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Chocolate Orange Baked Cheesecake

Chocolate Orange Baked Cheesecake

Rich, creamy and delicious Chocolate Orange Baked Cheesecake

Whilst there are lots of things that I like to make regularly, I love to try out new recipes as often as possible. This was my first attempt at a baked cheesecake, adapted from Jo Wheatley’s (Great British Bake Off winner from series 2) recipe in her book A Passion For Baking. I’ve made a few things from this book and they’re all pretty fool proof so I felt confident enough to stray from the fairly plain (but lovely, I’m sure) flavours in Jo’s recipe and add the classic pairing of chocolate and orange. The result is a creamy and decadent dessert that would be excellent for a dinner party. Go carefully with your portions – it’s very rich.

Chocolate Orange Baked Cheesecake

For the base:

  • 25g dark chocolate
  • 70g butter, melted
  • 12 chocolate digestive biscuits (I’m sure plain would work just as well)

If you have a food processor, whizz up the chocolate, then add the biscuits and pulse until you have a fine breadcrumb texture. If you don’t have a food processor, chop or grate the chocolate as finely as possible, then put the biscuits in a large (clean) sandwich bag and bash with a rolling pin or heavy object until crumbled and no large lumps are left. Put the chocolate/biscuit rubble in a bowl and add the melted butter and mix together. Tip the mixture into a 9″ springform cake tin and press down with a spatula or back of a spoon to cover the base, trying to make it as even as possible. Chill in the fridge until the topping is ready.

For the topping:

  • 600g full fat cream cheese
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs + 1 large egg yolk
  • 300ml sour cream
  • 1 tbsp orange liqueur (optional)
  • finely grated rind two oranges
  • 100g milk chocolate

Heat the oven to 180C. In a large bowl beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the flour, sugar, vanilla, eggs and yolk, half the sour cream and the liqueur (if using) and beat again. Add the orange zest and stir in to the mixture until evenly distributed. Remove the biscuit base from the fridge and pour on the topping, smoothing it out with a spatula. Place on a baking tray and bake for 30 minutes.

Carefully remove from the oven after 30 minutes (it will be barely set at this stage) and set to one side whilst you prepare the chocolate topping, but leave the oven on.

Melt the chocolate in a bowl over barely simmering water. Once smooth and melted, add the remaining sour cream and stir together until well mixed. Gently pour this chocolate mix over the top of the cheesecake, smoothing it out so it covers everything as evenly as possible. Return to the oven and bake for another 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool, transferring to the fridge to chill for a few hours or overnight. Remove from the springform tin just before serving.

Baked Cheesecaked with Chocolate and Orange

Chocolate Orange Baked Cheesecake – a delightfully decadent dessert

Lime and Ginger Cheesecake

Lime and Ginger Cheesecake

Fresh and cool Lime and Ginger Cheesecake

Well the weather is doing what it’s supposed to, which means it’s barbeque season; I went to a pretty awesome one yesterday. Obviously at a barbeque the meat is king, but I still can’t help myself taking along something sweet for dessert. I decided it should be something with fresh, bright flavours that would wake up the taste-buds after the carnivorous overload (not that I’m complaining about eating ALL the meat!) so I settled on this zingy lime and ginger cheesecake. The sharp lime cuts through the richness of the cream and cream cheese, whilst the crunch of the ginger biscuit base compliments the cool, smooth topping.

Lime and Ginger Cheesecake

For the base:

  • 250g ginger nut biscuits
  • 100g butter, melted

Line the base of a 9″ spring form pan with greaseproof paper. Crush the biscuits, either by whizzing them up in a food processor or (the fun way!) by putting them in a clean sandwich bag and bashing them to bits with a rolling pin or other heavy kitchen implement; you want a fine breadcrumb texture when you’re done. Transfer to a bowl and add the melted butter, mixing well. Tip in to the prepared pan and press down with a spatula or back of a spoon until you have an even layer, slightly higher at the edges than the centre. Place in the fridge to chill while you get on with the rest.

For the topping:

  • 300ml double cream
  • 300g full fat cream cheese
  • 150g icing sugar, sifted
  • 2 limes

In a large bowl, whisk the cream to soft peaks – I prefer to do this by hand as its very easy to over beat cream with an electric whisk and you almost end up with butter if you go too far. Add the cream cheese and mix into the cream with a spatula until well incorporated. Finely grate the zest from the limes and reserve about a teaspoon which you’ll use to scatter over the top of the finished cheesecake. Add the rest of the zest and the juice of the limes to the cream and cheese, add the icing sugar and mix it all in well.  You may need to use the whisk again just to bring back to soft peak stage.

Take the base out of the fridge and pour the topping into the tin, smoothing it down with a spatula or palatte knife. Scatter the remaining lime zest over the top and refrigerate until you’re ready to serve, and for at least 2 hours. When it’s time for dessert, release from the spring form tin, using a palatte knife to run round the edge if necessary. Carefully loosen from the base and transfer to a serving plate.

Lime and Ginger Cheesecake slice

Crunchy ginger biscuit base topped with creamy, citrusy lime cheesecake

Blueberry and Lemon Traybake with a Zingy Cream Cheese Topping

Blueberry and Lemon Traybake

Blueberry and Lemon Traybake with a Zingy Cream Cheese Topping

I went to a baby shower this weekend and took along baked treats (if you’re friends with me it’s a reasonably fair bet I’ll bring baked goods to any event I’m invited to). I’ve been mostly baking fruity, summery stuff lately and this was a perfect opportunity for more of the same. This traybake was perfect to portion up into squares for a big party, and the light, zesty flavour was just the ticket sat out in the sun.

Blueberry and Lemon Traybake with a Zingy Cream Cheese Topping

For the cake:

  • 125g butter
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 250g sour cream
  • 2 lemons (zest of both, juice of one)
  • 300g self raising flour
  • half teaspoon baking powder
  • 150g blueberries

Heat your oven to 180C and grease and line a tin (approx 25x22cm) with greaseproof paper. Beat together the butter and caster sugar until light and creamy. Add the eggs and beat again, then stir in the sour cream, lemon zest and juice until well combined. Stir in the flour and baking powder making sure thoroughly mixed, then stir through the blueberries and pour into the prepared tin. Bake for 40-50 minutes – it’s done when golden, a skewer comes out clean or it springs back when lightly pressed. Remove from the oven and set to one side to cool.

For the cream cheese topping:

  • 175g butter
  • 375g icing sugar
  • 125g full fat cream cheese
  • juice one lemon (left over from the cake)
  • 100g blueberries

Cream together the butter and (sifted) icing sugar until light and fluffy. Add the cream cheese and lemon juice and beat again until well combined. Remove the cooled cake from the tin and peel away the greaseproof paper. Use a spatula to slather the lemony cream cheese frosting over the top of the cake. Scatter the blueberries evenly over the cake, cut into individual portions and serve.