Peanut Butter Cheesecake

I have to confess.  This recipe was going to be a peanut butter and chocolate cheesecake.  I was going to make a dark chocolate ganache to cover the top of the cheesecake, and then sprinkle salted peanuts over the top.  It would have been perfect.  The contrast of the dark chocolate with the cheesecake, the contrast of the salted peanuts with the dark chocolate……….I felt smug just thinking about it.  It was not to be, however, as whilst I was melting it, the chocolate seized, and I was unable to rescue it.  Since I like to use (not so cheap but definitely worth it) Lindt chocolate for this, I couldn’t really justify going out to buy more.  The cheesecake would have to do as is.  But, I was disappointed, mostly in myself as it was my own stupidity which led to the chocolate seizing.

But, onwards and upwards.  The basic recipe I am using is the same as the one I had adapted over time and used for my Lotus Biscoff Cheesecake.  It is such an easy recipe and over time I have made raspberry, salted caramel, Lotus Biscoff and peanut butter variations on the theme.

This time, I decided only to have the crumb crust on the base and not the sides of the cheesecake.  I lined the sides of the loose-bottomed tin with baking paper.  I used 100g crushed Hobnobs (use whichever biscuits you prefer) and mixed in 60g melted butter and patted it loosely onto the base of the tin.  Put the tin in the fridge to set the base whilst you prepare the rest of the cheesecake.

Then I melted 180g marshmallows slowly in 185ml milk in a non-stick pan.  The slower the better.   Take the pan off the heat before the marshmallows are completely melted, and give a gentle stir every now and then until they are all melted.  Leave to cool for about 10 to 15 minutes.

I beat 500g cream cheese with a teaspoon of vanilla paste (vanilla extract is fine) and then added 6 large heaped dessertspoons of peanut butter.  You can use any peanut butter for this, but the ones with no additives are much stiffer and take a bit longer to work into the cream cheese mixture.  Then I stirred in the marshmallow mixture until everything was well incorporated, and finally whisked 150ml of double cream until just holding its shape and folded that into the cheesecake mixture.

Pour this onto the biscuit crust and put back in the fridge to set, approximately 4 hours.  Lick the bowl.  This should go without saying.

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This is where you can then top with with chocolate ganache………….instead I just chopped up some salted peanuts and sprinkled them over the top.  Salted? Yes, because that sweet – salty thing just works so well.

Invite your friends round, hand out spoons and tuck in!

Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, I hope you have a peaceful day 🙂

 

Biscoff Cheesecake

Well hello!  Yes, I know it’s been a while. How have you all been?  I’ve had a chaotic few months with various stressful life events, as happens to us all.  Then some health issues cropped up, and, long story short I have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer.  This has – once the fog of shock lifted – knocked me for six.  I am in the early phase of this and have yet to cope with my chemotherapy.  One step at a time.  I am trying now to do things that help me feel that my life is a bit more normal.

I finally turned my thoughts to food again, and have been wanting to make or bake something but didn’t know what.  I wanted easy, and so I settled on a no-bake cheesecake, and I decided to adapt (who me, interfere with a recipe?!!) a recipe I’d used before. Luckily this time it worked 🙂

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Inspired by Krispy Kreme’s Lotus Caramalised Biscoff doughnuts (very delicious!!) I thought I’d try a cheesecake using the Biscoff spread as the flavouring.  I was torn between using Marshmallow Fluff in the mixture, and melting marshmallows into the mixture.  I settled on the latter.  Here follows my recipe:

For the cheesecake base I used a biscuit crust.  If you have a preferred recipe for this, please use that, I know I prefer to use Hobnobs for the biscuits because their taste and the oats in the mixture help with the texture.  I also prefer my crust to be slightly on the crumbly side, rather than rock solid, and so I use slightly less butter and slightly more biscuits – I want the mixture to look like damp, rather than wet sand.

Take 300g Hobnobs and crush them, leaving some pieces slightly bigger.  Melt 80g to 100g  butter and mix bit by bit into the crushed biscuits until the mix is the desired texture.  Press gently into the base and sides of a 22cm cake tin, and put this all in the fridge to set.

Put 180g marshmallows (I use the mini marshmallows; if you have large ones, cut them up, they melt quicker) in a non-stick pan with 185ml of milk. Melt this slowly over a low heat, stirring regularly to mix and making sure the marshmallows melt.  Once melted, pour the mixture into a bowl and put to one side to cool down.

