Hi.

Welcome to my blog. I document my adventures in travel, style, and food. Hope you have a nice stay!

Lime Cheesecake with Cardamom Whipped Cream

Lime Cheesecake with Cardamom Whipped Cream

Though I shouldn't publicize this, there was a point in my sad, empty life at which I was—having just relinquished the vow of celibacy that my first career required—nonexclusively dating three people: McCrazy, McAverage, and McPerfect (or "too hot," "too cold," and "just right"). I remember one night in particular, after a date with McCrazy, I went to pick up my pet canary from a friend who had been watching her while I was home in Atlanta for the holiday. As Jo Bertie (the canary) was chirping away at my return, my friend asked, "How was your date?" I recalled the night's events to her—the uncomfortable dinner, the chugging of wine (to get through it), the need to get out of there—and as I outlined McCrazy, I began to see McPerfect much clearer, Etch A Sketching into my corneas all the way from Georgia. And then I started to bawl. It's funny how it takes an obvious contrast to help you see what's even more obvious in front of you. The acidity of this no-bake cheesecake, in a way, highlights its sweetness, its perfect "just rightness," and the cardamom whipped cream softly finishes the sour lime. And the motorcycle ride, the dark and stormies, the walking you out to your car in January (even though his hair was still wet from the shower)—you'll always have access to those pauses, if only through taste memory.

Crust:
18 graham cracker sheets,* bashed into oblivion
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons sugar
4 limes, zested
Pinch salt

Filling:
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature^
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup lime juice (about 4 limes, juiced)
1 cup heavy cream

Whipped Cream:
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract+
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

*in other words, 36 squares; 72 rectangles; or 2 packs in a box of 3
^room temperature, or else you'll have cheese curds instead of a silky duvet
+or 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped

For the crust: First, process the graham crackers into sandy rubble. (If you don't have a food processor, put the crackers in a resealable plastic bag and bash with a rolling pin.) Into this, stir the melted butter, sugar, lime zest, and salt until well combined, like wet sand. Tumble into a round springform pan and, with a ramekin, wine glass, or anything with a flat base, press and pack the crumbs into the bottom and sides. You should be left with what looks like a large, empty cookie shot (à la Dominique Ansel). Fridge this until ready to fill.

For the filling: In a large bowl, cream together the room-temperature cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, and lime juice until smooth and fluffy. Slowly whisk in the heavy cream and continue whisking until the batter increases in volume and thickens considerably.# (Stiffish peaks, if that means anything to you—or when you tilt the bowl, the batter shouldn't move much.) Pour this filling into the prepared graham cracker crust; smooth off the top; and refrigerate for 2 hours at least, preferably overnight.

For the whipped cream: Whip the heavy cream, sugar, vanilla, and cardamom to medium peaks, or to your desired whipped cream texture. Top the cheesecake with this spiced cream and garnish with lime zest or fresh lime slices.

#I've made this cheesecake in a stand mixer, with an electric hand mixer, and by hand—they all work (especially if the cream cheese is at room temperature).

Sea-Salted Olive Oil Ice Cream

Sea-Salted Olive Oil Ice Cream

Rhubarb Crème Brûlée

Rhubarb Crème Brûlée