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Cakes and Loaves, Chocolate

Goodbye unemployment, hello early mornings. Hey, Marble Cheesecake

This week’s Great News is that I have a job. It took me almost four months, hundreds of refusals, millions of no-replies, liters of tears and tons of mindless self-indulgence, but I finally got here; I still don’t know how, and considering my self-esteem issues I probably never will, but hey: does it really matter? I have a job. I have a job.

I went through a telephone interview during which I probably sounded like an awkward mess: try answering questions like what kind of person do you think we are looking for? while walking around Victoria Street in search of a quiet spot that you won’t find, and then we’ll talk. I survived a 3-hour assessment centre that brought back to light my ancient troubles with mathematics and Microsoft Excel, and answered to a series of tricky interview questions that the Spanish Inquisition could not have asked better. (Curious about why the hell an aspirant writer should look for a secretarial job? Because not all writers are good and potentially successful writers, for a start. And then because you may not get into publishing with two degrees and an English as a Foreign Language certificate – but that doesn’t mean you cannot still be the kind of obsessive organisational geek that makes a good secretary).

After all of this, and right when I was losing my hopes of ever getting back home to the huge pizza that was waiting for me, I was offered the job. And I accepted, because I am precisely the kind of obsessive organisational geek that makes a good secretary, and because I can always be a writer or a freelance translator during the evening, or the weekend, or even the lunch break. Hopefully.

I will now resist the temptation of singing The dog days are ove-errr, the do-oo-og days a-aaare done while manically jumping on my bed, because the mattress will probably breathe its last if I do. Oh, and because from next Monday I will have to wake up at 7 every morning, and have breakfast on the tube – of course, if I am lucky enough to get a seat. I also imagine I will have poorer and quicker lunches, but that’s not a big deal, considering that I need to lose some weight before I have to upgrade my whole wardrobe to a bigger size. In the meantime, celebration is mandatory – so, while waiting for a chance to bake the amaretti cake I had sworn I would make as soon as I got a job, I will treat you with another sweet delight, hoping that you will enjoy it as much as I enjoyed it last weekend.

Healthier Marble Cheesecake

(freely inspired from here; makes 8 – 10 slices)

Ingredients

  • 90g reduced fat Digestive biscuits
  • about 30g butter, melted
  • 680g low-fat cream cheese
  • 200g sugar
  • 25g flour
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 30g milk chocolate.

Recipe

  • Break the biscuits into small crumbs, and mix them with the melted butter in a bowl.
  • Pour the mixture in a greased cake tin, spreading it evenly until the bottom is entirely covered.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 160° and bake for 8-10 minutes, then set aside to cool down.
  • Place the cream cheese in a large bowl, and beat it with a mixer until smooth.
  • Aadd the sugar and flour, and keep on beating.
  • Mix the vanilla extract and egg whites in a separate bowl, then add them to the cheese mixture.
  • Pour the cream into the pan, above the biscuit base.
  • Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl, over simmering water. Pour it over the cream, swirling with a fork to create a decorative pattern.
  • Bake the cake at 160° for 35 minutes, or until almost set (the cheesecake should slightly leave the side of the tin).
  • Cool on a wire rack, then cover and chill at least 4 hours in the fridge.
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