon. Let’s not forget the bacon.

Now, when teaching languages, I’ve repeatedly encountered the insurmountable obstacle that English makes no sense whatsoever, and German makes too much. If my words are not enough for thee, check out the poem “The Chaos”, by G. Nolst Trenité (1922). Then read “The Awful German Language”, by Mark Twain. Go ahead. Then come back, and read on.

Welcome to my everyday life. The excess of logic in German grammar and the absolute lack of it in English spelling regularly reduce my students to tears.

It’s so much fun to watch.

The greatest challenge for a language teacher is attempting to convey the many layers and fascinating nuances of the word. Some languages are easy. Some languages are not. Some are intuitive, like English, following no recognizable logic whatsoever. Others are but slight variations on a theme, close cousins, if you may, like all Romance languages. Differences notwithstanding, each language opens a door into an unknown world; centuries, no, millennia of history, psychology and anthropology unfolding before your eyes as you delve deeper into their secrets. A people’s deepest fears and yearnings are laid bare, just as bones cleared painstakingly of dirt in ancient burial sites. A civilisation’s language bears the unmistakable imprint of humanity, and when you begin to study them, you tap into an endless ocean of nuances, influenced by a myriad of seasons, woven together in an intrinsic filigree, an impossible dance, a virtuoso composition of colors you have yet to see. Through language, history comes alive.

It’s riveting.

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And then there is German.

You see, European languages are, for the most part, fairly similar, due to geographically and demographically imposed proximity.

German is no exception, of course, but try telling that to my exasperated students. There are rules, and rules for the rules, rules for the exceptions to the rules, and a seemingly endless supply of vocabulary. It is a language for mathematicians, logical and predictable and complex as hell.

But for all their linguistic shortcomings, Germans are the indisputable kings of seasonal celebrations. Christmas and Easter are feasts to behold, riotous and joyous, belying the complexity of their world.

Let us celebrate that complexity with sweets. German Easter sweets, of course, slightly tweaked so they could have their place on this blog. Sweets, like languages, give fascinating insight into different worlds. Eat up, and be comforted – it is merely a study in anthropology.

One year ago on May the Cheese Be With You: Shepherd’s Pie

Other cream cheese sweets: Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Bites, Carrot Cake, Chocolate Peanut Butter Muffins, Cheesecake Chocolate Mousse, Apple Cheese Danish, Raspberry White Chocolate Cheesecake, Old Style Cheesecake, Cream Cheese Pancakes, Cookies and Cream Cheesecake Bites, Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Buttercream, Green Velvet Cheesecake Cake with Marshmallow Cream Cheese Frosting

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Cheesecake Filled Chocolate Easter Eggs

Inspired by the one-of-a-kind Raspberri Cupcakes

Servings: 6-8 eggs (depends on their size)

Prep time: 1 hour

You will need:

  • 6-8 hollow chocolate eggs
  • 150gr cream cheese
  • 30gr, or 1/4 cup, powdered sugar
  • a good squeeze of lemon juice
  • vanilla extract, or vanilla sugar, to taste
  • 125ml, or 1/2 cup, cream
  • apricot or peach jam, or any yellow filling you like

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Use a sharp knife to remove the top of the chocolate eggs. I went for the rustic, cracked look so I used a serrated knife. If you want smooth edges, hold your knife under warm water before cutting – it’ll make things easier and neater. Keep the chocolate eggs in the fridge while you prepare the cheesecake filling.

Cheesecake Filled Easter Eggs 1

For the filling, beat the cream cheese with the sugar, lemon juice and vanilla until smooth, creamy and uniform – no unsightly lumps here, folks.

Now pour the cream into the container of an electric mixer and beat until stiff peaks form – we’re going for light whipped cream consistency here. If you feel like getting in a good workout before overloading on dessert, go on and hand whip it. But be prepared to sweat.

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Carefully fold the whipped cream into the cheesecake until just combined.

Now spoon the filling into the chocolate eggs – you’ll need a spoon small enough to fit into the openings you cut earlier. Once filled to taste, chill the eggs in the fridge for 30 minutes.

