To give you some ideas to inspire you for THE GREAT BLOGGERS’ BAKE-OFF 2020 BAKING CONTEST, I HAVE CHOSEN A CAKE I BAKED FOR MY FAMILY OVER THE HOLIDAYS. AS YOU WILL SEE IT WAS A BIT OF A BAKING CATASTROPHE BUT IT DID TASTE AMAZING!
Well…I hope you have not overindulged too much over the last day or two. I am really hoping you might have room for dessert. I am making this and another dessert for my family as I have made them for friends and they went down a treat!
I made this for Jack a while back, the first time he stayed over at the little nest with me, and of course, he loved it! It’s a winner!! So I am going to share with you my baking journey in trying to recreate this fabulous Donna Hay recipe! Her COFFEE CHEESECAKE WITH COFFEE SYRUP – yuuuuuuuuuummmmmmmmy!!!
If you know anything about making cheesecake, you will know that we start with the base. When I first read Donna’s recipe it said to use dark chocolate biscuits for the base. I didn’t know what kind of biscuits to use. In the end I had a good look in the biscuit section at the local supermarket and chose these babies!
So I put 225g of my dark chocolate cookies, 60 grammes of melted unsalted butter and 50 grammes of pecan nuts (Donna’s recipe says hazelnuts, but I am not a fan of hazelnuts with chocolate – I know I’m weird, but i’ts my cake!) into the food processor and whizzed until they were a coarse crumby mixture. Then I added one tablespoon of coffee beans which I had already crushed with the back of a spoon.
I took the mixture for the biscuit base and pressed it down firmly into a 20cm spring release tin which I had already lined with baking paper. Then into the fridge it went. The recipe said to chill for fifteen minutes, but I left it in for longer.
Then I had to wash the food processor out (those blades are so scary sharp) so I could crack on with the filling, I placed 295 grammes of caster sugar, 320 grammes of Philadelphia cream cheese and 480 grammes of ricotta cheese into the food processor (Yes this cake is not for someone with a dairy intolerance, unless you can find dairy free alternatives!) I whizzed those ingredients until they were smooth. Then I added the five eggs (I don’t how important it is but Donna’s recipe said these must be room-temperature eggs, so I took mine out of the fridge a few hours before I made the cake.)
In a seperate little bowl, I mixed one and half tablespoons of cornflour, one teaspoon of vanilla extract and 80 millilitres of coffee liqueur (I used Tia Maria) together. Then I added this to the cheesy mixture sitting in the food processor and blitzed again.
Then I poured this mixture over the biscuit base and as the recipe instructed, I tapped the tin a few times (gently), until I couldn’t see any air bubbles. Donna’s recipe also said to place the spring release tin onto a baking tray. I released how important this was because there was some “leakage” onto the baking tray during the baking.
Now as you probably know, the cooking of a cheesecake is important, and you must be patient and not do anything foolish! With the oven set at 150 degrees celsius (apparently that is Gas Mark 2) I baked the cake for a whole hour. Do not open the door at any point in baking. After the hour is over – do not open the door to check the cake is set. Just turn the oven off and leave the cheesecake in the cooling oven for another half hour. Now although Donna’s recipe doesn’t mention this, my advice is to open the oven door a little, just a couple of inches, and leave the cake in the oven for another half an hour or so. Then bring the cake out and let it continue to cool at room temperature. Patience is both a virtue and a perfect cheesecake!
You have almost a whole bottle of coffee liqueur to get through while you are waiting for the cheesecake. But remember to save some for the coffee syrup!
While waiting, you can be preparing for the topping. The coffee syrup is fairly simple. Over a medium heat, mix 60 milliliters of coffee liqueur with 55 grammes of caster sugar and 2 tablespoons of water.
(All straight in a little saucepan, you don’t need a bain-marie.) It should only take five minutes or so to thicken. Then let it cool before it is to be used.
Whip up 500 millilitres of whipping cream (I always use double cream).
Now that the cheesecake is completely cool, remove the springform tin and stand it on a serving platter.
Now…I would recommend waiting until the cake is cold cold cold – you might even want to chill it in the fridge until the next step. If the cheesecake is not cold, the cream is going to melt into a big cream waterfall and then surround the cake like a moat.
Dollop the whipped cream over the top and drizzle with the coffee syrup. I ended up making some extra coffee syrup because everyone wanted extra on their cake.
Et voila! For a coffee lover…this is sheer bliss! Don’t even ask me how many calories are in a slice of this decadent. Hey, it’s a new year next week…you can take up running or gymnastics or something.
Ok, ok….I know mine doesn’t look anywhere bear as amazing as Donna Hay’s…but it tastes absolutely delicious!!!!