Put 500g cream cheese into a bowl and mix well with a spoon to soften.  Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.  Stir in half a jar of Lotus Biscoff spread, mixing well.

Pour the melted marshmallow mixture into the cream cheese mixture, and mix well with a sturdy spoon or spatula.  Finally, whip 150ml double cream into soft peaks and fold this into the cheesecake mixture.  Pour this all onto the prepared biscuit crust and put in the fridge for at least 4 hours to set.  Don’t forget to lick to bowl!

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And there you have it- easy-peasy!

Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, I wish you a peaceful weekend 🙂

Marbled Chocolate Cheesecake

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It’s about time I did a baked cheesecake, isn’t it!  There are so many lovely recipes for no-bake cheesecake that I have been getting lazy.  So in this week’s search for a new bake, I thought I’d give this a go.  I chose this recipe because I had most of the ingredients already.  I had initially been looking for something with a butterscotch theme….but I’ll restrain myself and do that another time.  I can’t lie, I saw this recipe and I thought hmmmm……what if I do this instead…..what if I tweak that….but I kept some self-control and actually followed the recipe this time 🙂

This is a Mary Berry recipe for Chocolate Ripple Cheesecake (good old Mary Berry, I just felt that I couldn’t fail with her behind the idea).

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And so to the base of the cheesecake – this recipe used a biscuit crumb base – my favourite option, so easy.  I tend to find most recipes for this type of base use too much butter, with the result that the base is rock hard and you end up struggling when you dig in with a spoon to eat it, cautious of either smashing through the pudding bowl, or of half the cheesecake flying across the room.  As a result, I do my own thing, and err on the side of caution.  It’s a fine balance between ending up with a crumbly base which doesn’t hold together, and one that is firmly glued together!

The cream cheese is softened, sugar is added, a couple of eggs and a small amount of vanilla extract.  This mixture is then divided in half, with half of it being mixed into melted dark chocolate.

My attempts at rippling the chocolate mixture through the vanilla mixture were not terribly successful (must try harder next time!). But I dolloped both mixtures into the baking tin and put it in the oven.

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The cheesecake then bakes for its allotted time, and is left in the oven to cool.  This required patience, because it was then refrigerated to cool completely before cutting.  the top of my cheesecake had quite a few cracks in it, and so it looked awful in my photos (which I deleted).

The end result was lovely though, in spite of not being beautifully rippled, it tasted lovely and had that good texture that you get with a baked cheesecake.  All round, a success.

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Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, I wish you a peaceful weekend 🙂

Cappuccino Cheesecake Cups

I don’t particularly like traditional Christmas pudding, and years ago I decided that as long as I was cooking the Christmas meal, I would make a pudding I wanted.  Sod tradition! The pudding I make most often is Christmas Crumble, which is always popular, and is sufficiently “Christmassy” to satisfy most people’s idea of what is acceptable on the day! I have, however, also made various trifles, and various chocolate-based puddings.

This year I was particularly indecisive.  I wanted to do something that required minimal effort.  A no-bake cheesecake was an option.  Years ago there were many variations on a theme of cheesecake pots – little pots of cheesecake mixture, usually involving brandy, rum, or some kind of alcohol.  I eventually found – in my gigantic trunk of recipes collected over the years – this one.  In the end I didn’t make this for Christmas day as the numbers of my guests doubled and Christmas Crumble was an easier way to feed the masses.

I still had cream, and cream cheese which I had bought in preparation, to use up, and so this weekend I made these Cappuccino Cheesecake Cups.  This recipe is so quick and easy, minimal effort.  It is very adaptable in that the flavour (in this case coffee and chocolate) can be easily varied.

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Ingredients:

3 tablespoons light muscovado sugar

1 tablespoon instant coffee granules

450g cream cheese

150ml double cream, plus extra for decorating

3 tablespoons Tia Maria

Amaretti biscuits

Dark chocolate for decorating

Method:

Put the sugar and coffee granules in a food processor and blitz to a fine powder.

Soften the cream cheese and mix in the sugar & coffee mixture with the Tia Maria.

Add the cream and using an electric whisk, beat it all together until it is well mixed and thick.

Place an Amaretti biscuit at the bottom of a small glass and spoon the cheesecake mixture on top (it would look really neat if it was piped). Pour a thin layer of cream over the top and finely grate the chocolate to cover the cream.  Refrigerate for a couple of  hours to set.

Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, I wish you a peaceful weekend 🙂