Cheesecake

“Sometimes a cigar is only a cigar,” Freud is said to have said. In the same way, this attractive cheesecake is only cheesecake.

I took this photo two weeks ago, when we met a friend in a deserted restaurant for lunch. I’m happy that this Lebanese restaurant has continued to produce good food even after two years of scarce diners. I saw that there was only one other table occupied for lunch on a weekend. The omicron wave was just beginning then, on the first Sunday of January. “This won’t be good for business,” I thought to myself.

I scanned the menu and the rose flavoured cheesecake seemed to be the most interesting dessert. Not only was the flavour interesting, the cake was also light enough to round off a long lunch. The brass plate, the rosy dessert, the light, everything looked like a photo would come out well. So for once I remembered to take a photo before digging into the food.

For the last two weeks the wave of infections, now tens of thousands of new cases daily in the city, has kept people at home. Traffic has thinned out, shops and restaurants barely have customers. The number of new infections may be levelling off, but the number of deaths has just started increasing; it takes two weeks or more for critical cases to resolve. Hospitalization rates have been low, since the city is almost fully vaccinated. So one expects that deaths will be much lower than in previous waves. That is what the vaccine was meant to do. Nice to know that it is working.

The serious business of afternoon coffee

Coffee time in Germany is serious: you have to have cake. We met an old friend for coffee. As we reminisced about the Christmas we’d spent in the family home more than a decade ago, his mother brought out the cakes she has baked specially for the afternoon.

Rita outdoes herself each time. This time it was a cheesecake with mandarins.Cakes She makes the topping with quark and whipped cream. Quark, if you are wondering, is a German sour cream, somewhere between the consistency of Indian chhena and French fromage blanc. When used for a cheesecake, it sets fast into a creamy and firm layer. The bottom is a regular layer of cake. The whole thing looked wonderful before she sliced it, but was even more interesting sliced. The Family exclaimed over the even distribution of mandarin through the cream. We each took seconds, and resolved to go on a long walk later.

One cake is usually not enough for a good coffee. Rita had also baked a raisin tea cake. I’m always pleasantly surprised by cakes where the raisins are uniformly distributed through the volume. My technically competence is not good enough for that. In any case, Rita’s raisin cake is my special favourite. The Family was astounded to see me take a second helping of that also. We did have a long walk in the cold after that. I hope that was enough to burn the calories.

%d bloggers like this: