Birthday Lemon Cheesecake with Speculoos Base

So today’s Jan birthday (Happy Birthday!), and we (because he helped) made a no bake cheesecake to celebrate. No bake because it’s too warm to cook anything lately.

Recipe: No Bake Lemon Cheesecake with Speculoos Base


For the base:

  • 90 gr speculoos cookies
  • 55 gr butter, melted

For the filling:

  • Grated zest of two lemons, and juice of three lemons (so you need three lemons, just to be clear)
  • 8 gr agar agar1 (to be found at health / bio stores)
  • 200 gr ligh spread cheese (or not light, as you wish)
  • 500 gr quark (or platte kaas or verse magere kaas or similar)
  • 180 gr powder sugar

What you need:

  • zester or grater
  • small microwave safe bowl or small sauce pan
  • big bowl
  • electric mixer, food processor / blender
  • 20 cm diameter spring form (or two smaller 15 cm spring forms)
  • assorted stuff: knife, spatula,


  1. Make the base: in a food processor blend the cookies to a coarse powder, add the melted butter and mix again with the food processor until it all comes together. Spoon mix onto spring form(s) and press onto the base to make an uniform cohesive layer. Let it chill while you make the filling.
  2. Make the filling: in a big bowl, mix lemon zest, spread cheese, quark and sugar together with electric beaters until smooth. Place lemon juice in small microwave safe bowl / sauce pan. Sprinkle agar agar on top and let soak for a few minutes. Then heat up in the microwave on low-medium for 6-8 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes or so. (If in sauce pan, bring to a simmer and let simmer for about 4 minutes). Add lemon gelatin to cheese batter and mix well. Pour filling over base.
  3. Let set in the fridge for several hours, ideally overnight. To release cheesecake from spring form: run a warm moist knife around the edge.

Serves: 8-12 depending on appetite

  1. agar agar sets bad when acid foods, such as lemon juice, are added. I initially used 4gr of agar agar and the cheesecake didn’t set properly, next time I’ll use double

Copenhagen (with a side trip to Malmö) – Part 7 of 7

9th July – The last day

Our last day in Copenhagen and the day we came back to Belgium. We started the day with the usual breakfast in the hotel, then repacking everything to check out of our hotel. We left the suitcase at the hotel, since the flight was at 7pm, and went off to the center to do some stuff.

Statue on the grounds of St Petri Kirke

First stop: the kiosk at Fisketorvet to buy a klipcard to go to the center. We took the bus to the center, where we walked about a bit. We passed by Hvidberg stoffer, one of the oldest, if not the oldest, fabric stores in CPH. The carry all sort of fabrics and also have tailoring service for what I saw. Sadly I didn’t get any souvenirs since the cheapest I saw was way out of my range at 160DKK (plust 25% tax) per meter. It’s also a store where you need to know what you want, because browsing will make you dizzy. Afterwards we stopped by Sommerfuglen again to confirm that I had bought a 50gr skein and not find a second one so 50gr will have to do.

The Viking House Bar & Restaurant

We then strolled to Magasin du Nord for a lookey for food, we also passed by the Holm’s Coffee next door but they don’t have any veggie sandwich, so we ended going to Baresso Coffee, to have a panini and a piece of (no bake) cheese cake for lunch.

Equestrian statue

Since we had bought a klip card and wanted to make the most out of it, we decided to take the Boat Bus (yes, CPH has two regular bus lines that are boats!) back to Fisketorvet to kill some time before heading to the airport. We had a peek at Bog og ide, a store that sells paperwares, books, and other school / office stuff, plus some gifts, and by Zizzi, a plus sized clothing store that has “We looove curves” as a motto. We stopped by Joe & the Juice (warning: music playing site) for a juice (instead of a cup of Joe). Finally we had a look at Bahne, a house wares store, where I got a souvenir for the kitchen – a spoon to rest a stirring spoon (makes sense, no?). We then went to pick up our stuff from the hotel, and to begin our trip back home.

