Not doing so well in the whole blogging business this month, am I?
As I (sort of) explained in my last post, I’m moving house. Again. It may have only been about four months since I moved in to sunny Stockbridge, but unfortunately it is time to pack my kitchen into boxes and move on to greener (or potentially whiter, if this weather continues) pastures. It’s a very long and convoluted story – so I’ll save you from the details – but whilst I’ve been running around looking at houses my time to cook and blog has been seriously hampered. Thankfully though, it’s all just about sorted and I am (barring any catastrophes) moving next weekend. Phew. Although this does mean that I now have to do one of me least favourite things: packing. Hence writing this post, a new page (to be revealed soon) and spending a ridiculous amount of time on Twitter.
The dishes I have been making have mainly been the sort ‘oh wow, it’s half eight and I haven’t had dinner yet’ sort, so there has been little worthy of wasting your time, dear reader. Except – I hope – my two challenge entries. Two?! I hear you ask (as you desperately rack your brain training to remember the second)*; there was my Sachertorte, which I made for my Mum a couple of weeks ago, and now a cheesecake that I made for me.
Baking with Spirit – one of my favourite food blog challenges – is held by Janine from Cake of the Week, where everyone ‘bakes’ something with that month’s tipple of choice. In the past we’ve had champagne and coffee liqueur, but this month’s booze was the eternal festive favourite: Bailey’s. I normally associate Bailey’s with Christmas time, but since the weather is still decidedly winter-y, I was keen to get involved. And somehow ended up making a summery dessert, a cheesecake. Logic is clearly my thing right now…
It’s not really baking – and by ‘not really’, I mean ‘not at all’ as it’s a non-baked cheesecake – but the idea of Bailey’s and cheesecake was too good to resist. I decided to add in a little bit of dark chocolate at the end – because it was bordering on too sweet – and reduced the amount of sugar. The end result decided not to set particularly quickly, so I opted for a ten minutes in the freezer. And then forgot all about them. After almost an hour in the freezer they were not really cheesecake-like and bit of a disaster. So, if you are wondering what happens to a cheesecake if you leave it in the freezer, let me tell you: it freezes and becomes not too dissimilar to ice cream. Shocking, right? Who would have thought a freezer would do that?
In the end though, it tasted fantastic/of little but Bailey’s (totally the same thing). And that’s what matters. Right?
*OK, I know you’re not really racking your brains at all, but I’d like to think someone out there might be.
Dark Chocolate and Bailey’s Non-Baked Cheesecake
This recipe is an adaptation of my Gin and Lime Cheesecake, although in this case I made it as individual sized portions, rather than a full-sized cheesecake. This recipe makes 4 individual cheesecakes.
8 digestive biscuits
1 tbsp caster sugar
50g dark chocolate
1 tsp vanilla extract
300ml double cream
To make the bases for the cheesecake bash the biscuits into a coarse crumble. Melt the butter and mix the sugar into it, then stir in the crushed digestive biscuits – it should form a fairly dry, crumbly ball. Set this aside to cool.
In a large bowl whisk together the mascarpone, vanilla and Bailey’s, until they form a smooth liquid. In a separate bowl whip the cream until it forms stiff peaks – the stiffer your peaks, the quicker it will set!
Take about a quarter of the cream mixture and gently fold it in to the mascarpone mixture, once it is combined fold in the rest – by doing it this way you massively reduce the risk of knocking all the air out of the cream. Grate about three-quarters of the chocolate into the mixture.
Gently – to avoid knocking the air out of it – spoon the mixture into lined ramekins leaving about half a centimetre at the top. Take your biscuit base and crumble it over the top (ensuring non of the mixture is too big), filling up the remaining space in the ramekin.
Set in the fridge for at least 2.5 hours before turning out on to a plate to serve.
**If you are running short on time, don’t line the ramekins, put the base of the cheesecake in first and the filling on top – this way you can serve it in the ramekins, so the mixture doesn’t need to be quite as set, as it will not need to hold its form.**