Tomorrow I’ll be treating my colleagues at the library to a handpicked cheesecake: an after eight cheesecake. A few times now I have baked something to take to work and somehow my two lovely colleagues, C. and L. were never there to enjoy it! As Lent is coming up next week (for those of you who are blissfully unaware of what Lent entails (as was I until I started working at the library): for six weeks you practice self-denial. This could be to not eat particular foods, drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes, watch tv etc.), I thought I would have to bake something for the girls to send them of well nourished! We always have a tin (or two) of biscuits, cake or scones at hand for any-time cravings, which from next week on, during the whole length of Lent will be sadly empty. I will have to keep my own stash in my drawer and secretly nibble away. Sssssht!
I came up with this plan, when I had just received the cheesecake book. I thought “I let L. pick a cheesecake to be brought in next week’. You would think that with about 50 recipes in the book, she would have no trouble to pick one. But no, she had tasted an after eight cheesecake a while ago and wouldn’t mind at all to have it again! None of my baking books contains anything remotely after eightish, so I had to online to find a recipe. I was happy to find out I can be a cheat this Sunday: it’s a non-bake cheesecake!
Non-bake cheesecakes are so quick and easy to make. I timed myself making the cake this afternoon: started at 13.27, finished at 13.47! Of course it will have to stand in the fridge for at least an hour to set, but it is a great option for a tasty home made cake, when you don’t have a lot of time to make one. When I started this cake straight after lunch, there wasn’t any interest until the after dinner mints started melted and gave off this wonderful scent. Then I had three wee ones standing next to me, hopping from one leg to the other! When the cream cheese and melted mints were mixed, there was no shortage of hands trying to get one of the whisks to lick clean. One had to make do with a fork dipped into the mixture, but that didn’t spoil the fun. After a good 5 minutes of blissful silence, all resembled their little brother, so you can imagine the giggling while I was trying to hunt all of them down with a wet cloth, before they would start their acrobatics again!
I will give you the basic recipe for the non-bake cheesecake, to which you can add all sorts of flavourings after your own tastes.
- 150 grams digestive biscuits
- 50 grams butter
- 200 grams cream cheese
- 3 dl whipping cream
- 1 tablespoon icing sugar
Crush the digestive to small crumbs. Met the butter and mix with the biscuits. Press the mixture into a lined tin and set aside.
Whip the cream with the icing sugar until nice and stiff (don’t over whip, you don’t want a butter cake!).
Soften the cream cheese and fold into the cream. Spread on top of the biscuit mixture and put in the fridge to set.
After-eight cheesecake: melt 200 grams of after eight mints (any brand will do) au bain marie. Mix well into the cream cheese.
Lemon cheesecake: mix the rind of one lemon into the cream cheese, as well as lemon curd to your own taste.
Strawberry cheesecake: mix a good quality strawberry jam to your own taste into the cream cheese, or some fresh strawberry mashed up. Add sugar to taste.
Sort of Schwarzwalder cheesecake: use dark chocolate digestives for the base. Mix a good quality Morello cherry jam into the cream cheese. Use chocolate sprinkles to decorate.
Etc, etc, etc.
Sorry, couldn’t resist ;-).
Whatever takes your fancy, you should be able to add, as long as it is not to wet, because that will prevent the cake from setting. This also means you need to buy relatively few and cheap ingredients to make a nice cake, as you could use all sorts of extra ingredients you already have in the fridge/cupboard.