So you have people coming round or you promised to take dessert to dinner and you have very little time to prepare. What do you make?
My go to crowd pleaser has to be a chilled cheesecake. I know it has cheese in but you can’t even taste it so it doesn’t count. Up until recently I never even entertained the idea of eating or making a baked cheesecake as I was adamant I didn’t like the texture. It is also a tad faffy when your short on time.
Over the years that I have been making my chilled cheesecake, the flavours have developed and changed but the core 3 ingredients remain the same. Chocolate digestives, cream cheese and double cream (lighter versions obviously as it does make it healthier…HA).
This has to be the easiest fool proof dessert I make. For the base of my cheesecake I always use a variation of chocolate digestive biscuit. Since McVities have started doing chocolate orange I’ve even tried that as a base. I’ve tried it all, from supermarket own brand to McVities and guess what… the only difference I found was the amount of chocolate on the biscuits. It’s up to you what you want to lay your hands on as both work as well as each other.
Making a cheesecake is definitely a therapeutic experience, bashing packets of biscuits into a fine crumb with a rolling pin… oh yeah! Once that’s done you add a little melted butter to set it and job done! You can pop this in the fridge to chill while you prepare the cream mix. Even this part is easy. Empty your cream cheese and double cream into a bowl with 2 tbsp. icing sugar* and what ever flavouring your adding. I like to add the juice of a lime or lemon because I think it just lifts the whole thing making it taste lighter. Or I add the juice of an orange and no sugar. Whisk the whole thing until it is light and fluffy and use it to top your biscuit base.
I recently found some chocolate honeycomb bits that I’ve also started adding to the top of my cheesecake. It’s a dessert that works really well in summer with the increased availability of British berries, but it also works well when using seasonal fruits like satsumas and passion fruit.
I am a very visual eater so it is very rare that I leave my cheesecakes naked. I love to make a fruity vanilla topping to serve along side or on top. Again this is easy and takes little to no time. Rinse and chop the fruit you want to serve with it then put it in a bowl. Add a tablespoon of vanilla essence and a tablespoon of icing sugar sprinkled over and leave to chill. The juice from the fruit with the vanilla and icing sugar make a lovely syrup after a little time in the fridge. That is pretty much it. The cheesecake gets firmer the longer you leave it in the fridge but it tastes just as good after only an hour.
Check out the recipe and let me know what you think : )
*I prefer icing sugar as it doesn’t change the texture of the topping.