Sign at the Nationalmuseet room over exotic drinks (tea, coffee, chocolate)

First a S-train from Dybbølsbro st. to Københavns Hovedbanegård (aka Central station). Then the ø- train to the airport. We were early there so after dropping off our luggage and passing security, we roamed the stores for a while. We ended having a coffee and sharing a chocolate chip cookie at Caffe Ritazza, and looking for a vegetarian sandwich for about 20 minutes. We ended buying them in Starbucks, how sad is that? With our sandwiches ready, we headed for our gate, that was about 10 minutes walk away. Although apparently 10 minutes in CPH airport are more like 2. We did get stopped to fill in a questionnaire about the airport. We got to our gate and waited for our flight. A short flight later (1.5h is short!) we landed in Brussels, picked up our luggage and headed for the train station. And then we took the slow ass train for Ghent. And we decided to try and take a different one in Brussels North, but it didn’t stop in Ghent, so we ended in yet another train. And we got to Ghent on time to take the last bus to take us home!

Home, sweet home.

And so concludes our vacation.

Read part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5 & part 6. See all the pictures.

Copenhagen (with a side trip to Malmö) – Part 6 of 7

8th July – The plans that weren’t

Initially, as in, before we landed in CPH, we had decided to put Sunday (the 8th) aside to visit Malmö, and Saturday (7th July) to visit Elsinor. But since we had already visted Malmö, we decided to move the visit to Elsinor to Sunday. So the second plan was to go to the center to buy a CPH card for a day (free transport to Elsinor & all the visits included is worth it), and then take the train there. However Jan woke up with a very painful leg that made walking a lot nearly impossible. So I convinced him to take the tablet and park himself at the Nationalmuseet cafe with a cup of coffee (or two) and their free WiFi while I visited the rest of the museum. This time I took the camera along so I could take pictures (for free!).


My first stop was on the first floor (second for the Americans) that contains the exhibition on the Danish Middle Ages and Renaissance (1050 – 1660 AD), and the Prince’s Palace with interiors from the 18th century and the History of the Museum. I then climbed to the third floor to see the Near Eastern and Classical Antiquities exhibition, and on my way down I stopped at the second floor for the Stories of Denmark exhibition (1660 – 2000 AD) and the Doll Houses rooms.

17th century knitting in the nationalmuseet

After the lengthy visit, we went to Foodish (no website found) for lunch. They sell sandwiches and salads, and our sandwiches were delicious! We then stopped by Illum to explore the make up section (sometimes I do like to indulge in a new nail polish, but I didn’t find anything I liked this time). Afterwards we went to Holm’s Cafe for a juice and to plan the next move. We decided to visit some churches and then take the boat bus back to our hotel, but it didn’t really work.

peek show in nationalmuseet

We walked by, but did not climb, the Rundetaarn (Round tower),  on our way to St. Petri Kirke, which was closed. We then walked to Helligåndskirken, which seems to host a book sale but not be open to visitors. On our way to Nikolaj, we realized that we had already walked by the day before and noticed that it’s now a cafe (and a Contemporary Art Center). We followed our planned route to Holmens Kirke, that was closed as well. Luckily we saw that Slotskirken (The Palace Chapel) was open and we could visit.


After sitting for a few minutes in Slotskirken (and taking pictures, obviously), we walked towards the Royal Library, also known as the Black Diamond due to its polished black granite cladding. The library was obviously closed since it was Sunday. We wanted to take the boat-bus that stops next to the library but we were out of trips on our clipcard, and also 4DKK short in cash for the trip :( So we ended walking back to the hotel along the canal side, with frequent stops since my feet were killing me.

Holmens Kirke

When we arrived at our hotel, we unloaded weight and went to the Bar to enjoy a Pineapple  Sunset (alcohol free) cocktail while relaxing on the terrace that overlooks the Copencabana canal swimming pool. A while later we went to the 5th floor to visit the sauna and the steam bath to relax. After a nice shower, we went back to Fisketorvet to have dinner. After exploring the possibilities, we decided on a Mexican restaurant called Indiana that had a reasonable amount of veggie options. And soon it was sleep time. The following day was the last day in CPH.

Read part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4 & part 5. See all the pictures.

Copenhagen (with a side trip to Malmö) – Part 5 of 7

7th July – Do it for free

We decided not to sleep in too much, even though the breakfast buffet was open half an hour later than on weekdays (!) so we could use our Copenhagen card to use the bus to get to the Botanical Gardens (sorry, can’t get the official link to load, so I give you the tourist version), otherwise it would have been quite a walk from the hotel – about 3km. We walked around the Gardens for a while, enjoying the peace and quiet, and not enjoying the rain, so we didn’t really see it all since about half of the paths were slightly muddy (the other half have gravel and it’s much nicer). On our way to the center we stopped once more at Baresso (yep, we are coffee addicts, and proud to be) to rest our feet for a bit.

