As my nephew, The Boy Wonder, is what I admiringly term ‘a cheesecake hoover’, he warmly received my idea of a cheesecake fortress for his 14th birthday cake. This idea developed from his initial request of “the biggest cheesecake you have ever made”.
These cheesecakes are all made from the same “no bake” cheesecake recipe. It’s quick and easy to make and you end up with a light, delicious cheesecake that can hold its own alongside any fancier recipes.
The recipe below sets out the basic quantities to make a 20cm cheesecake, but I doubled those to make the base, a 27cm beast! I then made a double batch and divided it up before adding different flavours to make the turrets – I simply made foil rings to keep them in shape. I toyed with using food rings but couldn’t face all the washing up when the cheesecakes were freed!
I am very lucky to have a fab foodie friend, the wonderful Miz Ratti who brought me back a most welcome gift from Germany – Philadelphia cream cheese mixed with Milka chocolate. Why isn’t this available in the UK? Why????? The task of making a chocolate cheesecake suddenly becomes laughably easy!
Along with the chocolate ‘turret’ cheesecakes, I also made smooth peanut butter flavoured (with chocolate covered peanuts mixed in), blackberry, pineapple (simply a small tin of crushed pineapple) and raspberry flavours. The base (aka the 27cm beast) was a classic vanilla.
You never have to worry about making too much cheesecake (is that even possible? I almost hate myself for typing that!) as it freezes well. To make it even easier, cut the slices and wrap them individually then you only need defrost what you want and the rest is safe for another day.
Happy 14th birthday Boy Wonder!
For the basic cheesecake mixture (this will make a 20cm round cheesecake, or 5 of the mini's I've made here):
250g digestive biscuits
100g unsalted butter
600g cream cheese – I used Philadelphia
100g icing sugar
284ml double cream
Suggested flavourings: Seeds scraped from 1 vanilla pod, 3 tablespoons smooth peanut butter, 3 tablespoons fruit puree, small tin of strained crushed pineapple.
Place the ring from a 20cm round springform tin on the plate you’ll server the cheesecake from. Wrap the ring in either clingfilm or greaseproof paper to ensure that you can free the cheesecake easily.
Butter and bics in the food processor - pulse it until the butter is distributed.
Use the crumbs to line the base of the cheesecake. Press them down onto the plate but not so hard that you create biscuity concrete!
Refrigerate while making the cheesecake.
Slice the vanilla pod in half and remove the seeds. (if you are using any other flavourings this is the time to add them)
Place seeds in a bowl along with the cream cheese and icing sugar and beat until smooth and well combined.
Pour in the cream and beat until the mixture is completely combined.
Spoon over the biscuit base and level.
Leave to set overnight in the refrigerator.