Now let me first put this out there, and please don’t strike me down, I am hereby admitting that I am a part of a very small group of people who do NOT like cheesecake… Ok, I’ve said it. I love cream, I love cream cheese, I love all things sweet and dessert-like. It’s actually the base, the buttery-biscuit base! Here I can actually find an affinity to Stepson #2, The (in hushed tones) Fusspot. He likes strawberries, he likes sugar, but he doesn’t like strawberry jam. He likes cake, he likes caramel sauce, but he doesn’t like sticky toffee pudding. He likes apples, cooked or otherwise, he likes crumble topping, but he doesn’t like apple crumble. On more than several occasions now I have spent far more time than I should ensuring the crumble topping greatly outweighs the fruit mixture in terms of thickness in the hopes that Stepson #2 will partake in a bowlful of the Sunday evening, lovingly home-cooked apple crumble, only for him to disappear into the kitchen as pudding is being dished up and to return minutes later with a scoop of ice cream sandwiched between two chocolate digestive biscuits!! Thank goodness I don’t take these things too personally… 😉
Anyway back to the affinity… So I love every individual part of a cheesecake but short of serving up some pretentiously de-constructed dessert, (which would no doubt only result in more washing up), it is a very rare occasion that a recipe of this nature would even enter my thought process when menu planning.
That is until I stumbled upon an Easter Eggstravaganza dessert worthy of an attempt… The Cream Egg Cheesecake! I made this Easter Bank Holiday Monday, when entertaining my family, there was 6 adults, 8 children and an actual reverential silence descended across the dining room when the cheesecake was unveiled and more importantly devoured. Unfortunately my alternative dessert, a Passion Fruit Pavlova, did not stand a chance, (in fact only I favoured that option, unsurprisingly… I really do LOVE all other cream based desserts!).
Everyone raved about this pudding, my sister begrudgingly admitted it had overtaken her own Key Lime Pie in her affections, members of the family vowed they would marry this dessert if it were human and someone cried when they realised that there wasn’t any left for seconds… Okay, so the last one didn’t actually happen, but only because I was a generous server. Everyone was impressed…except for Stepson #2.
Now those who know me know that I am not one to be beaten and will always accept a challenge: I do so love to be right and I do so love to prove others wrong! The Fusspot will like one of my desserts if it kills me in the process or more likely we become a family of obese pudding-scoffers! I know he likes whipped cream, even more so when mixed with icing sugar, I know he likes buttery-biscuit bases and my goodness does he like chocolate, there has to be a cheesecake out there that will satisfy his somewhat beige palate… and then two things occurred to me:
- The Cream Egg Cheesecake recipe can be mutated to suit any chocoholic: A Chocoholic’s Cheesecake if you will.
- Stepson #2 LOVES Maltesers… and so do I… Could this be the start of a beautiful friendship? (Not between myself and the Fusspot, you realise, we already have quite a fondness for each other but a friendship between myself and a cheesecake).
For the Chocoholic Cheesecake
For the base
- 300g chocolate digestive biscuits
- 150g unsalted butter
For the cheesecake
- 600ml double cream
- 150g icing sugar
- 500g cream cheese (supermarket own brand or Philadelphia)
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- Approx 250g of the chocolate of your choosing, on this occasion Maltesers (bashed, crumbled or grated into small chunks, depending on the chosen chocolate)
- 100g more of chosen chocolate, e.g. Maltesers, left whole
- 75g milk chocolate
- 75g-150g white chocolate, depending on whether you wish to use a 3rd coloured chocolate (in the Cream Egg Cheesecake I mixed 75g white chocolate with yellow food colouring to create an orangey yolk effect)
- Food colouring, optional
- Grease and line the bottom of a 7inch cake tin with a removeable bottom, preferably a spring-release cake tin.
- Finely crush the biscuits, I whizzed mine in small batches in a blender. Melt the butter and mix well with the biscuit crumbs. Press into the bottom of the tin and smooth as flat as possible. Pop into the fridge to harden.
- Beat the double cream with the icing sugar until it forms soft peaks and gently fold in the cream cheese, lemon juice and bashed/crumbled/grated chocolate chunks until it is all combined. Tip onto the biscuit base and again smooth it as flat as possible. Leave in fridge for at least 3 hours if not overnight.
- To remove the cheesecake from the tin, carefully run a knife around the edge, release the catch and remove the tin side. You may find you need to carefully also use the knife to prise the hardened base away from the tin, be patient and it will come away. Peel off the paper lining.
- Melt the chocolates in separate bowls, leave to cool for a few minutes and mix food colouring into the white chocolate if you are having a different coloured chocolate. Drizzle the melted chocolates over the cake in whatever arrangement takes your fancy: lattice work, swirls or spirals will all work well and decorate with the remaining chocolates.
The verdict? Well, The Fusspot had two helpings… yes, two! I don’t think he has ever yet had seconds of my cooking… It was a truly defining moment in my Step-Mothering history. And me? Was it the start of a beautiful friendship? Well, I am still no fan of the buttery-biscuit base and I’ve no real idea why but this is something I will endeavour to rectify, I really do love a challenge! But my oh my, the topping was amazing: creamy, silky, sweet with unexpected hits of crunchy chocolate yumminess. In fact I am already dreaming of the Chocoholic’s Cheesecake potential: Smarties, Crunchie, Peanut Butter Cups, M&Ms, Caramel, Jazzies…