We had some friends over for dinner over the weekend. The hubs cooked spaghetti vongole, and we made buns and tomato soup. I decided to make chocolate cheesecake for dessert, since that cake has been on my mind for awhile! These days, I like my cakes simple. I'm not a fan of fondant cakes (though I find them so pretty!), and if given the choice, I'd take a rich dense cake over any sponge cake. Junior J and I are crazy over anything chocolate, and most kids love chocolate cake, so I thought that would help end the dinner on a sweet note.
This was the same cake that I made for Junior J's 6th birthday, except this round the cake was dressed with cape gooseberries that were brought by a friend (their slightly tart taste goes very well with the rich sweetness of the chocolate!). Since I've had to tweak the recipe, I thought I'd share our version below (original recipe from here).
For the base:
1 cup of digestive biscuits (approximately 10 pieces)
Butter (8 tbsp)
Cocoa powder (2 tbsp)
Icing sugar (2 tbsp)
For the cheesecake:
Cream cheese (200 g)
Heavy cream (1 cup)
Icing sugar (1 cup if using dark chocolate, 3/4 cup if using semi-sweet)
Semi-sweet/Dark chocolate (1 cup + 1 tbsp of butter)
Agar agar (3 tbsp)
Water (1/2 cup)
1. Melt butter, either using the double boiler method or microwave. While butter is melting, crush the biscuits. Mix the biscuit crumbs, cocoa powder and icing sugar in a bowl. Pour in the melted butter and stir until well-mixed.
2. Press mixture over the base of an 8 inch springform pan. Refrigerate for an hour.
3. While base is being chilled, take the agar agar and soak it in 1/2 cup of hot water.
4. Melt chocolate along with butter.
5. While the chocolate is melting, beat cream cheese, cream and icing sugar in a bowl until smooth.
6. When chocolate has melted, remove from heat and allow to cool slightly before mixing it into the cheese mixture.
7. If agar agar has not dissolved, heat up the mixture using the double boiler method, and stir to ensure there are no lumps.
8. Once agar agar has dissolved, pour the agar agar mixture into the chocolate cheese mixture, and stir well.
9. Pour the chocolate cheese mixture over the biscuit base, spread evenly, and cover with cling film.
10. Allow to set in the fridge for at least 4 hours, or preferably overnight.
11. Decorate with fruit (strawberries, blackberries or raspberries go very well with this!) and serve.
We really love this cake. It's like eating chocolate that is just about to turn molten, where everything is rich and sweet and creamy. The richness of the chocolate means you can't tell there's actually cream cheese in there, and the biscuit base gives it a nice crunch to balance it off. Everyone loved it and asked for the recipe. And best of all, this is egg-free, so the little foodie in the family gets to eat too!