Our next stop was the Nationalmuseet, a place where I could probably spend a full day (but Jan would get bored). We saw part of the ground floor, that hosts an exhibition about Danish Prehistory (13000 BC – 1050 AD):

Experience 14.000 years of Danish prehistory, from the reindeer-hunters of the Ice Age over the Bronze Age and Iron Age to the voyages of the Vikings.

One very cool thing about this exhibition in my opinion are the tidbits (in Danish and English) with folklore and rather silly stories about what is on display. For instance, above the skeleton of a woman, it read something along the lines of (paraphrasing here):

The woman known as William, who managed to live hirs (sic) life as a man and is a perfect example of transexual behavior of the era. William had a wife and two female slaves to satisfy hirs sexual appetites, and got hirs wife’s children (biological father unknown) recognized as hirs own. The richness of the tomb shows how profitable it was to live as a man.

For lunch we walked into the Strøget (one of the pedestrian shopping streets) to find something. We decided upon Lagkagehuset, a bakery that sells sandwiches and coffee besides breads, pastries & cakes. Afterwards we walk again to Magasin du Nord, this time to actually explore the store inside. Everything is incredibly expensive, even more than what we had thought seeing the prices of restaurants and knowing that sales tax is 25%.  Let’s say that their Sales prices are what I’d pay full price in most cases. We also bumped into the Lego store – all you want in Lego in one place. We contained ourselves and just took a picture.

Lego Guard

After indulging in the above mentioned window shopping, we walked to Vor Frue Kirke (Church of Our Lady), Copenhagen’s Cathedral. We had passed by here already before visiting the Nationalmuseet but there was an organ concert planned for noon, and so it was closed to visitors. We hoped for the best that it’d be open now a couple of hours later. I would say it is small for a cathedral, but it is a nice church, that impresses but does not impose. The interior is decorated with sculptures of the twelve apostles amongst other things.

Copenhagen's Cathedral

Bishop Absalon

Another stop at Baresso to rest the feet and refuel with a cup of coffee followed the visit to the cathedral. Afterwards we walked around Højbro Plads and nearby streets, to sit later at the Stork Fountain to listen to the Jazz band that was playing on a stage in Højbro Plads. Around 8pm we were hungry, so we went to the closest RizRaz (Sticks `n` Veggies) for dinner. RizRaz is a restaurant that serves a vegetarian buffet to which you can add meaty dishes a la carte if you want. Lots of options for a satisfying veggie dinner. After eating we decide that the day has been long enough and go back to our hotel to rest.

Read part 1, part 2, part 3 & part 4. See all the pictures here.

Copenhagen (with a side trip to Malmö) – Part 4 of 7

6th July – The palaces’ day

Our first stop was Rosenborg Slot, a renaissance castle built in the 17th Century by Christian IV (another palace with photography fee, so no pictures of the inside). Here we visited the main building with its two floors of royal chambers (decorated in the style of different kings / queens in the history of Denmark) and the Knights’ Hall on the second (third for the Americans reading) floor, where you can see the old thrones made in silver and ivory, protected by three silver lions, and the coronation chairs used in the past. In the basement we visited part of the armory (old / stately weapons, mostly), a room full of ivory & amber pieces, and the treasury, where royal jewels and crowns are exhibited. Lots of bling bling!

Rosenborg palace

Once outside the castle we could see the army practicing the Change of Guard. It looked funny because they were wearing their army green fatigues and the fluffy gala hats together. We didn’t feel like exploring the gardens since it had been raining and the paths were a tad muddy. So we’ll have to come back some time to visit the places we skip in this trip.

Change of guard practice

On our walk towards the center, we stopped at Croissant’en, a bakery that sells your usual pastries (looked delicious, but didn’t try them), quiche, and salads & sandwiches made to order. You can chose the type of bread and the filling that you want, although they also have standard ones. Quite tasty and filling sandwich. We then headed to a Baresso nearby to sit down with a cup of filter coffee (me) and a double espresso that can wake up the dead (him) and abuse make use of their free WiFi to plan our next move. Baresso is the local equivalent of Starbucks, but they have way better coffee, the flavoured coffees are special orders, and you can also have some free water with your drink. Very recommended stop in CPH.

