This weekend will marks the arrival of my best friend, N, who is over from Sydney for the holidays and I'm so very excited!
You see, each year N, her Mum & her sister hold a BIG Christmas party for 60 or so of their closest friends. As a previous member of their household I am always invited. You see, there was the four of us, our ages spanning a few decades, living in one character home in the inner suburbs of Perth and we had a blast! There was me, the admin assistant constantly cooking and dancing, N; the uni student and fellow dancer, her Mum, C, who worked full time AND was studying and finally Bell,a fantastic trainee chef (leftover pate at 2am anyone?) and who was certainly at the middle of a number of arguments thanks to some sneakywardrobe 'borrowing'. Apart from the very occasional moments of hormones gone mad (and wardrobe borrowing) we all got along and had many a wonderful Sunday morning round the kitchen table recounting our previous night's shenanigans over multiple coffees and bacon sandwiches. Yes, they were grand times!
So, as a live-in guest, housemate, best friend, cleaner, baker and DVD-buddy, I always help out at this rather large (and totally fabulous) festivity. The evening usually has all of us some kind of tizz with orders taken earlier in the month for sushi platters, local pizza orders - 20pizzas please! -runs to the grog shop for more bubbles and of course the letter to all the neighbours stating there will be a party on, so feel free to dance to the tunes in your loungeroom.
It is an evening spent under a few hundred fairy lights with music blaring from the speakers and the area, reserved as the dancefloor, often being filled with us girls in floaty dresses and high heels that generally, are not suited to dancing on brickwork, so yes, there is a 'dancing carpet' laid out for us!
Last year I made 50 or so gluten free rice paper rolls for guests (and myself!) to munch on throughout the evening amidst the huge tubs, yes tubs, of punch that N makes up. Let me just say, that, as someone whose been on the receiving end of her (multiple) Vodka/Coke pouring - these punches certainly do pack a punch ! This year, I'mdelighted to be manned with desserts (which will gluten free of course!) and after so much good food I'm thinking definitely 'little'. In fact, I'm thinking bite sized, as it's just somuch easier to have champagne in one hand and a tiny gluten free cupcake in the other, rather than a plate and fork which means that you have to put down the champagne - which just won't do! So this year, not only will there be platters of delicious nibbles and lots (and lots) of punch but there will also be many, many teeny, tiny, sweet gluten free red velvet cupcakes. The perfect size to just pop in to your mouth and enjoy!
So, whilst I'm in the kitchen baking up a storm of red food colouring & cream cheese frosting I suggest that you go ahead and make these divine little caramelised banana & ginger no-bake cheesecakes to enjoy with your friends!
If you missed out on my Top Ten Tuesday post in Aubree's absence, check it out here and get your last minute gift baking apron on and impress your gluten free friends and family this christmas with a little home baked cheer.
Caramelised Banana & Ginger No-Bake Cheesecake
makes 4 mini cheesecakes
For the Gingerbread Base
150g Gluten Free Gingerbread , crushed
1/4tsp ground ginger
50g butter, cold, chopped
In a food processor combine the gluten free gingerbread, ground ginger and butter until a fine crumb forms.
Line the bases of 4 small, round springfrom tins. Divide the crumbsevenly amongst the tins and press evenly into the base only. Refridgerate.
For the No Bake Cheesecake
1 old blackish banana (do not use fresh yellow ones!)
1tblspn brown sugar
pinch mixed spice
250g cream cheese, softened to room temperature
50g castor sugar
1/3cup sour cream
1tsp powdered gelatine, dissolved in 2tblspn hot water*
In a small fry pan melt the butter and brown sugar till disolved. Add the quartered banana and fry on low until golden. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.
Once cool place all remaining ingredients and the banana (and juices!) whiz in a food processor until smooth.
Pour evenly into the 4 tins. Smooth the top and return to the refridgerator for 6hrs or overnight.
To serve remove from tins and sprinkle with a pinch nutmeg and enjoy!
*Note, you can leave out the gelatine mixture, however the cheesecake won't set properly, so make them in small glasses that you can serve them in (like these little cheesecakes pots ) and your guests won't even notice!