Chocolate Cheesecake

The first time I attempted a home-made cheesecake, I used Butterscotch flavour Angel Delight.  Back when I was at uni, I used to make a cheesecake-esque dessert.  I’d buy a packet of cheesecake mix, ditch the cheesecake bit (they’re always too sweet for my tastes) and just use the biscuit-crumb mix.

It would probably have been cheaper to weigh out biscuits and butter and make my own from scratch, but I didn’t have any kitchen scales at uni.  Anyway, I’d make up the Butterscotch Angel Delight with a small carton of yoghurt and a tiny drizzle of milk.  The filling wouldn’t set solid like a proper cheesecake – but I always spread it thinly anyway.  Cheesecake has always been mostly about the biscuit-crumb base for me!

Filled with nostalgic yearnings for that old dessert, I thought I’d try something similar some *cough* years later and, since Angel Delight don’t use artificial sweetener in their regular mix, I knew I would still be able to eat it.  (So many things I used to like are now off-limits to me due to an allergy to artificial sweeteners, and companies who like to save money by using them.)

Unfortunately, in the intervening years, Angel Delight have also taken out the old artificial flavourings…  :(

Thus, when I experimented and whizzed up Philadelphia (cream cheese) with a packet of Butterscotch Angel Delight & a drizzle of milk, the natural flavourings in the Angel Delight lacked strength, and the over-riding flavour was of cheese.  It was too rich, too cheesy, and nothing like my memories.

So – this time around, I decided to go for chocolate cheesecake, add cream, and ditch the Angel Delight in favour of a 100gram bar of Green & Black’s 85% cocoa, dark chocolate.

I also consulted a few recipes - then ignored them and made up my own!

For the cheesecake base, I had a 9 inch tin so used the following, which was 1 1/2 times the suggested amount for a 7 inch tin (plus salt, which wasn’t in the original recipe, but I find that salt works well with chocolate, so I wanted to add some to the base):

  • 9oz digestives – crushed
  • 4 1/2oz butter – melted
  • 1 1/2 oz sugar
  • Pinch of salt

I melted the butter in a pan and then stirred in the other ingredients before pressing the mixture firmly into a foil-lined tin & chilling in the fridge for an hour or two.  The recipe book talked about baking it, but I’ve never baked a biscuit-crumb base, so I didn’t bother.

For the chocolate cheesecake filling, I used:

  • One 300gram tub of Philadelphia Light (low fat cream cheese)
  • One 300ml of whipping cream
  • One 100gram bar of Green & Blacks 85% cocoa dark chocolate
  • 1 tbsp vanilla essence
  • 2-3 heaped tbsp icing sugar (I just tipped a bit into the bowl & whisked it in until I was happy with the flavour.)

I used my electric beaters & started by whipping the cream up until it made firm peaks and didn’t shift if I turned the bowl gently sideways.  Then I beat in the cream cheese and vanilla essence.

I melted the chocolate (using the microwave, checking regularly and stirring until melted, I let the last few chunks melt on their own in the heat from the perspex bowl.)  Then I folded in the chocolate and beat it into the mixture, adding icing sugar to taste.

I wound up with enough mixture to make two cheesecakes – but as I only had one base, I froze the rest in portions.  It’s a little solid for ice-cream, but if you have molds for those small, thin ice-lollies that children often have, it would probably work well on those.  Even in its slightly solid state, the frozen leftovers have gone down well with the family!

Anyway, I spread the mixture into the base and let it chill in the fridge.  Here is a slightly out of focus picture of one of the last slices (it didn’t last very long!)

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It was surprisingly light.  (Though probably not in terms of calories!)

Overall, it was a great success, and will definitely be making a come-back in our kitchen … once we’ve lost a few pounds!

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