Today to mark my 16th blogiversary, I am sharing a celebration cheesecake full of chocolate and colour and just a little gratuitous caramel. It was actually our Easter dessert at home on Easter Sunday as I saw my extended family on Easter Saturday. Sylvia and I had great fun decorating it with a clutch of Easter eggs in a chokito nest. The cheesecake is amazing without the added chocolate decorations but we enjoyed going the extra mile.
I mentioned to my mum that I was planning to make an unbaked cheesecake with cream cheese and condensed milk at Easter and she asked if it had lemon juice. She has made many of these in my childhood. No doubt a little nostalgia made the recipe jump out. When I told my mum there was no lemon juice but it had whipped cream and 400g of chocolate she was a bit surprised but agreed it would help to hold its shape. It was an intense filling but so creamy and chocolatey and good. Being egg-free was even better.
We made the cheesecake the night before to give it plenty of time to set. The Best Recipes website, where I found the recipe, had one person comment that they chop up mars bars to fold through the cheesecake mixture. We loved the idea. But we decided to fold through chopped chokito instead. I loved the chewy caramel of the chokito, and would love the mars bars too. There was a lot of mixture - you can see in the above collage that it just fitted in the 20cm loose based tin.
We planned to chop oreos to make the nest for the easter eggs but found that 2 oreo packets were equivalent to about one Arnotts biscuit packets, such as Marie biscuits, Arrowroot biscuits or Chocolate Ripple biscuits, that we often use for cheesecake bases in Australia. Instead I chopped up one of my Chokito chocolate bars. It worked!
However my vision had been of a more raised nest, I tried a bit of cream to help hold the crumbly mixture but it wasn't terribly effective. I think to build it up you would need to bind the crumbs which would make the nests more smooth than I intended and/or a lot more work, such as these. For those who are curious, the cheesecake mixture does stick to the foil egg wrappers a bit. The cheesecake is just as good at any time of year without a nest of Easter eggs but it is fun to jazz it up for a celebration.
As you can see in the above photo, the cheesecake holds its shape very well, even after it has been out of the fridge for an hour or so. I liked the chewy caramel chunks that resulted from folding chopped chokito through the mixture. But it is not necessary. The cheesecake was rich and dense. Sylvia described it as being like chocolate mousse.
This cheesecake is an excellent combination of an old fashioned cheesecake and a modern ganache based dessert. It feels like a fine way to mark 16 years of blogging. The way I blog now is slower and quieter than when I started. You might say this about my life today compared to 16 years ago but it goes in cycles and there is still much to be savoured. Over that time I have shared lots of good food with wonderful people both In Real Life and on my blog. Long may this continue!
And as it is my blogiversary, I will share some of my favourite links of late:
'Scientists create 'flu trap' that 'protects against virus' in The Independent on 21 March 2016. I was fascinated after dreaming about a flu trap to look it up online and find that scientists had actually found a flu trap. I wonder if anyone is working on the Covid trap!
'Unattractive people are MORE likely to keep wearing face masks in post-Covid era, study suggests. Attractive people are less likely to keep wearing face masks in the post-Covid era, a study suggests' in The Daily Mail on 3 February 2023. This was one of the silliest articles I have seen lately (thought there was a was a challenge for silliest by the below UK Sun article.) Actually in the research, it was the participants who judged if they believed they were attractive. The article suggests mask-wearing has shifted from being about self protection to self preservation. A lot of interesting judgements here!
'Posh Yobs Vol-au-Vent Meet: Hummus Plot to Spoil Sport: FA Cup and Wimbo at risk' in the UK Sun on 23 April 2023. Such a wonderfully ridiculous headline that I was disappointed I could find a link to the article but not the headline online. You can still read about "infiltrating" eco zealot meetings and where they go on holidays and what advice they get from their lawyers.
'"We thought they were going to be massacred": 80 years since forced First Fleet enactment.' in ABC News on 25 January 2018. This is a very disturbing and sad story of Aboriginal men being coerced to be part of a re-enactment of the First Fleet arriving. The conniving of the colonising authorities and the terrible effect upon these men is hard to read but part of the truthtelling of Indigenous history of our nation.
'Men named Ken share how they feel about all those Barbie memes' in Huffington Post on 28 April 2023. The movie is not out yet, but social media is already entranced and using Barbie to amuse us. One of the people interviewed noted it was a good time to have an ex-named Ken.
'Why we swim: A brief history of swimming from the Neanderthals to slavery to your local pool' in ABC News on 17 February 2023. Swimming reflects many of the issues of our world; it has been influenced by climate, wealth and race.
'What are the long term health risks of having your tonsils out' in the Pursuit, University of Melbourne on 28 June 2018. "The research shows that both tonsillectomies and an adenoidectomies are associated with higher levels of allergic, respiratory and infectious diseases later in life."
- Baked chocolate cherry cheesecake - Where's the Beef
- Baked triple chocolate cheesecake - Not Quite Nigella
- Brownie mosaic cheesecake - Smitten Kitchen
- GF chocolate cheesecake - Gluten Free Alchemist
- No-bake toblerone cheesecake - The Annoyed Thyroid
Easter Chocolate Cheesecake
Adapted from Best Recipes
1/4 cup (50g) g butter melted - 1/4 cup
Use a food processor to make oreos into crumbs. Pour in butter while motor running and and process until mixed thoroughly.
Press the oreo/biscuit mixture into the base of a 20cm diameter round loose bottomed cake tin. (I did not grease or line and it was fine.) Place in fridge to firm up - about 30 minutes.
Break up chocolate. Melt dark chocolate in microwave for 30 seconds, add milk chocolate and microwave another 30-60 seconds, stirring after each 30 seconds to check if a good stir will melt the chocolate. Set aside to cool slightly.
Using electric beaters, beat the cream cheese and condensed milk until mixed. Add cream and, while beating on high, drizzle in melted chocolate. Beat until well combined and stiff peaks form. If using, very gently fold in chopped chocolate bars.
Scrap the cream cheese mixture into the cake tin on the base. Refrigerate for at least 4-6 hours, preferably overnight.
To decorate, finely chop chocolate bar or biscuits to crumbs and sprinkle around the edges, using a bit of cream or extra melted chocolate to help it stick. Arrange easter eggs in the middle of the crumbs to look like they are sitting in a nest.
If you wish to use chocolate biscuits like Chocolate Ripple Biscuits instead of Oreos, use 100g butter rather than 50g butter. I found the sweet vanilla cream in Oreos gave more sweetness to the crust than I am used to. I was tempted to try Tim Tams and might do another time.
To help the cheesecake set, make sure to use full fat cream cheese in a block - no light cream cheese and no softened cream cheese in a tub.
The Best Recipes recipe had 1/4 cup of run added at the end. I ignored this as I wanted it child friendly, and I am not a huge fan of rum. I would prefer to add Baileys Irish Cream. Or you could add other spirits or juice. My cheesecake mixture was pretty thick so I am sure 1/4 cup of liquid would be fine and it would still hold its shape.