Anybody who knows me in person, or just through social media, knows that I have a massive penchant for cheesecake. Chocolate, fruit, boozy - I'll have it all. I make cheesecake quite often. It's so so simple to make and you would be very special indeed to somehow fuck it up (unless it's a baked cheesecake...fiddly stuff).
Cheesecake has been around for aaaages. It doesn't seem to have shown any sign of dying off either, becoming some retro ghoul that your kids will laugh at when they see it in your wedding photos. After visiting a Cheesecake Factory in Dubai Mall, it was very clear that cheesecake has still 'got it'. A short browse through Pinterest or Tumblr will show you how 'raw' and 'hipster' cheesecake is looking these days!
My favourite cheesecake right now is a Nutella cheesecake. I've had rehab for Nutella. I'm so happy that Nutella is making a comeback as that childhood treat we all enjoyed once. My cheesecake recipe uses so much Nutella, over half a kilo! Yet, this form of Nutella fix never alerts suspicion from loved ones, unlike plainly eating it out of the jar. It's a very good scam.
Nutella is especially great for a no-bake cheesecake as it helps it set firm. If you have ever foolishly stored Nutella in the fridge, you'll know that it goes ROCK HARD. Though problematic for spreading, it hasn't stopped me from smashing the jar on the kitchen countertop and eating the cold brick of Nutella like a scone.
So I'm going to give you my generic cheesecake recipe. You can do anything you like to this to make it whatever flavour you desire, be it a simple, summery lemon cheesecake or a sultry, salted caramel one. You can alter the recipe to make it low-fat, but take heed: full-fat cream cheese provides essential scaffolding for this cheesecake and makes it set stiff in the fridge. I have tried low-fat cream cheese, and though still quite tasty, I ended up with a pretty sad-looking Greek-yogurt-like goo. Buy full-fat; avoid this tragedy.
Generic Cheesecake recipe:
☀ 600g full-fat cream cheese (do get the best brand)
☀ 300g digestive biscuits (HobNobs are particularly indulgent)
☀ 90g butter (salted? unsalted? it never matters really...)
☀ 90g icing sugar
☀ 1 teaspoon of Vanilla Essence (no matter what cheesecake flavour you do, vanilla is universally helpful.)
☁ 1 tablespoon of White Truffle Oil. 'EWW', you say. Trust me, this stuff is great in anything creamy/vanilla'y. I used to put white truffle oil in my homemade vanilla ice cream too. It enhances the creamy aroma 100x! It's a tad expensive, but if you happen to have some at the back of the cupboard, give it a go.
1) Let's do the base first. Empty your biscuits into a freezer bag and beat the shit out of them. Add the rubble to a roomy bowl. You have a food processor? Oh wow. We're not not going to use that. Food processors make the crumbs look too fine and 'processed', I think. We want a few chunky bits in there to let the others know that this was made at home!
2) We now melt our butter in the microwave until completely liquid. Pour the liquid butter into the biscuit rubble. We need to mix this in as fast as we can. If the pool of butter is left to settle, the biscuits start to make a dough. We don't want a doughy, gum base! Quickly mix it until it looks like damp, shmushy sand.
3) Lightly butter up a cake tin. Best use one with a removable bottom, it'll be easier for us to serve later. Once done, you add your buttery crumbs and press it evenly around the bottom of the tin. Use your hands! Other people say to use the flat bottom of a glass. No. We don't want a totally flat base. Let's show off its homemade beauty. Show it your love. Show it your anger.
4) Fridge it!
1) 'Whack!' is the sound your 600g of cream cheese makes when it hits the bottom of your new, clean mixing bowl. Make sure it's not cold, otherwise we'll have a nightmare getting a smooth consistency! Give it a good mixing so it is smooth, far from its cuboid-shaped days. We can certainly use an electric whisk for this!
2) 'Tweep!' goes your teaspoon of vanilla essence into the cream cheese.
3) 'Poof' goes your 90g of icing sugar into the cream cheese mixture. Give it a good mixing until nice and smooth. By all means taste it. Taste too sweet? Don't panic. The sweetness is numbed slightly when it's chilled later on. If you want to customise your flavour, perhaps by adding melted chocolate/Nutella/caramel, add them now!
4) Pour your cheesecake mix onto the biscuit base that we fridged earlier. Don't panic, it may be a tad runny right now. It should set after it has been in the fridge for 5 hours.
So there we have it! Do give it a go - it is non-bake, and takes no time at all to make!
Do whatever flavours you fancy! Here are two of my previous variations to impregnate your imagination. Dress it to impress!
Should you happen to have any leftover cheesecake, never hesitate to chuck it in a smoothie tomorrow morning! It will be a smoothie that will keep you going all day long...
Happy salivating! :D