Decadent White Chocolate Cheesecake
This cheesecake is rich ,delicious and incredibly easy to make. An absolute must for die-hard white chocolate aficionados. The gingersnap crunch base provides just enough spice to offset the smooth, creamy cheesecake layer, but you can use any kind of plain biscuit that you fancy.
This is a great 'make-ahead', no-bake dessert for a dinner party, needing only about two hours setting time. If you want to you can make it the day before and refrigerate until needed. You can whip everything up by hand if you have the energy, but a hand mixer makes things really easy, particularly the stage where you need to beat the double cream.
400g white chocolate (plus 100g extra for decoration)
400g full fat soft cheese
500ml double cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
200g ginger nut biscuits
75g salted butter, melted
large mixing bowl
20cm springform cake tin
small palette knife
large piping bag fitted with a large star tip nozzle
- In a microwave, melt 400g of white chocolate on low power in a microwave-proof bowl. (If you'd rather you can melt the chocolate over a water bath instead.) Try not to let the chocolate get too hot. Allow to cool until still liquid but just about room temperature. This usually takes about 15 minutes.
- Blitz the biscuits to fine crumbs in a food processor (or place in a plastic bag and bash with a rolling pin). Add the melted butter and blitz again.
- Place the circle of greaseproof paper in the bottom of the cake tin, then tip in the buttery crumbs and press them down firmly with the back of a spoon or the bottom of a glass. Refrigerate for few moments while you prepare the cheesecake layer.
- Mix the soft cheese into the cooled but still molten chocolate. Set aside the mixture for a moment while you measure 300ml of the double cream into the large mixing bowl. Beat with the hand mixer until it thickens.
- Transfer the chocolate mixture to the large bowl containing the cream, add the vanilla extract and mix until fully incorporated (you can go in with the hand mixer again if you wish, but do not over mix).
- Spoon the mixture over the packed crumb base and level carefully with the mini palette knife. Chill for at least two hours.
- Chop the remaining white chocolate into pieces and set aside enough larger pieces to decorate the cheesecake later. Melt the rest of the chocolate and place inside a Tala disposable piping bag. Snip the end off the bag and drizzle criss-cross lines of white chocolate over the top of the cheesecake. Return the cheesecake to the fridge while you whip the cream for the decoration.
- Pour the rest of the double cream into the large mixing bowl and whip again until thickened (do not whip the cream too much because if too much air is incorporated into the cream the consistency becomes difficult to pipe neatly).
- Transfer the whipped cream to the piping bag with the star tip nozzle. Pipe around the edges of the cheesecake to make a circular border. Finish with chopped pieces of white chocolate.
- Chill until needed and then serve on its own or with fresh fruit – sharp red berries work particularly well with this cheesecake.
- Cleanly remove the cheesecake from the tin by warming a sharp knife under hot water and running it around the edges of the cheesecake before releasing the catch on the springform tin.
- The crumb base will hold its shape well if properly packed down and chilled. A mini palette knife is useful to gently prise the crust out of the tin – make sure you get it right under the greaseproof paper.
- It is possible remove the greaseproof paper if you wish, but if the thought of this makes you nervous, leave it on! Cut the cheesecake and leave the paper behind when you plate up.
- For the decoration, whip the cream as little as possible and transfer to a piping bag as quickly as you can. Air bubbles will form quickly, making it hard to pipe smoothly.