We've been quite socialable lately, inviting lots of friends (and occassionally family) around for dinner to see our lovely new house. These are typically three-course affairs but, if not, dessert is non-negotiable. Seriously, there is no way I'm inviting people round and not making dessert. The dessert I'm sharing with you today has recently come back into my repertoire, I've made a few changes with these latest iterations and it's ready to go.
So, here we have it. Cheesecake. Quite possibly one of the things I miss most since becoming lactose intolerant (ok, that's a pretty tough list to put together, but I think it would make the top ten). And not just cheesecake but chocolate orange cheesecake. I love it. Crunchy, chocolate base with a light and zesty (maybe with an extra zing of Cointreau...) baked cheesecake filling, topped with arty chocolate curls. After much testing, I've decided it's physically impossible to make the chocolate curls look anything other than artistic (definite win in my book). I like a chocolate-y base for this cheesecake for two reasons. 1) More chocolate = win. 2) It gives a much crispier base, no soggy bottoms here.
Anyway, enough blabbering about the cheesecake, here's how you make it... It gives 10-12 portions (depending on how hungry you are) using a 7in/18cm springform tin.
- 200g dark chocolate
- 50g Non-dairy margarine (we use Vitalite)
- 300g oat based biscuits (Hobnobs or similar)
- 500g Lactofree creamcheese
- 150ml Alpro soya yogurt
- 200g caster sugar
- 2 eggs, separated
- 1 tbsp plain flour
- zest of 1 orange
- 50ml Cointreau (optional)
- 70g dark chocolate
1. First of all, grease your tin. It's no good making a cheesecake if you can't serve it nicely to anyone. Done that? Right, let's proceed.
2. Melt 200g dark chocolate with the Vitalite or other dairy free spread. Bash up the biscuits in a plastic bag, try to get the pieces as small and even as possible (although, I usually run out of patience before that point...) Mix the biscuit crumbs into the chocolate mixture and spread across the base of your tin. Put in the fridge to cool and set while you make the filling.
3. Mix your cream cheese of choice together with the yogurt, caster sugar and 2 egg yolks. Then add in flour, orange zest and Cointreau (just for extra orange-y-ness, honest!) and mix again.
4. Whisk the leftover egg whites until stiff then fold in to the orange mixture.
5. Pour the filling over the biscuit base then cook at 180C for 35 to 40 minutes until the filling is slightly golden and still has a bit of wobble. Chill it until you need to serve - it may crack slightly on top but that's what the chocolate curls are for (as well as looking awesome).
6. For the chocolate curls, melt your chocolate in a bowl over a pan of water. The exact amount of chocolate isn't too important, I've done it with as little as 50g but as much as 150g - it just varies how much chocolate is leftover for other things. Once the chocolate is melted pour it onto a flat, clean baking sheet or a chopping board. Place into the fridge to cool. Once the chocolate has set, take a long knife and, holding the handle and the blade (carefully), pull the knife towards you to create curls. You may need to place a tea towel under the baking sheet/chopping board or try bracing it against your body so it doesn't slide around. Sprinkle the chocolate curls over the top of the cheesecake and serve to your impressed guests.