I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas! I know I did, spent the morning with Gof, watching The Hogfather and drinking my traditional Bailey’s coffee… or 3. We had Christmas dinner with our awesome friends; Chris, Maggie and lil bit Heather, Mac and Maggie’s brother George. It was very much a collaborative effort – Gof made pea soup, Chris and Mac made black pudding, scallops and crispy chorizo with apple sause (I died and went to heaven) and all 3 guys (mostly Chris and Mac, to be fair!) created the ultimate turkey dinner, with goose fat roasties I could marry and have a short but delicious relationship with.
Of course, I immediately volunteered to do dessert when we discussed it months ago. As time grew closer I was at my wit’s end trying to figure out what would suit everyone. We had a 4 year old, 2 people who don’t eat wheat, and I came to the natural conclusion it shouldn’t be too heavy after the amount we’d be eating. This lead to the idea of cheesecake. People could control their own portions and it could keep for a few days. But what kind? Baked or fridge? Chocolate, orange, berry, banana? It was decided for me when I found THE MOST AMAZING CHILLI CHOCOLATE EVER. Christmas market find, of course. I knew it was risky. I hadn’t tried the recipe, Heather might not like it, and holy bejesus that’s a lot of cream cheese and chocolate in a dessert that’s supposed to be light. Still, I trucked on, convinced it was the right move. I did make orange mousse cups though, just in case. SPOILER ALERT – I needn’t have worried.
Below is the recipe I used, the only difference was I used wheat free biscuits (sorta Hob Nob-like), and I saved the MACCE (as the chocolate will henceforth be known) for the ganache. It set beautifully, and instead of whole chillies, I used red edible glitter for decoration (it was for Christmas after all!) It was a complete hit, and this will definitely be going into my keepers folder. Because more is more at Christmas, I doubled the recipe, made 2 cheesecakes and took the second to the Boxing Day buffet hosted by my in-laws. Again, it was a great success, with kids and adults alike going back for more. I still have some MACCE left, and am on the hunt for another kickass recipe to use, so if you have one let me know! It’s a dark, but very soft chocolate although it hardens nicely in the fridge. If you don’t want to use plain dark chocolate for the ganache, I suggest using Green and Black’s Chilli Chocolate, since it’s tres tasty too.
In whatever case, make this immediately if not sooner! Make it for Hogmanay! Make it for breakfast! I won’t judge you!
200g Plain chocolate biscuits
80g Butter, softened
1 tsp Fine chilli powder
3 tsp Sweet paprika
1/3 cup Cold tap water
5 tsp Gelatin
500g Cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup Icing sugar
1/2 cup Milk
300g Good quality dark chocolate
1 1/2 cups Thickened cream, whipped
100ml Cream (for ganache)
200g Good quality dark chocolate (for ganache)
2 tsp Butter (for ganache)
Grease and line a 24cm (base) springform pan.
Process biscuits in a food processor to fine crumbs, and then transfer to a bowl.
Melt butter and add biscuit crumbs. Stir until well combined. Use your fingertips to press into the base of the prepared pan. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
Place water in a heatproof bowl. Sprinkle gelatin over the water and stand for 1 minute.
Microwave, uncovered, on high, for 30 seconds so that gelatin is dissolved. Set aside for 15 minutes.
Using an electric beater, beat cream cheese, sugar, chilli powder, paprika and milk until smooth. Stir in gelatin.
Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of gently simmering water (don’t let the bowl touch the water). Stir until melted. Cool slightly. Add to cream cheese mixture. Fold whipped cream through the chocolate mixture. Then pour the mixture over the biscuit base and refrigerate.
To make the ganache – heat the cream in a saucepan until just beginning to boil. Pour over the chocolate and stir until melted and smooth. Add the butter and stir till combined. Allow to cool for 10 minutes. The mixture should still be liquid enough to pour.
Pour ganache over cooled cheesecake. Cover and refrigerate for 6-7 hours, or overnight.
Release sides of the pan. Place cheesecake on a serving platter and top with small red chillies. Use a warm knife to cut into Slices. Serve with cream.