Cristiansborg palace

After the coffee we decided to continue with the palace theme and head to Christiansborg Slot, smack in the center of the city. Here we visited the Royal Reception Rooms, where galas and audiences take place. Since the rooms are in use, you have to wear shoe covers so that you don’t drag dirt from outside on the carpets and polished floors. Quite funny. We then went to the Royal Riding Grounds, to visit the stables (the horses were on summer vacation though) and a collection of carriages. Afterwards we went to visit the Ruins under the Christiansborg castle: those of Bishop Absalon’s Castle (12th Century) and Copenhagen Castle (14th Century).

Fod descending upon the city hall

We made a second stop at (a different) Baresso to use their WiFi so I could check some shopping addresses and then went off to find Sommerfuglen so I could buy my yarny souvenir: a small skein of Duo Alpaca from Design Club and a set of KnitPro Symphony needles. We decided to treat ourselves to dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe (in one of the corners of the Tivoli Gardens). Since it was too early (for us) to have dinner, we headed for the bar first to have a (non-alcoholic) cocktail. We were in luck (or not, depending on your point of view) and it was Happy Hour when we arrived (every weekday 5-7pm in case you’re interested) so we got two for the price of one! Or more like four for the price of the two we had ordered. Around 6:30 pm we went to ask for a table, for which we were told we had to wait still 45 mins, so we got a beeper. Happy that we asked for the table before the real rush hour started, because we got our table early (only 30 mins wait). For dinner we both had the Veggie Leggie burger (veggie pattie, portobello mushroom & grilled bell pepper) and skipped their desserts since a) we both were full, and b) even the “bites” looked huge!.

After dinner we enjoy a drink and some chatting with friends before heading to the hotel to sleep.

Copenhagen (with a side trip to Malmö) – Part 3 of 7

5th July – The Little Mermaid, and the side trip to Malmö

After breakfast we headed to Amalienborgslot. We were told the Guard Change takes place every hour but I had my doubts about that, so while we did see a small change of guard around 10 am, it wasn’t the main change, that one takes place at noon. So a tad disappointed we headed to the Marble Church (Frederiks Kirke), which is a quite impressive church, but sadly was in works when we visited :( So we couldn’t visit the top floor. Being still too early to go into Amalienborgmuseet (opens at 11am, like most museums here), we decided to walk up to the Kastellet (Citadel). We walked through Churchill’s park, and then came across St. Alban’s, the only Anglican church in Denmark and a beautiful one – the stained glass windows are worth a visit! Our last stop in the Kastellet was The Little Mermaid (Den lille havfrue) to take the mandatory touristy picture. You know, because you can’t go to CPH and not visit the little mermaid.

St Alban's Church

The little mermaid

We then walked back to Amalienborg following a different route and went inside to see the Royal Chambers and an exhibition on Royal Gala. Apparently there is no etiquette on what to wear when invited to a Royal event in Denmark, but it is traditional to wear a long dress (women) and uniform (men). Here we came across something for the first time and that will repeat itself at other Slots (palaces) – the photography fee. Most places will allow you to take photos, for the low price of 20-25 DKK (2,7 – 3,4 €). That after an entry ticket of at least three times that price (or the Copenhagen card). So we skipped the taking pictures and just went in to enjoy the visit. We got out of the palace a couple of minutes before noon, right on time to see The Manor Watch (since no member of the Royal Family was in residence, we got to see the short version of the Change of Guards, with no music).

Change of guard

We then took the bus back to the center, but decided to get off early and stop at Magasin du Nord, a department store next to Kongens Nytorv metro station. We chose one of the two Joe & the Juice (warning music playing site) located inside for lunch: a milkshake and a grilled sandwich. After lunch we took a bus to go to Malmö with a bunch of friends. We got there crossing the Øresund Bridge. There are some amazing views, like a windmill park on the sea (link to picture from my phone). Once in Malmö, we walked about a bit, all the time trying not to eat the tiny flies that swarm around the city and feeling yucky with the high humidity. We visited S:t Petri Kyrka and we did a little indulgence shopping across the church, in a store called Cacaofonie, that sells pralinés, cake & coffee. We got a couple pralinés and a piece of cake with candied fruit & angelica, and chocolate pieces. That cake was delicious! Around 9pm we went to an Italian restaurant to share some pizza since we’re a bit hungry and it was still a while until we would get back to CPH. Another hour in a bus and a 15 mins walk and we were back in our hotel ready to crash.


