ESPRESSO OREO CHEESECAKE

Have you ever heard anything so disgustingly delicious?

Don’t talk to be about a cheesecake recipe if at any point you mention an oven. I can’t bare it. No cheese in any cake should be subjected to the confines of oven. I don’t want to know about leaving it ajar or in a roasting tray bath of hot water or any other nonsense. I want my cheesecakes bordering on ice cold and sitting proudly in a fridge. It’s the way any cheesecake wants it. It slices better, it sits better and lasts longer. Room temperature is not for cheesecakes.

The first time I made this I was hesitant. I’m dubious with coffee in any form of desert. I have a lovely Damp Mocha Cake that I made in collaboration with Macmillan Coffee Morning but often times I see people make a Victoria sponge, throw some Kenco in the batter and call it a coffee cake and I don’t have the time for it. However I wanted to indulge of a weekend but at the same time didn’t want to bake. I had a friend coming over on the Saturday and had no time to bake so I wanted something I could make on the Friday and let sit. This cake ticked that box.

This is the kind of cheesecake that made me wish we could and should eat cheesecake every single day. Crunchy on top, creamy in middle and crispy on bottom. It’s everything a cheesecake needs to be. And I chose Oreos as my base because I remember becoming ridiculously addicted to them whenever my family and I went to Florida when we were young and the nostalgia of that rich biscuit always tempts me in whatever format it comes in.

I also kind of love that contrast with sophistication and trash. The sophistication of the Italian coffee bean, strewn into delicious cheese that smothers American biscuits all ground up. Oreo is essentially a ‘chocolate sandwich cookie’. Have you ever heard anything so disgustingly delicious? It just begs to be dressed up, doesn’t it?

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PRESTART: bring your soft cheese out of the fridge about an hour before you start because it’s much easier to cream and set from room temperature.

Drop 300g of Oreo biscuits into a food processor before sprinkling in about a tablespoon of espresso powder and blitz down to a fine rubble. When I say espresso powder, I mean those roasted packets you get to put in a percolator or a ‘plunger’ – not the instant stuff you would use in work. Not a snob, I love instant coffee, but not in this. Because you’re not cooking it – that means you’d just be eating the instant coffee and not brewing it? Get it?

Melt one big tablespoon of coconut oil down (either in a microwave for a few quick seconds or in a pan) and pour into the processor. If you don’t have coconut oil, a tablespoon or so of butter would be just fine. I just wanted a slight whiff of something tropical amongst that rich base. Either way, blitz so that is resembles a dark, rubbly sand. Pour this into the bottom of a 23cm round spring form tin and using the back of a spoon, push the biscuit rubble around until it covers the whole bottom. Slide this into the fridge to set.

Drop 500g of soft cheese into a big bowl along with about 50g of icing sugar. Carefully beat this together – only reason I say carefully is because the icing sugar has a tendency to go everywhere. Now add a tablespoon of the espresso powder you used earlier into this mix. After all is combined, bring out your Oreo base and pour the coffee cheese mix onto it, again spreading out as evenly as you can.

To the top of this, while still in the tin, scatter over the top about 100g of chopped mixed nuts. Grab yourself a sieve and put a tablespoon of the espresso powder into it, gently tapping and moving in circles over the cheesecake so that the entire top is covered in nuts and coffee powder. Slide in the fridge and allow to set overnight – or at least four hours.

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My advice is to serve this straight from the fridge. I’ve served it both with a spoon of double cream and totally on its own and it’s coffee heaven either way. If you’ve got the energy, serve it with a cup of coffee made from the espresso powder you put in the cheesecake.

If there’s ever a time to be really kitsch, it’s when you’re serving this, let’s be honest.

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