My philosophy for making desserts is simple. You just need three elements: something crunchy, crispy or crumbly, something smooth and creamy and finally something fruity or zesty and/or chocolaty. (I say and/or because there are some cases where chocolate is most definitely welcome in addition to fruit and others where the addition of chocolate would simply destroy a dessert, for instance apple pie with vanilla ice cream, my absolute favourite, in my opinion adding chocolate to this would ruin the perfection. Take note anyone who’s looking to get in my good books!) And that’s it. Just three simple elements to make a delicious dessert.
So with this philosophy in mind, I give you my Chocolate and Lime Cheesecake.
The first time I made this was for a dessert evening at my cousin’s house. She was leaving for university the following morning all the way to Manchester (from London), so we could call this her send off party. Let me tell you, not following a recipe when making cheesecake for a group of people is a bad idea. The ratio of cream cheese to cream is of the utmost importance, obviously. Get the balance wrong and you could end up with a sloppy, creamy, slush sat on top of a lovely, crumbly biscuit base (it’s quite difficult to get the base part wrong), unbeknown to you until you free it from the sides of the cake tin, by which point it’s too late. Well, as you’ve probably guessed, this is exactly what I did! Thankfully, my family were kind and only had praise for the unusual flavour combination and crumbly chocolate base.
I have learnt my lesson and since that evening I did some research and test runs to find the right combination of cream cheese and cream to ensure the cream layer sets. So if you want to try a more interesting cheesecake recipe than the usual lemon or chocolate cheesecake, give this recipe a go.
For the chocolate base (crispy, crumbly and chocolaty):
250g chocolate biscuits (whichever take your fancy, I like Bourbons)
3.5inch radius base cake tin either with spring sides, or a base you can lift out. (Obviously, if you do not have the exact measurement or tin, it's not the end of the world. But being able to remove the cheesecake from the tin adds to the presentation when serving.)
Crush the biscuits either by hand or in a blitzer (I'm not sure what the technical name is, but one of those machines with a blade that spins around). Blitz/crush until the the biscuits are transformed into chocolate sand. Pour in the melted butter slowly, add just enough until the crumbs resemble wet sand. Add more if you feel the mixture needs it, but you definitely should not need more than 75g of butter.
Now tumble the mixture into the base. Use a flat bottomed cup or glass, with a sheet of greaseproof paper to press the mixture down into the tin. Note: try not to over press the mixture, else you will end up with an extremely dense base which can be difficult to cut and is unpleasant to eat.
400g Philadelphia full fat cream cheese, at room temp
300ml whipping cream whipped until stiff
2 limes, their juice and zest
3 or 4 tablespoons icing sugar
1 square of dark chocolate for decorating
Start by whipping your whipping cream. Separately, whip up the Philadelphia cream cheese slightly, with as much icing sugar as you prefer, using a whisk. Fold into the whipped whipping cream with the lime juice, and half the lime zest. You may not need all the lime juice depending on the size of the limes. You need about 25ml. Make sure the cream is well combined.
Spread the cream evenly over your biscuit base (make sure you've removed the greaseproof paper you used to press the biscuit base - that would be a disaster!). Decorate by sprinkling the rest of the lime zest along with grated chocolate over the top.
Leave in the fridge to set, and an hour and a half later it will be ready to eat. Easy!
I hope you enjoy this recipe and give it a go.
Until next time...