Monday, 10 December 2012

No-faff chocolate truffle cheesecake

Christmas is fast approaching and, much as we all like to spend October and November fantasising about the joyful expressions on our family’s faces when we bring a 3 foot tall croquembouche to the Christmas table, by December reality has kicked in and the croquembouche recipe is tucked away not to be looked at again until maybe next November.

This is where recipes like this earn their keep – delicious, minutes to prepare and – with the right presentation – wow factor.  Lakeland very kindly sent me their small hemisphere pans to try and I knew I wanted to make something that looked like Christmas pudding but wasn’t (I’m not a fan).  Chocolate cheesecake was the answer (when isn’t it?) and this one is perfect for a special occasion because it tastes like chocolate truffles with a cheesecake tang.  I’m sure you could use it for a truffle filling – it’s that good!

These are the hemisphere pans – if you use two, you can join them to make a perfect ball.  It’s an optical illusion, the pan on the left looks so much bigger but it honestly isn’t!

The joy I feel when Lakeland ask me to sample stuff can only be expressed with the following analogy: just conjure up that feeling you get when the boy/man you have that outlandish unrequited crush on at school/college/work/wherever talks to you, knows your name and is really friendly.  That feeling.  Lakeland like me!  My love is no longer unrequited!  Joy!

I lined my hemisphere mould with cling film to ease the turning out process.  It does mean that you don’t get the perfect smooth finish but many a good pud can be ruined by a messy turn out, so for me it was a worthy compromise.  To make the clingfilm adhere better to the metal, I rubbed a thin coat of oil on first.  Even with that prep, I still needed to give the tin a quick dip in warm water to encourage the cheesecake out, as it sets firm.

Because this recipe is so simple, it really does live or die by the quality of the chocolate you use – pick a chocolate you like eating because that will be the overriding taste of the finished cheesecake.

If my hemisphere pan was the equivalent of Lakeland knowing my name and being friendly, then the hamper can only be the equivalent of a bouquet of flowers.  I think I might be dating Lakeland.  I love a good hamper – and this is a goodie.  All killer no filler (as I believe the phrase goes).  It contains tea, jam and biscuits (Mr CC has developed a passion for the strawberry and clotted cream shortbread) and the hamper itself is a wicker teacup and saucer.  So often with hampers I’m left with a nice box that doesn’t seem to have a purpose; not this one.  I had already bought my Christmas poinsettia and the teacup (lined with foil to stop leakage) made an instant container - how cute does it look?

As you have probably guessed my cake tin and hamper were provided by Lakeland.  Regular readers will know that I have long worshipped at the altar of Lakeland - and diverted large and regular chunks of my salary in their direction - so please don’t think I’m promoting Lakeland just cos I got some love for them is genuine, deep and rather moving.


The quantities set out below will make a 20cm round springform tin cheesecake or two of the Lakeland small hemisphere pan cheesecakes.  If you are making a classic cheesecake, make the base first, then the topping.  If a hemisphere cheesecake, topping first, then base.

For the cheesecake:
300g milk chocolate
100g dark chocolate
300g cream cheese – I used Philadelphia
200g mascarpone

For the base:
175g digestive biscuits
75g unsalted butter


Line two 13cm Lakeland hemisphere tins with clingfilm – a light rub of oil helps the clingfilm adhere to the metal.

Stand the moulds in dishes so they are stable.

Place the chocolate in a bowl and sit above a pan of simmering water, taking care that the bowl does not touch the water.  Leave to melt slowly – no need to fuss over it or stir it.

Put the cream cheese and mascarpone in a mixing bowl and beat together.

Beat in the melted chocolate.

Spoon into the prepared moulds and level the surface; the cheesecake should not come to the top of the tin as you need room for the biscuit base.

Now make the biscuit base: place the biscuits and butter into a food processor and blitz until you have the texture of wet sand.  If you prefer, you can place the biscuits in a bag and crush manually with a rolling pin.  Melt the butter and stir the crumbs into it.

Spoon onto the cheesecake and ensure it is evenly spread.

