Going over my literature review for hopefully the last time and checking for missing references, I’ve stumbled upon this wonderful little document hidden in a folder where I’ve stashed some of my old lecture notes. Since electronics and food are two of my favourite pastimes, I thought this deserved a mention here.

Recipe for Lemon Cheesecake

Justification for this spurious bit of frivolity: Dynamic Shift registers, and DRAMs, use electrical charge on a capacitor as a way of storing data. The basic process is to charge a capacitor to a logic 1, or logic 0, and as CMOS gate inputs are high impedance, the charge will stay put for several millisecs – which is a long time when a processor is clocking at 100 MHz.

This ability to store charge was  brought home to me when I was using an electric whisk to make a cheesecake. The electric motor in the whisk has a capacitor across it, to reduce electrical interference produced by the motor. When one unplugs the whisk from the mains socket, the capacitor can be charged to 400 Volts, and can hold the charge for several minutes, so when you are tidying the kitchen, and go to put the whisk away, the plug pins can give you a nasty little shock, courtesy of the charge remaining on the capacitor.

And here is the recipe for the Cheesecake:


  • 8 – 10 digestive biscuits
  • 60 gm butter
  • 200 gm full-fat soft cheese (the healthy stuff does not set so well)
  • 8 fl oz double cream
  • 50gm castor sugar
  • 60ml lemon juice
  • Half a sachet of Gelatine
  • Tin of mandarins, pineapple or (best of all) black cherry pie filling.

Base: Crush digestive biscuits, either using a food processor, a mouli, or, an impecunious student could put them in a plastic bag and bash them with a rolling pin, mallet, brick… Melt (gently) the butter in a large pan, and then add the crushed biscuit, mix till all the butter has been evenly absorbed. Put the mix into a flan dish, spread out evenly and pat it down to make a firm base. Leave in the fridge to harden off.

Cheesecake mix: Put full fat soft cheese in a steep sided bowl plus the double cream (I said it was good – not healthy) in a bowl and mix together using an electric food mixer (slow speed or you’ll have to redecorate the kitchen). Then, bit by bit, add the castor sugar and lemon juice and mix it all together until the mix becomes smooth and lump free. Add extra lemon or sugar according to taste. Dissolve half a sachet of gelatine in very hot water and when completely dissolved, add to the cheesecake mix, and beat well in. Pour/spoon the mix on to the biscuit base and leave in a fridge overnight.

Topping: When about to serve, add tinned mandarin or pineapple pieces in an artistic pattern (the classic approach) or open a tin of Hartley’s Black Cherry Pie filling (Tesco sells it, but hides it in amongst the home baking section – takes ages to find) and spoon that over the top – cherries and the sauce – Perfection – see photo above. WAJW 1/12

Thank you for the cheesecake recipe and the chuckle, Winston.