I hate cheesecake. You guys know by now that when I start a post with the words ‘I hate’, you are in for a totally amazing recipe. Well, this one is just that. Amazeballs. I am not a fan of cheese, I have only recently started including it in my diet. Cheesecake on the other hand I have never been a fan of. The signature smell of cheese and the taste, plus texture totally puts me off. I see cheesecake on the dessert menu in a restaurant and run in the other direction. I have been to dinner parties where cheesecake was the only thing being served for dessert, and I politely declined. Imagine my horror when I was served cheesecake at a Come Dine With Me-esque dinner party at my neighbour Funmi’s house.
After a fabulous starter and main, she plunked this beautiful plate of cheesecake on my table with a passion fruit reduction and passion fruit pudding. My heart sunk. It looked beautiful but I knew I would detest it. Funny how things changed in an instant. I dipped my spoon into the passion fruit pudding (which i expected to love) and did not like it at all. I thought crap, all I have left is this cheesecake which I eyed thoroughly. With a lot of trepidation, with my breath held, I carefully took a piece, brought it closer to my mouth, closed my eyes and prepared for that automatic response of wanting to puke, then politely swallow, drop the fork and not take another bite. Errrrrrrr, that did not happen.
I remember opening my eyes and thinking hmmmmmn, I love this. Oh my gosh. I took another bite, thinking nah, how is this cheesecake? I hate cheesecake, goodness me, this is amazing. Long and short of the story, that cheesecake disappeared in a matter of minutes. The next words that came out of my mouth were, Please Ma’am, I want more a la Oliver Twist.
We all couldn’t stop talking about it and I said to her, give me the recipe. She said oooops, I didn’t cook with a recipe, I just winged it. WHAT!!! you winged THAT? No freaking way. Okay then, you are going to reproduce it in my kitchen and I will make sure we measure everything. I have to share this recipe with my readers. You guys definitely have to try this. The best part, no ‘cooking’ involved. Honestly, zilch. This is a no bake cheesecake that you cannot get wrong. No worrying about whether it will cook through, no worries about whether the oven is too hot or not hot enough. Measure, place in the fridge and you have a plate of absolute creamy gorgeousness. Atoke of Bella Naija was at my flat that weekend and she too was amazed at how beautiful it was. Apparently she paid some woman 12 thousand Naira for cheesecake in Lagos. 12 thousand naira! Wow. If you are reading this and you pay ridiculous prices for cheesecake, save your money and make it yourself. I am sure you can find the ingredients in Nigeria. Shoprite is your best friend. Thank you Funmi for this recipe. I have had almost 4 slices now, and still going. My waistline is not happy about it, but I don’t care. Come and join me on this fabulous cheesecake experience.
You will need
7 pieces of digestive biscuits
1 cup of groundnut
2 teaspoons of golden syrup
8 teaspoons of melted butter
Juice of 1 and 1/2 lime
6 tablespoons of condensed milk
A dash or two of vanilla extract
Half of a sheet of gelatine in 1/2 cup of water
1 teaspoon of brandy – for that alcoholic kick and flavour (optional)
Zest of 2 limes
1 tablespoon of Caster Sugar
250g Mascarpone cheese – soft Italian cheese
300g Philadelphia – full fat soft cheese
We did make one more, packed full of Nigerian flavours. It was yummy beyond belief. Total experimentation, and it was better than this one. If I have kept on repeating how amazing this cheesecake is, now imagine something even better. Mouth zipped on that one. Cookbook idea. Sorry. Hehehehehehehehehehe
1. Blitz the digestive biscuits into crumbs. The traditional way would be to place in a freezer bag and bash with a rolling-pin till it crumbles. Y’all know I am a 2014 cook. I placed the biscuits in a mini food processor, attached the knife blade and blitzed in seconds.
you want to achieve this powdery crumbly texture
2. Do the same for the groundnuts
3. Combine the biscuit crumbs with the groundnut crumbs
4. Add the syrup to the groundnut and biscuit crumbs
5. Add the melted butter to the crumbly mix
6. Combine properly. The syrup and the meted butter should make the crumbly mix compact, compared with the loose texture it had prior
7. Pour into a baking pan
8. Using a clenched fist, pack it down, so it is truly compacted into the tin and stays together
to further compact it down, you can also use your fingers
9. Fully patted down and firm, place in the fridge for about 45 minutes. This long, because of the oils in the groundnuts.
10. Now to the creamy bit. Get out the mascarpone and Philadelphia from the fridge and empty into a bowl
and the rest of the ingredients – brandy and lime
11. Zest the limes and pour into the bowl filled with cheese, juice 1 1/2 limes and pour into the bowl.
12. Measure the condensed milk and pour into the bowl
add the brandy
13. Dissolve the gelatine in water – remember your measurements
14. Using a whisk, combine all the ingredients till smooth
smooth and well combined, get out the baking pan from the fridge and pour out the cheesy mixture on top of the biscuit and groundnut base.
Smooth out with a pallet knife or spatula. Place in the fridge for another 30 – 45 minutes until the cheese is firm. I have to stress that this is not a cake that you can turn upside down to get out, so ensure that you use a baking pan that has a detachable bottom, so you can lift up the cylindrical upper part.
Take out of the fridge and gently un-snap the baking pan and lift. This is just gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous. It smells great, it tastes even better.
Creamy goodness that will have you taking your fork back into it, over and over again.
Cut out a slice and dig in. Lime and cheese never tasted so good, trust me
The groundnut was the most surprising part of this cheesecake. It is just there in the background, wowing you with each bite.
Thanks Funmi, this will definitely be a staple in my household. I can’t wait for my next dinner party to serve this, and will keep our second experiment close to my heart until it comes out in print.
Try out this cheesecake this weekend, and treat yourself, friends and family to sweet, deliciousness that is guaranteed to finish on the same day.