This month’s We Should Cocoa is hosted by Chele at Chocolate Teapot, and the special ingredient is “Lime“. Now when I think of limes, my first thought is Gin & Tonic, and my second is tequila shots (make of that what you will), neither of which have much to do with chocolate. I considered making something chocolatey based around the idea of a G&T, but as much as I love gin, I wasn’t really convinced about how well the taste would go with chocolate. And then I realised that I had been totally side-tracked by the thought of gin, and that the challenge ingredient was supposed to be lime. Lime, not gin. Lime. Right, got it: lime.
So I scrapped the G&T idea (I made myself one to make up for it. With a giant wedge of lime, just as a reminder), and started thinking about what kind of chocolate I thought would go best with lime. I decided on white chocolate – the tartness of the lime should cut through the creaminess of the chocolate. The next step was to work out what to actually make using this combination. Cheesecake seemed the really obvious choice. There’s just one minor detail: I don’t like cheesecake (shock, horror, etc.). Whether baked or not, my issue is with the texture – it just grosses me out and makes me shudder. This upsets me, because I always think that cheesecake just looks so good. I occasionally manage to trick myself into thinking that maybe if I try it this time, I’ll like it. So I order it. And taste it. And get grossed out and shudder a lot, and then somebody else has to finish it whilst I sit there feeling slightly miserable about missing out on dessert. So whilst white chocolate and lime cheesecake sounded like a great idea, A) I don’t actually know how to make it, and B) who was going to eat it? Certainly not me… (Shudder shudder.)
Then suddenly it hit me: my flatmate loves cheesecake. And she has a March birthday (it was yesterday). I would make her a cheesecake for her birthday! And of course, because there would be loads of people at her party, it would get eaten up (provided it tasted ok) and I wouldn’t be simultaneously tempted/grossed out by cheesecake leftovers in our fridge. Genius! Well, it would have been a genius plan, but she decided to go out for tea instead of throwing a party. However, I’d made up my mind to attempt cheesecake, and wasn’t about to be thwarted by such a tiny detail, so I made her a mini cheesecake. (Actually I made two, in case one went wrong and also because I wanted to try some, and it would be bad form to pinch cake off the birthday girl. Guess what? I still detest cheesecake. The tester cheesecake went to Kat and Craig, who loved it.) My flatmate proclaimed that it was tasty though, hurrah!
White chocolate & lime cheesecake
Makes 2 x 9cm cakes
Adapted from BBC Food
As you can see on the photo, the cheesecake comes out quite thick, but since it is a small cake, that’s fine. According to my flatmate, it’s quite a rich cheesecake, so one mini cake would probably be enough for about 3 people. I originally wanted to decorate it with lime green edible glitter, but I couldn’t find any, so I used green sugar instead.
35g unsalted butter
6 Digestive biscuits
50g white chocolate
1 unwaxed lime
12oml double cream
240g cream cheese
40g icing sugar
Green sugar or edible glitter, to decorate (optional)
1. Line a baking tray with baking paper, and also cut out two strips of baking paper to line the insides of two 9 cm chef’s ring (make sure the paper is a bit longer than the inside circumference of the ring so that there is some overlap). Crush the digestive biscuits (putting them in zip-lock bag and using a rolling pin works really well).
2. Melt the butter in a small saucepan, and add the crushed biscuits. Stir until all the butter has been absorbed by the biscuits. Remove from the heat and split the biscuit mixture between the two rings. Press the mixture down into the bottom of each of the chef’s rings, making sure it is compacted and even, and then refrigerate for 1 hour, until set.
3. Whilst the biscuit mix is setting, prepare the filling. Grate the white chocolate, and zest and juice the lime (it should give 2-3 tsp of juice). Whip the cream into soft peaks in a medium-sized bowl.
4. In a large bowl, whip the cream cheese lightly until soft, then add the icing sugar, and the lime zest and juice. Mix until incorporated. Gently fold in the whipped cream and the grated chocolate, until smooth. Spoon the mixture equally over the two bases, gently pressing it into the sides of the rings so that there are no gaps between the filling and the base. Refrigerate for a further 2 hours until the filling is set.
5. Transfer the cake (still in the chef’s ring) to a serving plate by carefully sliding it off the baking paper on the tray. To remove the chef’s ring from around the cake, wipe the outside with a hot cloth and gently work it off. Then carefully unpeel the baking paper from the sides of the cake. Decorate with edible glitter, coloured sugar or even cocoa powder (or all three), and serve.
PS – Ya, I decided to make something that I know my flatmate loves and is picky about, that I’ve never made before, and that I can’t eat so I couldn’t check if it tasted good or not. And I decided to make it as a gift. I’m well aware of the many fails in logic.