flan-0010I pay a visit to my blog and I found myself staring flatly at my pictures. It is happening more and more often these days. It is not the quality of my photography that makes me feel inadequate but rather the blank space in between the images.

It’s time for a confession (I know you like confessions): I’m in a love/hate relationship with food. Certainly, I’m a person who enjoys cooking and fine cuisine but, outside of my blog, I can also dine with cookies or boiled eggs, if necessary. A drama that keeps me out of all the MasterChef auditions in the world.

While you will never see me eating cookies (unless I deliberately decide to show this obnoxious aspect on Instagram), I have the problem of filling the blank space in between the images. I am this girl who deeply loves writing but – because of uncertainties, doubts and fears – doesn’t always find the activity of “food writing” a spontaneous and easy one.

flan-0024Right now, for example, I would rather tell you about my sorrow after yesterday’s tragic events that saw 12 people killed during a terrorist attack in Paris. I would tell you how much I am missing my life in London, although I used to complain quite a lot about it. The fact is that I don’t quite feel like addressing the topic “cute mascarpone cake”.

I know, I know… the show must go on.

However tricky I find this writing about recipes (they are just a tiny part of my life!), I reckon that my blog is nothing else than a safe space where a recipe can act as the antidote against those moments of doubt and, why not, even sorrow. As such, it has a therapeutic value. Kind of.

cheesecakeglaze-2A more serious note, better suited to the food blogger position: this cheesecake went through a significant deflating moment while it was still in the oven. It was supposed to stand tall. Meh.

After a first moment of disappointment I resolved that I would rather judge it for the taste than for the original plan. I let the cake (and my disappointment) rest half an hour, then I tried a slice. My mum ate two slices in a row. Boy if it was tasty. We decided that a layer of strawberry jam would add a touch of color and a fruity note.

Ultimately, the therapeutic function of a slice of cake was confirmed.

flan-0045

Mascarpone Cheesecake with Strawberry Glaze

Ingredients

  • 250 grams mascarpone cheese
  • 70 grams granulated sugar
  • 40 grams butter
  • 4 eggs at room temperature
  • 100 ml milk
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 60 grams white flour
  • 1/2 cup strawberry jam for glazing

Instructions

  • In a medium bowl, combine the mascarpone cheese, sugar, softened butter and milk. Whisk the mixture until smooth, let cool .
  • Preheat oven to 160°C. Lightly butter a 7-inch loose-bottom pan, line the bottom and sides with buttered parchment paper.
  • Beat yolks, add to the cheese mixture; add in lemon juice and mix well. Sift in the cake flour in two additions, mix well until smooth.
  • In a large bowl, beat egg whites until stiff and gradually add sugar and beat for a few seconds more. Add the egg white mixture to the cheese mixture and slowly fold the mixture well.
  • Pour batter into the prepared pan and tap pan on counter to remove air bubbles.
  • Bake in a water bath at 160°C for 30 minutes then lower to 140°C and bake for another 30 to 40 minutes. If the cake begins to brown on top, cover loosely with foil. Let rest in the oven with the oven door slightly open, about 30 minutes. Let cake cool completely before removing from the pan. Glaze with strawberry jam, or whichever jam you prefer.

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11 Comments

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  1. A beautifully honest post and a really gorgeous cake. I only recently started a food blog after being in the Lifestyle/Personal blog world for a while. It’s an interesting place- readers are there for your recipes but I think most also enjoy getting to know you a little bit.
    It’s a special skill and one that I reckon you’ve got covered, you just need to set the doubts aside 🙂

  2. Very true. Sometimes it’s really difficult to focus on the topic while writing. Luckily Dave and I can inspire each other with stories and ideas, in case one of us is not really in writing mood.

    I know it’s not always possible, but if it is, I love to mention the history of the recipe. Where it comes from, how it got developed, who was involved to become what it is. To me it gives the recipe a personal character, something like – “wow, so these are the roast potatoes Dave’s auntie always made for the family.”

  3. I totally hear you, sometimes it’s hard to put your thoughts into words…especially when you’re trying to have it flow with a recipe and food pictures, and when you’re feeling sad, confused, in a weird space, etc. But, know that you’re not alone and that all of us bloggers probably have a tough time with it sometimes!

  4. Keeping a singular focus while blogging is so difficult, especially as the world goes on outside the realm of food. I feel the same way a lot, and your post today definitely resonated with me! On a lighter note, I love your cute marscapone cheesecake and the photography is amazing.

  5. I share the same struggles, Daniela. It can be so hard to write about food sometimes! I too want to dig deeper into what’s on my mind at the time but it’s difficult to make that flow when you’re talking about food.

    Maybe you could do a regular (weekly/monthly) post where you catch up on those things? I’d be interested in what you have to say. 🙂