The fantastic team at Ilala Lodge have put together a delectable desert Recipe of the Month, for you to try out at home, putting your culinary skills to the test. Wow at your next dinner party, or simply spoil yourself with a tasty sweet treat when you need a mood boost.
200g Tennis biscuits
100g butter, melted
200ml whipping cream (very cold)
150ml Frangelico liqueur
2tspn gelatin powder
500g cream cheese, softened to room temperature
130g caster sugar
30g dark chocolate, melted/nutella
1. Using a food processor, process the digestives into sandy crumbs. Alternatively, if you don’t have a food processor, you can put them in a big bowl and crush them slowly with a glass, which is highly therapeutic!
2. Melt the butter over a low heat, then add the melted butter into the cookie crumbs. Stir until combined .The texture of this should be a little like damp sand.
3. Press the butter and biscuit crumb mixture into a 9-inch spring form pan to form an even layer. I learnt that putting a cake base in place of a spring form pan rim is more effective, especially if you mean to give the cake as a gift! No fuss over transfer of the cake! Pop this crust layer in the freezer while you prepare the other ingredients.
4. Whip the whipping cream until stiff peaks form. Be very careful with this step. The secret to avoid cream from curdling is to whip the cream over a bowl of iced water. Also make very sure not to over beat.
5. Place the liqueur in a small bowl and sprinkle the gelatin powder all over the surface. Leave this to stand for 3 minutes. Following this, place the small bowl in a pan /pot of simmering water, heating gently while constantly stirring till ALL the gelatin has dissolved into the liqueur.
6. Using an electric mixer, beat the sugar and cream cheese until light and fluffy.
7. Strain the gelatin and liqueur mixture into the cream cheese and sugar mixture, mixing gently with a spatula.
8. Fold in the whipped cream gently; making sure that everything is well – incorporated.
9. Remove the spring form pan containing the crust from the freezer. Pour all of the mixture onto the crust and smooth it out with a spatula.
10. Melt the dark chocolate in the same way that the gelatine was previously melted –put the chocolate into a small bowl over simmering water. The rationale for this is to prevent the chocolate from burning! Once the chocolate has melted, scoop 10 cent sized dollops of it over the cream cheese mixture .Using a skewer/ toothpick, make random swirls all over the cake, taking care not to remove skewer/toothpick until you are done swirling.
11. Refrigerate the cake for a minimum of 5 hours, but preferably overnight to ensure that it is fully set. When ready to serve: dip a palette knife into hot water and dry it. Run the palette knife along the edges of the cheesecake and remove the pan rim gently.