Cheesecake conjures up very fond memories of my wedding day in a marquee in my parent’s garden nearly two years ago now. I always like to be a little bit different and I’d hated the idea of spending all that money on a cake for it not to get eaten. I wanted to serve the cake as the dessert for the wedding breakfast but fancied something out of the ordinary but still giving the wow factor when you saw it. I decided not to go the predictable route and have a standard wedding cake but to cut to amaze all the guests with a fabulous five-tier cheesecake instead!
I came across The English Cheesecake Company and having tasted the goods with a sample cake, I was confident in stating it was the best cheesecake I’d ever eaten and my guests were going to be spoilt rotten.
I plumped for alternate flavoured tiers of Strawberry Champagne Vanilla and Honey I’m Comb (milk chocolate honeycomb clusters) and the top tier was of course called Love Actually (milk chocolate hearts).
It really was a stunning looking cake with the beautiful fresh red strawberries against the sparkling white creamy cheese and the chocolate golden honeycomb perilously sprinkled over the huge bases of sweet cheese. I won’t go into the awful delivery and customer service we encountered or how good our caterers were to put it all back together. The guests were none-the-wiser and as they say “the show must go on”.
The great thing about cheesecake is that not only are the flavour combinations basically endless but you also have the option to go baked or unbaked. Unbaked cheesecake is quite possibly one of the easiest desserts to make but it’s so dreamy your guests end up thinking you were in the kitchen for hours slaving away.
I found a recipe on the BBC goodfood website for an unbaked cheesecake which sounded a delicious flavour combination of Raspberry and Milk Chocolate which I loosely followed with a few of my own inspired twists to it.
Raspberry and Dark Chocolate Biscuit Base Cheesecake
Serves 6 (although in our case it served 4)
200g dark chocolate digestive biscuits
75g melted butter
300g full fat cream cheese
200ml double cream
75g caster sugar
Giant milk chocolate buttons (one pack with most being eaten whilst baking if you’re like me)
Crumble / bash up the digestives either in a food processor or using a good old fashioned rolling pin. Melt the butter and mix it with the digestives making sure to cover all the crumbs.
Place the digestives in a 20cm spring form pan and pat down with the back of the spoon to make sure it’s all compact and flat. Put the base in the fridge to set.
Mix the cream cheese, double cream and sugar together until smooth. Some people have said that you need to whip your cream first or your cheesecake doesn’t set, but I put it all in a Kitchen Aid mixer and I think that whipped it enough to make the mixture a bit firmer anyway so that I got away with not whipping it first.
Add 150g of raspberries to your mix and gently swirl through. You don’t want to mash up your raspberries in the mixture but you’ll get some lovely streaks of bright pink against the shiny white cheese.
Spoon the mixture over your base and smooth it out with a palette knife, then place in the fridge to chill. I think it’s best chilled overnight but you can get away with two hours if you’ve whipped up the cream.
Remove from the fridge and the pan. Serve with giant milk chocolate buttons and raspberries decorated on top.
What I love about this cheesecake is that you have the dark chocolatey biscuit base which is such a contrast in colour to the pure white cheesecake layer with the splashes of flourescent pink running through the cake from the raspberries. The raspberries provide the sour cut through to the sweet cheese and the dark chocolate is bitter against the sugary layer above.
It really is the perfect flavour combination that couldn’t be simpler to produce whilst being so blooming tasty. If you go for an unbaked cheesecake it makes you look like a domestic goddess without any of the effort or stress. I’d advise seeing if you can keep a slice back just so you can have seconds the next day… if your guests will let you.