May finally brought the good weather, and with it shorts, flip flops, ice creams, and well, lots of kids hanging around on the island with dripping Popsicles in one hand, sunglasses on their heads. The younger kids walk around the Cove in small groups, or ride their bikes up and down the main road for the thrill of speeding down past a whir of dog walkers, stroller-pushers, and cynical drivers turning left across their path. Some of which who raise a glance in shock at the rush of warm air across their face, and some who, so used to Bowen summers and the many people it brings out, need not look to the activity, but just know what occurs. In the midst, are learner drivers enjoying the freedom of riding around on a scooter, giving them the ability to travel across the island to the best beaches, or pick up lunch with friends at one of our favourite cafés.
For me, as my friend drove the two of us down for ice cream after we'd both had enough of laying in the sun smothered grass, I was reminded of the best part of living on an island, when you don't have to battle the ticket salesmen at the ferries, or trouble with cut-off times in order to make it back home in time. On a hot day, the island seems to slow down, and despite having upcoming tests and homework, the day drifts on, and the worries away.
On Sunday, I might have had three upcoming tests, a normal stress for me, but I was enjoying the bright sun and warmth that it brought as I lay across my sunny deck, that I just couldn't bring my mind around to the normal level of anxiety - and instead I could enjoy the entire day.
The sun was so hot on Sunday that by the time noon rolled around, my friend had messaged me about a trip to the beach, and the thought of a quick cool-off in the ocean seemed like the best idea anyone had had that day, including mum's thoughtfulness at bringing home everyone a delicious hot chocolate before the sun became too hot to think of eating anything over ten degrees.
It must be kind of silly, as I write this describing the 27° Celsius weather as 'so hot' and describing our adventure to escape it by taking a trip to the beach, but we have had such rainy weeks - in fact all of winter it seemed to have rained - so having the doors wide open, the windows pulled back to their widest setting, and all the lights off since it is so bright during the day, has a feeling of 'finally', as if everything, the trees, the flowers, and us especially, are just sighing into a much happier and more relaxed frame of mind, and with it embracing the warmth and life that this warm weather brings. The sun also gives everyone a reason to show a little bit of crazy, to let go of winter coats and scarves that cover everything up, including our enthusiasm, and now, in shorts and tank tops, can run wildly around the sprinkler in the yard, or chase the dog and her ball in the yard.
Love of Chocolate Cheesecake
Although chocolate is not typically served for dessert during the summer, the flavour too rich and luxurious after a light salad, or with a sangria (virgin for me please!), this dessert is served chilled, so steps over the line between winter and summer, and in fact, becomes the perfect spring and fall dessert!
Everyone needs a chocolate fix every now and then, and this extraordinary dessert: creamy, delicate, and above all, full of real chocolate, will leave guests extremely satisfied even if some beg that they couldn't eat another bite. For an extra twist, serve with vanilla ice cream, or a spoonful of whipped cream, but on its own this cheesecake stands well too.
3/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
5.5 ounces cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 ounces dark chocolate
Melt chocolate chips in top of a double boiler over low heat, or similarly, a bowl set over a saucepan of boiling water. Stir until melted.
Combine cream cheese and butter in a separate bowl and use an electric mixer until it becomes fluffy and smooth. Add sugar and vanilla and beat well, scraping down the sides.
Add in melted chocolate and beat to combine.
In another bowl beat the cream until stiff peaks form. Fold into the chocolate cream cheese mixture.
Spoon mixture into three individual ramekins, or use 2 1/2 inch cookie cutters set on a parchment lined baking sheet (using cookie cutters will allow you to remove the cheesecakes from their molds, to be served on plates. With ramekins I was forced to serve them in those dishes).
Chill the mixture for 1 to 2 hours.
Just before serving, grate the chocolate finely, and sprinkle over top each cheesecake.
Labels: cheesecake, chocolate, cream, cream cheese, dessert, gluten free