22 September 2012

No-Bake Vanilla Cheesecake with Passionfruit

For the last night at our house in Nottingham I thought it would be nice to make a large meal we could all share and eat together. A couple of weeks before hand Pete and I made a lamb hotpot and it was love at first taste...rich, slightly sweet, melt in the mouth and just packed with flavour. One of the other housemates tried a forkful and was rather envious to say the least, the noises that he made were..to be honest..slightly disturbing! He was absolutely adamant we had to make it again as our goodbye meal, along with the homemade garlic bread that went with it perfectly. So we did! And the pudding for this meal is the recipe I am dying to share with you today :)

The same housemate has been bugging me all year for me to make a passionfruit cheesecake. He is not a big sweet eater but said he tried a version of this dessert in a restaurant long ago and the memory of it had remained with him ever since..I had promised him I would give it a good go, no pressure on recreating a favourite hey! My instructions were that it must have a plain cheesecake base, a no-bake basic filling and a passionfruit topping. So off I set trying to find something that would live up to his expectations..

Once I decided on the recipe to use it was such an easy make for really fantastic results! For the base I used digestive biscuits, pretty much a staple plain, semi-sweet cookie here in the UK perfect for dunking in tea!
Deciding on how to tackle the cheesecake filling was the trickiest bit, and thats saying something as it really wasn't very tricky! Eventually I just followed one main recipe and used my own initiative with the addition of the double cream, whipping it so it thickened a little to ensure the cheesecake set in the shorter-than-desirable time period I had between making and serving!
The topping was kept simple, made by removing the pulp of passionfruit, adding a little icing sugar to take a bit of the sharpness away and..there you go! :)

I cannot emphasise how divine this was, deemed the best dessert by one, and the best cheesecake by another, that they had EVER had. To say I was mildly chuffed...just a little :) The cheesecake itself is just the easiest thing to make, and the most perfectly smooth texture you could wish for. The exact amount of tang from the cream cheese and, in my opinion, just the right base-to-topping ratio. The passionfruit topping just transforms what is a basic (gorgeous) vanilla cheesecake into something memorable. A slightly sharp, exotic twist to offset the smooth sweet cheesecake..my GOODNESS it was yummy. Oh, I forgot to mention, it is endlesssllyyy customisable! Visit the link below to BBC GoodFood to see some of their suggestions :) This is actually the BEST cheesecake I have ever tried..which is pretty ace as I can make it whenever, hurrah! However you decide to adapt this basic cheesecake, be sure to add it to your must-make list, its worth it!

No-bake Vanilla Cheesecake with a Passionfruit Topping
Adapted from bbc GoodFood
Makes one 9-inch cheesecake

For the base:
250g (approx. 17) digestive biscuits (or any plain cookie)
100g butter, melted

For the filling:
600g cream cheese (N.1)
100g icing/powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract (N.2)
210ml double/whipping cream

For the topping:
6 passion fruit
a little icing sugar (less than 1 tsp)

Grease a 9-inch springform pan, line the base with parchment paper and grease the paper well
Crush the biscuits either in a food processor, or using a tightly sealed bag and rolling pin
Pour the crumbs into a bowl and add the melted butter. Mix well until all the crumbs have been coated
Tip them into the springform and press in firmly to create an even layer on the base of the tin
Set aside in the refrigerator for 1 hour

For the filling, in a medium/large bowl use an electric whisk to beat together the cream cheese, icing sugar and vanilla until smooth
In another bowl, pour in the double cream and whisk until it thickens slightly, do not go beyond soft peaks
Spoon/pour the cream into the cream cheese mixture and fold/mix together thoroughly using a spatula
Remove the base from the refrigerator and spoon the filling into the base, evening it out using the spatula and trying to ensure there are no air bubbles
Leave it to set in the fridge for at least 4 hours

Before serving, cut the passion fruit in half and spoon out the pulp into a small bowl
Sweeten to taste using icing sugar and either pour/spread on top of the cheesecake or put a few teaspoonfuls on to each slice when serving

(1) I would recommend using full fat cream cheese to ensure it sets properly, however I did use 1/3 full fat and 2/3 medium fat which worked well for me!

(2) Can use the seeds of one vanilla pod (which would be yummy!) or vanilla paste instead

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