Dear Phil Vickery

Dear Phil Vickery,

I was watching This Morning the other day when I spotted a lovely looking cheesecake in the background ad immediately began salivating. I love cheesecake! I had to have this cheesecake.

I watched and waited until your part came along where you showed us how to make the delicious looking delight. Did I tell you, I love cheesecake?

You made it look so easy, there was your shortbread all ready and waiting, “yes, the recipe is on the website you said.” Well, you were not wrong, but it wasn’t on the same page as the cheesecake recipe, and I’m not sure it was the right recipe, but it was for shortbread, and I hunted it down. I spent an hour making  the mix, chilling it, cooking it cooling it. Then I found that the recipe just gave me enough shortcake to use as the base of the cheesecake, I’d have to do it all again to make the decoration on the top. Hence my poor cheesecake had to go without.

“Pop the strawberries around the edge of your tin,” you said. You put one in as an example, you made it look so easy. It wasn’t easy. I spent another hour of my time trying to get the bloody strawberries to stick around the edge of the tin! I’d get three in then they’d all fall down, time and time again. I bet you had someone spend an hour putting all of your strawberries in too, didn’t you? And they made sure they left you a perfect little gap to pop in the last strawberry. Or maybe they were all glued to the tin?

So, now I’m two hours in the making of this super quick and easy cheesecake and I realise that hubby has bought me evaporated milk instead of condensed milk. “It’s the same stuff isn’t it?” He said.
Well, no it isn’t, but you probably know that. Condensed milk has lots of sugar but evaporated milk doesn’t. It’s ok though, I knew what to do. You just have to add sugar to a pan of evaporated milk and warm it up until it’s dissolved. I’ve not made cheesecake with condensed milk before, but I guess it’s the secret as to why this one is so ‘quick and easy.’

My condensed milk was sickly sweet but it’s okay because the cheesecake also contains lemon to counteract the sweetness. In fact three lemons and their zest. Have you ever zested three lemons? I guess you have someone do that for you. It took me ages and my arm was aching afterwards. Three lemons and zest is a lot of citrus.

Right, I had my shortcake base in place and the pan was, finally, lined with juicy strawberries, now it was time to make the cheesecake mix. In the video you said it must all be very cold, so my condensed milk was chilled, as was my mascarpone cheese and lemon juice and zest. I mixed the cheese and milk together then added the lemon. In the video I watched in awe as  your mixture instantly became thick and started to set, it was amazing to watch. Did it happen to mine? No! I was left with a custard like substance, a bowl of lemony slop.

Where did I go wrong, everything was weighed and measured, was it because of the home made condensed milk? I put it in the tin anyway and put it in the fridge to chill, after about two hours it started to set. I left it overnight. I reckon it’s taken fourteen hours from start to finish to make your super quick and easy cheesecake.

And don’t get me started on the mess! How come your kitchen worktop was so tidy? My entire kitchen looked like a bomb had hit it. Okay, I know you are on television and everything is ready for you, but, come on, you could let us know how much mess we would make if we were to try it at home! 

And how did it taste? Well, it was super, super lemony.

Thanks Phil, I won’t be trying this again.

By the way, did you know you could make a super quick and easy strawberry cheesecake using a digestive biscuit base (10 mins) a filling of cream cheese, half a lemon juice, whipped cream and icing sugar (10 mins) with an hour to set in the fridge?

Yours disappointingly,

Anne Sweet

My version of Phil Vickery’s Strawberry (very lemony) cheesecake 

My messy kitchen after making the cheesecake!


  1. comfortspring
    June 19, 2017 / 11:52 am

    Oh you poor thing. They make everything looks so easy on TV. I love how they say do this and then they pull out a complete "this" and don't do it on TV. Yeah right. #MMBC

  2. nurserywhines
    June 19, 2017 / 2:36 pm

    Oh dear! What a trial this sounds. And they make it look so easy on TV with everything ready weighed and measured and grated. #GlobalBlogging

  3. June 19, 2017 / 3:26 pm

    I shouldn't laugh, but this did make me giggle. I love you honesty about the process of making your 'easy' cheescake. Wouldn't it be lovely if the chefs on tv were honest about the things they are making. #mmbc

  4. June 19, 2017 / 6:45 pm

    hehehe! This did make me chuckle. I'm sorry.
    They make it look so easy on TV….It's a lot easier just going out and buying one. Much less mess to clean up.

  5. ModernMom
    June 20, 2017 / 12:59 am

    TV cooking NEVER works like they say. Plus yes, they have 2 ovens, tons of space in the fridge (plus the items already ready to pull out)! Good for you for sticking with it – I'm sorry to hear it wasn't nearly as good as advertised!

  6. June 20, 2017 / 8:56 am

    That's why I do tons of prepping for when I cook with my kids, they don't like being kept waiting while I look for tools and ingredients. With all the practise I bet I'd make a great TV chef 🙂

  7. June 20, 2017 / 8:57 am

    I definitely need a lemon zesting machine, but all I can find is graters. I may have found a gap in the market!!

  8. June 20, 2017 / 8:58 am

    I'm glad I made you giggle, to be honest I thought the whole thing was hilarious (apart from the cleaning up!) pity the cheesecake wasn't so nice at the end though.

  9. June 20, 2017 / 8:59 am

    So true, and lately we have been buying cheesecakes frozen, but my homemade ones are usually much bigger and better! Still have to clean up though.

  10. June 20, 2017 / 9:00 am

    I think if I became a food blogger I'd have to buy one to keep in the fridge to bring out at the end, because anything I make never looks so professional, lol.

  11. ourrachblogs
    June 24, 2017 / 5:49 am

    ha! This made I laff. Phil Vickery ALWAYS makes his food look easy to replicate. It's not. Thanks for sharing with #GlobalBlogging

  12. June 25, 2017 / 6:34 pm

    hahah isn't it frustrating! It's like Pinterest, they make it seem so easy and then you try and do it yourself and it all falls apart! Thanks for the laugh and sharing with #GlobalBlogging!

  13. jaxbest
    June 25, 2017 / 7:54 pm

    Oh my goodness, I would be so annoyed!! At least yours looks gorgeous!!! Love those strawberries. #globalblogging

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