Too full of chocolate? Of course you’re not. Wondering what to do with those leftover (sorry, what?) Creme Eggs? Wonder no more, thanks to Amy Cooke-Hodgson’s no-bake cheesecake.
Easter nearly always coincides with my brother’s birthday and my parents’ anniversary, so a big family lunch is par for the course. This is the perfect dessert to round off a special meal. Or to be served alongside a cup of tea as an afternoon treat. Extra-large wedges to anyone who gave up chocolate for Lent.
Ingredients (serves 10)
For the base:
300g chocolate digestive biscuits (one packet)
100g butter, melted
For the topping:
400g full fat cream cheese at room temperature (Philadelphia is often recommended for cheesecake recipes, but I’ve found Lidl’s own brand to be more than fine)
180ml double cream
Heaped tablespoon of icing sugar (sift if needs be)
25g cocoa powder (sift if needs be)
2tsp vanilla extract
120g dark or milk chocolate, melted
2 packets of small creme eggs, crushed
4 or 5 large creme eggs to decorate the top (pop them in the freezer for 10 mins before cutting in half)
50g milk and/or dark chocolate (melted) to decorate
Make space in your fridge; I always forget to do this until it’s too late and I’m precariously balancing a dish with one hand while juggling copious pots of half-eaten hummus with the other.
Grease and line the base of a 23cm springform tin (it works fine in a 20cm tin too, the topping is just a bit deeper and takes longer to set).
Put the chocolate digestives in a large bowl and crush them with the end of a rolling pin – imagining them to be the face of Donald Trump really helps – until you have fine crumbs. If you’re one of THOSE people, you could pulse them in a food processor (I’m only jealous that you have a food processor).
Melt the butter in a pan and add the biscuit crumbs. Stir until combined.
Tip the biscuity-buttery mixture into the prepared tin and press down firmly with the back of a spoon until the mixture is well compacted. Pop in the fridge and chill for at least an hour.
Use that time to make the topping, starting with the cream. Whip the double cream until it forms soft peaks. I use the whisk attachment on my Kitchen Aid (yeah, I’m one of THOSE people), but if you prefer tennis elbow, go ahead and do it by hand. Set it to one side to use in a little while.
Beat the softened cream cheese, vanilla extract, icing sugar and cocoa powder in a bowl, ensuring the mixture is smooth and combined. Again I used my Kitchen Aid (beater paddle) for this job but this is reasonably easy to do by hand.
Fold through double cream and then the melted dark chocolate. Combine well. Add the crushed mini eggs and stir, making sure they are equally dispersed. Spoon the mixture on to the cheesecake base and make a smooth surface.
Using melted chocolate (optional) dribble a nest on to the top of the cheesecake. I used some dark and milk chocolate. White chocolate or coloured melts might make the design interesting too.
Slice the four large creme eggs in half. I popped mine in the freezer for 10 mins (remember to take the foil off first), before carefully slicing in half along the join.
Drizzle a little of the melted chocolate over the top of the eggs and place the cheesecake to chill in the fridge for at least four hours: I find it’s best left overnight.
Bring to the table and wait for the oohs and aahs.5593 Views
Amy is an actor, improviser and singer currently appearing in award-winning improv show Austentatious. You can also visit her Etsy shop: www.etsy.com/uk/shop/RowleyandCooke