Read part 1 & part 2 if you missed. You can also see all the pictures here.

Copenhagen (with a side trip to Malmö) – Part 2 of 7

4th July – The Tivoli Day

Despite sunrise being at 4:30 am (I kid you not), we managed to sleep (more or less) until 8:30. We had breakfast in the hotel, your typical buffet breakfast with a selection of breads, pastries, cheeses, jams, fruit (cold cuts, eggs, bacon, sausages and all that stuff that I don’t eat as well). After breakfast we took the bus to the center, and went to the Tourist Center to buy a Copenhagen Card for three days. The info center is right across the Tivoli gardens, so rather easy to find.

Our first stop was a bit silly, the H. C. Andersen Eventyrhuset. It’s a small attraction with scenes from Andersen’s tales. Some are static, some are automated with music and tell the story they show. Somewhat kitschy but fun. We then headed to the Canal Boat Tour, an hour long tour of CPH via its canals.

View from the boat, with the Opera house behind the guide

After the tour, we went to Emmerys, a local bakery chain, for a sandwich. We passed by the Havnebadet (harbour bath), a public, free swimming pool at Island Brygge. There are also lawns and a basket court and what not where you can just plop yourself down to sunbathe. Then we headed to the Tivoli Gardens to actually visit it. We walked around seeing everything, we sat down for a drink, and in the end we decided to go for a ride on The Roller Coaster, one of the oldest wooden rollercoasters in the world, from 1914!


For dinner we stopped at Wagamama, a noodle bar we’ve already been to in Amsterdam and in Canterbury. Not really Danish food, but it’s hard to eat vegetarian Danish food when they do love their meat & fish. If you like your food spicy, do not trust their ratings and order a side of chili peppers. Otherwise it’ll be a disappointment! After dinner it was time to call it a day, so we walked next to the canal back to our hotel.

If you missed part one, you can read it here. And if you want to see all the pictures, you can go here.

Copenhagen (with a side trip to Malmö) – Part 1 of 7

3rd of July – The beginnings

We woke up bright and early, way too early for vacation, to begin our trip to Copenhagen (CPH from now on). After breakfast I had a few “I think we are forgetting to pack something”. Then we said goodbye home and headed for the first leg of our lengthy trip. Two buses and a train later we arrived at Brussels Airport to drop off our luggage and take our flight to CPH. We landed an hour and 15 minutes later, about 20 minutes ahead of schedule. But it’s ok, the baggage drop-off made up for that time making us wait 20 minutes for our suitcase.

We walked out of the luggage claim area into what looked a very disorganized check in area, to find our way to the train station. A nice Danish girl sold us tickets for the train and gave us instructions on how to get to Dybbølsbro st., the closest S-train stop to our hotel, the Copenhagen Island. We walked the 100m to the hotel and checked in. Luckily they didn’t complain we were too early!

View from our room

We took possession of our room and unpacked our things and then we headed to the bar to enjoy our Velkomstdrink (sic) and look on our guide & map what we wanted to do that afternoon. We decided to head to the center to walk around and do some people watching sitting in a terrace having a drink. Around 6pm we were both tired and head back to our hotel to drop off some weight and rest a while. Our first meal in CPH was a tomato soup with sour cream and a pasta with season vegetables (served with a side mixed salad! First time ever I have a pasta dish served with a salad) at The First Lady, a pub located in the shopping center next door, Fisketorvet.

Klip Card

After eating we asked our nice waitress where we could buy a bus card (klip card) and headed to the kiosk to buy one so we could go to Nyhavn to have a drink. After a while we took the “hotel bus route” to go back to our hotel for the night. A nice shower and we crashed in our soft bed and manage to sleep despite the brightness that came in through the blinds. Like all Scandinavian countries, they don’t really care about proper light blocking blinds.

See all the trip pictures here.