Image by Holly Bell
I am never happy. No, I don't mean I'm a depressive. I think I was depressed for about 2 months back in 1999, but other than that have been lucky on that front. I'm just never happy with my lot. I have this constant suspicion I am missing out on things. I have to try everything once. It's a recipe for disaster. Like poor impulse control in infants.
So I worked in advertising for a while. And that was okay. Except I did it for so long that I felt like I was missing out on all the other things in the world I might try my hand at. So I started to become obsessed with Life After Advertising and what I might reinvent myself as. So I have a whole folder dedicated to the frozen baby food business idea I had. I have had serious chats with myself about making wedding cakes for a living. I also have the branding and name of a cafe I want to open. One day I want to write a crime novel. Oh and I also want a little wedding dress shop, despite being utterly dyslexic with a needle and thread.
Because, let's be honest, every wedding dress shop I have ever been to (except for Harrods but we can't count that as we all know everyone just books an appointment there to drink champagne and try on ridiculous Downtown Abbey style dresses) has been run by Grand Dames who hate people with budgets under £1000 and wear a lot of orange make up. I was going to run a super friendly wedding dress shop that embraced brides who wanted an unconventional dress and gave away free flowing fizz with fittings, and made brides like their backsides and boobs rather than suggest they lose a few pounds before the big day. My wedding dress shop would of course be commercially unsuccessful from champagne losses, but I'd leave an awful lot of women with sky-high self-esteem in my wake. That would be my legacy.
Sometimes it's good to try on your dreams for size. Maybe work experience in a wedding dress shop might cure me. Or a stint waitressing again to stop these mad cafe proprietor dreams. And making wedding cakes for a living? I briefly thought at some point my perfectionist streak might enjoy such a job. I 'did' my first wedding cake this weekend and found it all a bit stressful. The bride was of course wonderful. The type of woman who would laugh if I dropped the cake on the gravel drive 10 minutes before I Do. All the pressure was of my own making. I so wanted it to be perfect. And it was okay, well, as good as I was ever going to get it. I've dipped my toe into the wedding cake world and though fun, it'll be my only foray. I'm thinking the future might be in cheesecakes... have I told you about my idea for a cheesecake shop...?
125g ginger nut biscuits
35g butter, melted
250g cream cheese (full fat)
80g Greek yoghurt (I used fat free, but can use full fat)
150g sour cream
100g castor sugar
1tsp ground ginger
2 large eggs, at room temperature
3 x 30g bars of Caramac, melted
Grease and line a 20 x 20cm tin, preheat the oven to 160°c/gas mark . Crush the ginger nuts (in a bag with a rolling pin or in a food processor) and mix with the melted butter. Press into the tin. Whisk together the cream cheese, Greek yoghurt, sour cream, castor sugar, cornflour, ground ginger and eggs until really smooth, using either a handheld whisk or a handheld mixer/whisk attachment in a stand mixer.
Pour over the biscuit base and swirl 3 x 30g melted Caramac bars over top. (NB: The Caramac will set immediately). Bake for about 35 mins until the sides are puffed up and risen but there's still a wobble in the centre. Cool in the tin and then chill in the fridge.
Please note that if you use a smaller or larger tin the bake time will vary. The larger the tin the shorter the bake as the cheesecake topping will be thinner.
Holly blogs at Recipes from a Normal Mum
Her first book is out now, also called Recipes from a Normal Mum
If you're less of a reader and more of a watcher, check out Holly's youtube channel.