When I was a kid, I used to always help mum bake cakes and sponge puddings (by help I mean lick the bowl) but the first dessert I really took on by myself was cheesecake. I vividly remember, we had this handwritten recipe in the back of a St Michael’s cookbook, which was a real mishmash adaption of one of my Nana’s old recipes — I used to take such pride in making it. I’d follow the recipe to a tee, top it with tinned peaches, then serve after lunch at the weekend and all my family would swoop in for seconds. It was such a hit, SO delicious, not too rich, and way better than any store bought version.
Last week I hosted Fakemas for my gal pals as well as Official Fakemas for all of family this weekend, and rediscovered the cheesecake recipe on the hunt for the perfect showstopper dessert. Okay, okay, at Christmas time there are probably more ‘showstopping’ desserts in the runnings what with all of the elaborate yule logs and glitter finishes, but in terms of being an easy to master crowd-pleaser, this is your guy. Delicious. And I swear you can’t go wrong.
Recipe below, get making!
300g/ a pack ginger nut biscuits
284ml pot double cream
300g pot cottage cheese
250g pot cream cheese
70g icing sugar
zest 1 lime
teaspoon vanilla essence
frozen berries for topping
Lightly grease the bottom and inside of a springform cake tin.
Blitz up all of the ginger nuts in a food processor (I swear by my KitchenAid Diamond Blender), or pop them in a food bag and smash them with a rolling pin until they’re crumbs.
Melt the butter until completely liquid, and mix well with the biscuit crumbs until fully combined. Pour this base mixture into the tin, level out and press firmly down to create an even layer that feels solid. Pop this base in the freezer for an hour or so, for the butter to solidify and the base to set.
Next, the filling. Blitz up the cottage cheese using a food processor until completely smooth. Add to this the cream cheese, icing sugar, vanilla essence and lime zest.
In a separate bowl, whip the cream — extra points if you’re getting some elbow grease into it and using a hand whisk! You want stiff peaks, and when you’re done, fold this in to the other mixture.
Spoon this mixture on to the biscuit base, level out and pop in the fridge for a couple of hours for it to go a little more solid before you serve.
For the topping, you can literally use anything — tinned peaches, fresh berries, forest fruits, whatever you think really. I made an easy-peasy berry compote in advance by slowing simmering a whole bag of frozen berries in a saucepan until they broke down, then cooled it off in the fridge overnight — it’s perfect for spooning on top of the cheesecake before you serve.