Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Baked Chocolate Cheesecake - Baking Challenge Update

Last night, my lovely friend Lucy, of Mrs Bishop's Bakes and Banter hosted a chocolate tea party, in aid of The Sick Children's Trust.

We all donated £3 to charity and bought along something chocolatey to add to the buffet table. There was also a raffle, and Lucy made and sold these lovely little pots of Jamie Oliver's Epic Hot Chocolate. I didn't need to try Lucy's, to know that this hot chocolate is lush! I have made it and given it as Christmas gifts in the past and it is well worth a try.

Lucy's photo (hope you don't mind, Lucy!)

As well as having a lovely evening, Lucy raised over £115 for the charity, so a good night all round!

So now to the point of my post. My chocolate offering. I had thought that I would take chocolate macarons along, but then the thought occurred to me that I haven't made amazing progress with the baking challenge I set myself earlier this year yet. So, I thought about what I could make chocolatey, and the cheesecake seemed the obvious choice.

Eric Lanlard's version. Photo: Channel4.com

I decided to use this recipe for Baked Chocolate Cheesecake by Eric Lanlard. Especially since the version I had planned on making for the challenge was by him too. I altered the recipe slightly. Partly because I can't help myself, and partly because I left the shopping for ingredients until Easter Sunday and the supermarkets were shut! What? It had not occurred to me that they would be shut!

Anyway, our local Budgens (that has been visited by Jamie Oliver no less) shuts for nothing, so I was saved. But marscapone is far too big an ask of them, so I had to settle for a combination of extra cream cheese (400g total) plus a 200ml pot of creme fraiche. I also added a bit more sugar (about 15g extra I think) to make up for the fact that the marscapone would have been sweeter.

I also omitted the chocolate essence, but substituted with a good slug of Amaretto liqueur. What do you mean, that's not a like for like substitution? In my humble opinion, there is nothing that can't be made better by the addition of amaretto, especially if it's chocolate, so I jumped on the excuse. Oh, I also used 4 medium, instead of 3 large eggs.

The cheesecake was really quick and easy to make. I loved the idea of Bourbon biscuits as the base, as that chocolate bit in the middle of them can only make it extra scrummy, surely?

I made a slight error of judgement in lining the cake tin. I should have cut a circle of parchment paper for the bottom, but was being lazy, so I used a pre-cut baking tin liner. That would have been fine, but the fluted edges separated a bit and the mix got in between them, so the sides of the cheesecake are a bit messy. But that only affects what it looks like, it still tasted yummy.

Of course, I forgot to take a photo before it was sliced in to, but here it is, dusted with cocoa and a few sparkly sprinkles. Not quite as professional looking as Eric's, but if I'd lined the tin properly, I don't think it would be far off.

Really yummy, and really easy. Give it a go. It would be delicious served at the end of a meal, with raspberries on the side, to cut through the chocolate a bit.