Sunday, January 22, 2017

The Insanity Plea - Larry D. Thompson, Author



Desdemona's Cheesecake -  Lemon Vanilla  Cheesecake
By Victoria Thompson - Larry's wife
This recipe takes all day so I consider it a Special Occasion Dessert only! It is gorgeous and tasty when done.

Shopping list:
6 vanilla beans
6 medium lemons
1 1/2 c. flour & 1 1/2 Tbl flour
2 1/2c. sugar & 1/3 c. sugar
8 eggs
1 3/4 c. butter
1/4 tsp. salt
2  8 oz. pkgs. cream cheese
8 oz. ricotta cheese or small curd cottage cheese
1 small container of vanilla yogurt
31/4 c. sour cream
1/2 c. powdered sugar
21/2 c. whipping cream
31/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Crust: Approx. 45 min. prep, 1 hour chill, 15 min. bake

2 vanilla beans
1 1/2 tsp. lemon zest
2 c. flour
1/2 c. sugar
2 egg yolks (save whites for filling)
1 c. butter diced into 4 pats
1/4 tsp. salt
 Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F. during the chill

1. Split vanilla beans and scrape seeds into a medium bowl;
2. Stir in flour, sugar and zest.  Add egg yolk, butter and salt.  Cut in until crumbly.
3. Knead until a smooth dough ball forms, cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
4. Lightly spray springform pan with butter flavored spray.  Press dough on bottom and sides to 1/8th to 1/4 inch thickness.  Spray a sheet of foil with butter flavored spray, careful place the foil on top of the dough to line the pan.  Add beans into the foil lining to hold sides of dough in place while they bake.  Bake in the center of oven until lightly golden, about 10 to 12 minutes.  Remove from oven and carefully lift the foil full of beans out of the crust.  Cool.





Filling: Approx. 1 hour prep time – 2 hours baking time – 3 hours cooling time

2 eight ounce packages of cream cheese softened
8 oz. ricotta cheese or small curd cottage cheese
1 container of vanilla yogurt
1/4 c. sour cream
1/3 c sugar
1/2 c. powdered sugar 
1 1/2 Tbl flour
1/2 c. whipping cream
4 lg. eggs separated and one egg white retained from crust prep.
1 tsp. Vanilla extract
2 vanilla beans
1 1/2 tsp lemon zest

Pre heat oven to 350 degrees F.  Boil water for the baking bath.

Three bowl method to very fluffy and light cheeses cake.
1. In a small bowl, whip cream until lightly peaking, split vanilla beans and add seeds to cream as well as the extract, continue whipping until firm peaks form;
2. In a second medium bowl, beat egg whites until lightly peaking, add powdered sugar and continue beating until firm peaks form;
3. In a large bowl, cream egg yolks, zest, sugar, sour cream and yogurt.  Blend in cream cheese and finally the cottage cheese.  Do not over blend - should be light and fluffy.
4. Fold in (bowl#2) whites and (bowl#1) whipping cream, blend on low with a mixer just until smooth. Do not overbeat.
5.  Cover the outside of the springform pan (the cooled crust) with foil that goes above the edges of the pan (to be sure water stays out).  Pour the cheesecake mix into the crust/springform. Place the springform into a roasting pan, fill with boiling water to half way up the springform.
6. Bake in the center of the oven 45 to 60 minutes, until the perimeter of the cake is light brown and set and the center jiggles.  Turn off the oven and leave the door ajar for 1 hour.
7.  Take cake out of the oven and remove from the roasting pan.  Remove outside foil and continue to cool on a wire rack.  When the bottom is cool to the touch place the cake in the refridgerator for 3 hours before topping.

Topping:  3 layers

Lemon curd:  Approx. 30 min. prep time plus time to chill.

2 large eggs
3/4 c sugar
1 1/2 Tbl. lemon zest
1/2 c. fresh lemon juice 
3 Tbl. chilled butter in three pats

1. In the top of a double boiler, whisk eggs until smooth, whisk in sugar, zest and lemon juice.
2. Place over the bottom of the double boiler when the water is simmering and cook over low heat, stirring constantly until thick and pale yellow, 7 to 10 min.
3. Stir in butter one pat at a time until thoroughly combined and smooth.
4. Remove top of double boiler and set into a bowl of ice, stirring occasionally until cool.  Refridgerate.

Sour Cream topping: Approx. 10 minutes prep time plus time to chill

3 c. sour cream
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
seeds of 1 vanilla bean

Beat all ingredients and chill.

Lemon Vanilla Whipping cream topping: Approx. 10 min. prep time plus time to chill.

2 c. whipping cream
1 tsp. lemon zest
1 tsp. vanilla
seeds of 1 vanilla bean

Whip cream until peaks lightly form, add other ingredients and continue to whip until firm peaks form.  Chill. 

Assemble:

Spread sour cream topping evenly over the cheesecake.
Spread a very thin layer of lemon curd over the sour cream layer.  Do not use all of the curd, just enough to make a very thin layer.

Pipe the whipping cream in peaks to cover the top of the cheese cake.  Decorate with the lemon zest curls, chill and serve.

The Insanity Plea - Review by Martha A Cheves, Author of:  Stir, Laugh Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish

The killer held her with his left hand while he retrieved a knife from its holster on his waist.  He flipped open the blade and pulled it from right to left against the soft flesh of her throat.  Blood spurted from both carotid arteries and spilled from her neck.  She was breathing more and more slowly when she slipped to the concrete.  Her fluttering eyes became fixed as life drained from her body.  The killer smiled with satisfaction as he bent over and used his knife to slice the running shorts from her lifeless body.

When he started his slow jog back to the hotel, he felt a few drops of blood, trickling from his cheek.  He used her shorts to stem the flow.  I'll probably have to explain a Band-Aid on my cheek to my audience this morning as a shaving cut, he thought.  As he continued his job, he smiled.  She was number three.  Forty-seven to go.


State v. Little - The State of Texas arrested Dan Little for the murder of a jogger found thrown over the seawall in Galveston.  Dan, ex-football player, ex-attorney, had begun to hear voices and see people that only he could see and hear. He had been living on the streets for years.  He had also been in and out of institutions for many of those years.  So could it be that the voices had started telling him to kill.

His brother Wayne knew Dan's condition.  He also knew that the State of Texas shunned pleas of insanity but with the DA going for the death penalty, insanity was his only way out.  But, did he actually commit the crime?  According to his confession he did.  But did he know what he was saying when he confessed?

This was a 'don't put me down book.'  I read a few pages, told myself I would finish the next chapter and then come back later just to find myself reading the next chapter and the next.  This would make a great movie!

 
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