I’ve made many a cheesecake in my Kitchen and despite there being 4, 200 something ways to do one – I always find myself slinking back to the one method. Naturally, this method is both the quickest and the easiest (pardon my impatience and idleness) but more so because I find this method to be the most relaxing and tastiest of all I’ve experienced. This method is a no-bake, overnight fridge kept endeavour that pleases both the cook for its preparation and the eater for it’s taste. And any recipe that ticks both boxes stays in my repertoire.
I discovered ‘biscuit base’ making via Nigella Lawson who once hoodwinked me into making a fruit tart (can you believe it?) that consisted of bashing up a bag of biscuits and pressing them into a fluted tart tin and set overnight. While I may have done a complete improvisation and spin on this, the bare ethos of this base build is absolutely fantastic. To top this off, I have a solid mixture of cream cheese and chocolate that hardens its consistency in the fridge so you have absolutely no worry to bake it in foil with water up the edge, open the door a crack, close the door a crack, open it again. Nobody has that kind of time.
I also happen to adore this recipe because it can be done when you have a spare half hour in the week and then can be shoved on the top shelf of a fridge for when you have guests coming over because I hate being caught without something sweet in the fridge. Velvety soft white chocolate folded into salty, soft cheese on a sweetly spiced biscuit base is 100% my kind of cheesecake. No Peter Kay jokes, please.
Drop 280g of Ginger Biscuits into a food processor and add a little sprinkle of cinnamon. Hit the button and blitz everything and pour into a big bowl. Melt a small dab of butter in a little saucepan and pour in about 2 tablespoons or so of double cream. Once both have combined, pour into the bowl of biscuit dust. Reserve a tiny bit of the dust to the side for decoration later and pour the rest of the biscuit mixture into a spring from tin (makes life so much easier). Use the back of a spoon (or your hands, if you’re a pig like me) to spread the base out until it’s even stretched across the tin. Pop in the fridge to set.
Drop about 3 pots of cream cheese into a big bowl (that’s about 600g roughly?) and soften using a spoon (just stir the hell out of it for 3 minutes). In a saucepan, melt down about 200g of white chocolate – about two big bars – until soft and creamy before adding some vanilla extract (bean would be better, but I ran out so extract had to do). Pour the velvety chocolate into the cream and beat both together until combined. It will seem runny, but don’t worry – it hardens. Thank God.
Pour this cheese filling on top of the biscuit base and even everything out with the back of spoon before sliding into your fridge (top shelf is colder and therefore more useful here) and leave to set – I’d say overnight or at least a few hours) and just before serving, sprinkle on top the reserved biscuit dust. It does give just an extra crunch of flavour on initial bite, I really recommend it.
And there you have it. One of the simplest forms of cheesecake construction I have ever tried and believe me, I have tried many a time to cook cheesecakes and always find myself returning to this recipe. I guess you could remix this too and use different biscuits for the base – I believe I started this recipe with a normal digestive biscuit base before experimenting – however the buttery, biscuit base options are endless. No Gregg Wallace jokes, please.