Sunday 22 May 2022

simple vanilla and orange no-bake cheesecake

I've been slow to embrace the cheesecake, but now I'm a convert. Baked or not, Basque style, made in a tray and cut into bars, I'm a fan. This is a really easy no bake cheesecake, wonderfully light, and so easy to adapt, a fabulous start for a cheesecake journey.

Vanilla and Orange no-bake Cheesecake
serves 12

250g scotch finger biscuits
100g butter, melted
zest of 1 orange, divided in 2
500g cream cheese, at room temperature
100g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2g gelatin
30ml boiling water
300ml thickened cream (approx 36% fat)
500g strawberries
250g raspberries
25g caster sugar
50ml orange liqueur
juice half an orange

• line the base of a 20cm springform cake pan with baking paper, lightly grease the inside
• break the biscuits into a food processor, blitz to fine crumbs. Add the melted butter and half of the orange zest, pulse until combined 
• tip the crumbs into the cake pan, give the pan a shake to level them out, use the base of a flat glass or similar to press the crumbs into the base and up the side of the pan, then pop in the fridge while you prepare the filling
• in a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over the boiling water, mix until evenly dissolved, set aside
• add the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and remaining orange zest to the bowl of a stand mixer (a hand held electric mixer will work well too) use the paddle attachment to beat until smooth, then add the gelatin and beat until combined
• whip the cream to soft peaks, then fold 1/3 through the cream cheese mixture to loosen, gently fold in the remaining cream, then pour over the crust. Use an off set palette knife or the back of a spoon to smooth the top, then cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours
• half an hour before you want to serve the cheesecake, take it out of the fridge and prepare the berries
• remove the stalks and cut the strawberries in half. Combine half of the strawberries, and half of the raspberries in a bowl with the caster sugar, orange liqueur and orange juice, keep at room temperature, lightly tossing every five minutes or so. When you are ready to serve, add the remaining berries to the bowl, stir briefly to combine
• heap some berries on top of the cheesecake, and serve with the extra berries on the side
• store leftover cheesecake in an airtight container in the fridge; the cheesecake will keep for 4 days, provided the use by dates on the cream and cream cheese do not expire before

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