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When the cheesecake has firmed up nicely, use the same spoon you were using to fill the eggs, and spoon out the centre of the eggs, in order to create a little hollow in the middle of the filling. Fill the hole with the apricot or peach jam (I used a homemade combination of both). Chill for another half hour before serving.

Enjoy 🙂


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Carrot Cake, or the alternative cure for the common cold

Carrot Cake 8

I hate taking pills. I never do. If I have, say, the most excruciating headache, I’ll reluctantly choke down half an aspirin, which, considering I’m a (mostly) fully fledged adult, obviously has no effect whatsoever, thus confirming my totally-not-based-in-reality belief that they’re no good anyway. Of course, there is a reason behind this. There is a reason behind most everything I do. I’m sure there must be. In this case, it’s because I’m hardly ever sick. No, seriously. I haven’t had a fever in over 10 years. I heal faster then Wolverine, for crying out loud. The discrepancy in the wound-to-scar ratio on me is proof of that. It’s also lucky, or I’d look like a combined map of the subway systems of every single subway-owning city.

Back to taking meds. The point is, when I do take something, it takes my body completely by surprise, which therefore knocks me out into a sleep so deep, it leaves Sleeping Beauty cowering in a corner yelling “No way!”

The last time I took something more serious than a pink, strawberry-flavored children’s aspirin, it took partial asphyxiation due to a ludicrously clogged up nose, a headache like I had an amateur marching band stomping over my brain on rhinos, playing the heavy-metal version of “Oh my darling Clementine”, and a hell of a lot of coaxing from the boyfriend. And by coaxing, I mean bribing me with promises of rivers of honey and milk, and possibly the map to El Dorado.

I was asleep before I knew what hit me, and woke, quite suddenly, a good 10 hours later, with a random craving: Carrot Cake. Or, more specifically, the cream cheese frosting that goes with it. But I couldn’t just make the frosting, because what would people say, so I went ahead and made the whole cake.

And ate it. No, not the whole cake. That’s ridiculous. I would never do that. I couldn’t possibly.

OK, yes, the whole cake.

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Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Servings: 6 to 8

Prep time: roughly 2 hours, baking and cooling times included

You will need:

For the cake:

  • 500gr carrots
  • 2 1/2 cups (600gr) flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • a pinch of ground cloves
  • 1 1/2 cups (350gr) white sugar
  • 1/2 cup (120gr) brown sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups (350ml) vegetable oil

Carrot Cake

For the frosting:

  • 1 1/2 cups (350gr) cream cheese (I used light)
  • 3/4 cups (70gr) butter, softened (I also used light)
  • 4 teaspoons sour cream (if you can’t get your hands on sour cream where you live, combine 3 teaspoons regular cream with 1 teaspoon lemon juice and let sit for 5 minutes)
  • 1 cup (250gr) confectioners’ sugar

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Start by peeling and grating your carrots. This will take a lot of arm muscle, so be prepared to have some seriously sore muscles the next day. Think of it as a pre-cake-eating-frenzy-workout. That works for me. Every time.

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In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and spices. In a separate bowl, combine the sugars, eggs and vegetable oil. Now add the wet mixture into the dry, then stir in the shredded carrtos. Or join my club, forget the eggs, and have fun blending them in at the end.

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At this point, the batter will distinctly resemble puke. But plough on, brave baker, all is as it should be.

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Pour the batter into a greased and floured cake pan. Carefull tap the pan on your counter to release air bubbles.

Bake on medium-low heat for aprox. 30 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the middle comes out clean. Set aside and allow to cool completely.

Meanwhile, get to work on the frosting.

Combine the cream cheese with the butter and sour cream until smooth. Slowly sift in the confectioners’ sugar and mix well. Ideally, it should be all nice and smooth. Mine was, well, not.

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When the cake has cooled, slice it in half lengthwise so you are left with two discs. Spread a layer of cream cheese frosting on the bottom-part disc and top with the second disc. Spread the rest of the forsting all over the cake. Make it as pretty as you like. I was in a hurry, as I had hungry relatives wailing pitifully from the table, so I chose the rustic path.

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Grab a spoon and scratch out all the left over forsting. Lick off. Repeat.

Serve the cake at room temperature, or store in the fridge if you made it ahead.

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Cut up, dish up, and enjoy!