Peach & Coconut Cheescake

Friday, 24 April 2015

I would like to make a confession. It is something that I normally try not to talk about, as every time I suggest anything like this in public, I can feel everyone’s head turning and looking at me with disapproval. So when the conversation is around this particular matter, I limit myself to a nod and a smile.

The thing is… I don’t do a lot of things I am supposed to do. And I don’t do them on purpose: because they are tedious, painful (in the broadest sense of the word), useless or all three at once. So when I am surrounded by people who do these kind of things and I suggest I don’t, I feel the need to hold me breath and then pretend I was only joking and everything goes back to normal.

When you feel so pushed into doing things that make you feel like you are wasting your time, you have the need to confirm that everyone else does the same, so it doesn’t seem like your time is so wasted. Misery loves company. 

But this week I have decided to come out of the closet . I need to release some of the burden. I would like to follow Julia Roberts, Beyonce and even Madonna’s example in the hope that one day I won’t be the one to be pointed at.

Because, what is beauty? According to the Oxford Dictionary “a combination of qualities that pleases the intellect or a combination of qualities, such as shape, colour, or form, that pleases the aesthetic senses, especially the sight”. What is torture? The same dictionary says “the action or practice of inflicting severe pain on someone as a punishment or in order to force them to do or say something”. What is the link between beauty and torture? This relationship only has one name, and it’s depilation.

So there we go: I don’t shave my legs. (sigh). I don’t shave any other part of my body unless it is absolutely necessary and unavoidable (sigh sigh). Additionally, I don’t use make up. (Eek). I don’t (of course) use anti-wrinkle cream, eye contour balm or pro vital anti-ageing moisturiser super-duper night cream. I don’t (over my dead body) iron. I don’t blow-dry my hair. I don’t wear heels (not even on my wedding day). I don’t care if my bra matches my pants or if I am too white to wear a bikini. I don’t do practically anything to my body which will have a potential good result long term after the indescribable torture in the short term. I definitely do not believe in the saying “no pain no gain”.

I would say I am an hedonist: “a person who believes that the pursuit of pleasure is the most important thing in life; a pleasure-seeker”. So instead of wasting my time fighting against my corporal hair, against my emerging wrinkles, my untanned skin or my wrinkly clothes I prefer to eat, drink, read, dance, play the piano, cook or dream. Just any other suggestion seems better to me than doing something that doesn’t make me feel better at all. 

And please, don’t get me wrong. I think is great for you that if you don’t like your legs to look like a wild forest, you do something about it. If you treat yourself with a glass of white when your laundry basket is empty, that’s such a great thing to do. If you use a particular cream for each single part of your body, that’s fine to me. In general, I think it  is great for anyone do whatever makes them feel happy. But I feel happier being hairy. And wearing flats and wrinkly clothes. And having frizzy hair.

So next time the conversation goes around who has stronger hair or how long it takes you to get ready, I won’t be ashamed again to say I just don’t know because it is something I absolutely don’t care about.

This week’s recipe is a tribute to those simple things that don't need any additives to be endlessly beautiful.


3 Ripe Peaches + 1 Peach for decoration 
150gr Desiccated Coconut
500gr Soft Cheese
300ml Condensed Milk
3 Gelatine Leaves
200gr Digestive Biscuits
50gr Butter


We will start with the cheesecake base. Blitz the biscuits to a fine crumb, add the melted butter and mix until well combined. Tip into a cake tin and press down firmly into the base. Chill in the fridge while you make the filling.

Mix the soft cheese with the condensed milk. Peel and chop the peaches. Add to the mixture and mix together. 

Soak the gelatine leaves in a bowl of cold water for 5 to 10 minutes. Once soft, lift sheets from the cold water. Squeeze gently to remove any excess water and add to the mixture whisking until completely dissolved. Add half the coconut and mix until combined.

Pour the cheesecake mix into the cake tin and leave to set in the fridge for at least 5 hours or ideally overnight.

Remove the cheesecake from the tin and decorate with slices of the extra peach and the remaining coconut.

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