I do not accept any credit for this recipe, as it's one from the fantastic The Hummingbird Bakery 'Cake Days' recipe book. If you don't have this book, you should buy it now, it is one of my absolute favourites. I think that this cheesecake makes a brilliant Halloween dessert, particularly if you fancy a change from the usual simple sponge cake. I made it last year (which is when I took the above pictures) and will definitely be making it again for us to enjoy next week.
This recipe serves 8-12.
FOR THE BISCUIT BASE
- 220g (8oz) digestive biscuits
- 100g (3.5oz) unsalted butter, melted
FOR THE CHEESECAKE TOPPING
- 4 leaves of gelatine
- 600g (1lb 5oz) full-fat cream cheese (such as Philadelphia)
- 110g (4oz) caster sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 1/2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
- 200ml (7 fl oz) double cream
- 60g (2oz) dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids)
You will also need one 20cm (8in) diameter spring-form cake tin, and a piping bag with a fine (no. 2) writing nozzle.
- Line the base of the cake tin with baking parchment, then in a food processor, whiz the digestive biscuits into fine crumbs using the blade attachment. Alternatively, place the biscuits in a plastic food bag, seal it shut and crush it with a rolling pin.
- Tip the biscuit crumbs in to a bowl, pour over the melted butter and mix together with a spoon. Pour the buttery crumbs into the lined cake tin, pressing them into the base of the tin, then place in the fridge for 20-30 minutes to cool and set while you make the topping.
- Place the gelatine leaves in a bowl of tepid water to soften. Using a hand-held electric whisk or freestanding electric mixer with the paddle attachment, mix together the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla essence and lemon zest until smooth. In a separate bowl, whisk the double cream until it forms soft peaks.
- In a small saucepan, on a very low heat, melt approximately 200g (7oz) of the cream cheese mixture. Allow it to warm slightly, then remove from the heat, add the softened gelatine and let it melt into the cream cheese.
- Add the remaining cold cream cheese to the warm mixture in the pan, mixing it in 3 tablespoons at a time and stirring continuously. Carefully fold the whipped cream into the cheesecake mixture and then pour on to the prepared base in the tin. Smooth down the top of the cheesecake using a palette knife.
- Break the chocolate into a glass bowl and melt over a pan of simmering water, then remove from the heat and allow to cool. Pour the chocolate into the piping bag and pipe on to the cheesecake in evenly spaced concentric circles. Using a toothpick or the point of a sharp knife, draw a fine line from the centre circle to the outer circle to create the spiderweb effect. Clean the toothpick or skewer after drawing each line.
- Place the finished cheesecake in the fridge and allow it to set for a couple of hours, or preferably overnight.
Shared a Halloween themed post? Why not link up with me here and share your tips and ideas with me and my readers. The linky list will stay open until midnight on Halloween (Oct 31) so there is plenty of time to share your posts.