Cover the base (which is currently the top) with clingfilm then place a plate with a weight on it.  This will press everything down and ensure it holds its shape on turning out.

Refrigerate (with the plate and weight still in place) for at least 2 hours or – ideally – overnight.

Turn out onto the serving plate.  A quick dip in hot water will encourage it out, if needed!

Spoon a dollop of thick cream on top and then decorate with a holly – voila!   Cheesecake pudding!

Serve in generous wedges with extra cream.  If you want the true chocolate truffle sensation serve it straight from the fridge.

Bask in the glory of the wonderful thing you have created.



LandGirl1980 said...

I let out a squee of delight when I saw their hemisphere moulds last weekend! I shall have to try this out!

Debs Dust Bunny said...

Once again you give us another stunning dessert! I am not a big Christmas Pudding fan either but love the look of a fat, round pudding decorated with holly. How great is this?! Looks like the traditional pud but filled with Christmas wish fulfilled.

Soo said...

Now THAT is what a Christmas pudding should be!!

Susie @ Fold in the Flour said...

I'm a bit puzzled as I thought I left a comment earlier - it was on my mobile via Twitter though so maybe I did it wrongly.

Anyway, I absolutely love Lakeland, too, and there is nothing better than their catalogue. Apart from one of their stores ... :)

This pud looks lovely, and I think Maya Gold might just be my choice of chocolate - lovely and festive with orange and spices! :)

Marialuisa said...

wow!! Beautiful

Nom! The Indulgent Baking Blog said...

Hahaha I love your Lakeland fetish, it is real! I'm so jealous you get all the Christmas previews too. I love these puddings they're just too cute. I have to say I am planning on two small croquembouches for Christmas eve as that's when us vikings celebrate, stay tuned though! I love the idea of cheesecake for pudding though...

Kate@whatkatebaked said...

Possibly the best ode to Lakeland I have ever read! And my! What a pudding! This is quite marvellous and certainly delight any chocohlic this Christmas!

Katie said...

Haha brilliant post, rally light hearted. I love Lakeland too. Its the kitchen lovers dream. There is one nearby me now im in Sheffield - dangerous!
Your puds looks divine and beautifully decorated. I feel really festive now :)

Sarah, Maison Cupcake said...

I think I just want to sink into this! Looks amazing and a use for that tin I'd not thought of.

Laura Loves Cakes said...

What a good idea...the perfect way to add a little festive touch to a cheesecake this Christmas. It's so cute and would be great as an alternative to Christmas pudding for those who don't like it! :-)

Anonymous said...

That looks properly impressive. Nice work.

Gloria said...

I love! Look really pretty and delicious!!

sensibilia said...

Ha ha! I too have an ongoing love affair with Lakeland. I even bought a flan tin there recently in order to make your Russian shortcake in exactly the right size tin (I thought maybe the fact that my tin was not PRECISELY the right size might have contributed to the difficulty I had with it). I do remember Delia saying that the exact size was essential for cakes.

I had a laugh with younger daughter about the fact that I haven't actually made it again yet...

I pointed out your blog to her as she is both a Chartered Accountant and an enthusiastic cook.

However she has now gone off to do a ski season and is working like a ***** in a chalet kitchen.

Wish her luck!

Cakelaw said...

Ooh, yes please! This looks amazing.

Choclette said...

Ooh I do love a good chocolate cheesecake and just adding truffle to the title has me longing for this one. And a perfect Christmas pudding too.

Maggie said...

A lifetime on the hips for this one CC! Oh go on then I'll have a huge slice of deliciousness. Lakeland in Solihull, Shrewsbury and Beckenham are my hangouts, not forgetting the online temptations too!

thelittleloaf said...

YUM! This is honestly the best idea EVER and a million miles better than Christmas pudding :-) I love chocolate truffle cakes and cheesecake so something that looks like a combination of the two is complete bliss.

Lisa Shannon said...

Oh my!!! This is definately going on my Christmas menu, it looks beautiful. I have followed your Lakeland obsession for a while and I might have, on ocassion, followed suit.... haha!!! Thank you CC XX