……. Sometimes you have to squeeze in a Birthday Cake….

My Christmas Baby

23 years ago, my son unexpectedly arrived 2 weeks before Christmas, 12 weeks early, weighing a tiny 3lbs 2 ¼ oz! Definitely the BEST Christmas present of my life! As a new mum, I was really aware about how December/January birthday people are often short changed on the celebration front, so I made a mental promise that he would always have as good a birthday celebration as anyone else, any other time of year…. 2 more kids later, juggling School and work End of year commitments, that promise has often come back to bite me on the bum!But he is a generous soul, and easily pleased, so the celebrations over the years have more often than not been welcome distractions from the rest of the end of year chaos. And I have often “experimented’ food ideas on him and his mates – nothing like strapping teenage boys to test drive a new dish –especially desserts.

As a cake decorator, his cakes have been very elaborate over the years – the best was his 21st – a 14-inch chessboard, adorned with references to his many gaming hobbies from over the years… Post 21 though, I have decided to just make cake……..

And this year was a cake that ticked many of his flavour profile boxes…. He is a sucker for that Kiwi favourite “Lollycake” – a biscuit and lolly (candy) no bake roll, that you slice and eat… And his favourite dessert is possibly cheesecake…. He will pour caramel sauce over everything, and any brand of Salted Caramel chocolate will win his undying devotion…

Caramel Chocolate Lollycake Cheesecake

So, I adapted my easy peasy Cheesecake recipe to include all of the above. A Caramel chocolate Lollycake Cheesecake…

The normal cheesecake base is replaced by Lollycake. And the chocolate cheesecake was made using some caramel chocolate I had secreted away.This recipe uses sour cream in the mix, which balances the sweetness of the chocolate, and gives a really smooth texture to the cheesecake. This is one of the easiest no bake cheesecakes I know. The chocolate “sets” the mix, so there’s no need for gelatine or other setting agents.The Cream cheese must be at room temperature, or you might get lumps of unbeaten cream cheese in your cake. And it must be the full fat cream cheese.  The light or spreadable ones just won’t set.

Lollycake Chocolate Cheesecake

Base

1 packet Malt Biscuits

90gm melted butter

100ml sweetened condensed milk

170 soft fruit lollies (or “eskimo” or “Spaceman” lollies) chopped

Filling

500gm Room temperature Cream Cheese

250 ml Sour cream

400 gm chocolate – white, milk caramel or dark, whatever you want

2t Vanilla extract

Topping

200gm chocolate

100ml cream

Line the base of a 25 cm baking springform tin with a layer of baking paper – a very important step, or you won’t get the cake out of the tin… lol

To make the base. Melt the butter, add the condensed milk and stir to combine. Set to one side. Whiz up the biscuits until they are finely ground, mix in the chopped lollies and then pour in the butter/milk mixture. Mix until well combined. It will still look quite dry, but that’s ok.

Tip the mixture into the tin and press down pushing it evenly to the edge of the tin. Using a flat-bottomed glass to press it evenly across the bottom of the tin. Refrigerate to set.

For the filling, break the chocolate up and microwave on 50%power in 30 second bursts until its all melted. Stir until its smooth and leaveto cool. Beat the cream cheese until its very light and fluffy. Add the Sourcream and Vanilla Extract and continue to whip. Once that’s light and fluffy,add the chocolate and beat. Once it’s, yup, Light and Fluffy, pour it over the Lollycake base and refrigerate for 2 hours to set the cheesecake.

To make the topping, break up the chocolate. Pour the cream into a small saucepan and bring to the boil. As soon as it starts rising up the side of the saucepan, take it off the heat, add the chocolate pieces and swirl to cover with the cream. Set aside, and a couple of minutes later, gently stir to mix the chocolate to a smooth ganache. If it looks like it’s a bit lumpy, don’t panic, it will eventually come together in a smooth and luscious blend.

Pour over the set cheesecake and tip the tin to let the topping spread evenly over the top. Refrigerate for at least another hour to set the topping.

To remove from the tin, run a warm knife around the inside of the tin and carefully remove the outside ring. The baking paper should just peel off the bottom of the cake. The topping will slightly ooze over the sides of the cake, this is perfectly normal.

Variations

Of course, you can change up the flavours of this cheesecake.The lolly cake base can be replaced with just a biscuit base (350gm or biscuitsto 75 gm melted butter). If you use chocolate covered biscuits you get an extra chocolatey  cheesecake. And Using gingernuts gives you a spicy base.

White and Milk chocolate flavours pair well with berries, so you can decorate it with sliced berries. Or you can add 2 T of freeze-dried berry powder to the cheese cake mix to add a berry tang.

To go tropical, you can add 2 T of freeze-dried passionfruit powder to the white chocolate cheesecake filling and change the chocolate topping to a  passionfruit pulp topping.

To go Black Forest, make the dark chocolate version, with a chocolate biscuit base. And add a layer of nice bottled cherries hiding under the cheesecake filling…

This is an easy cheesecake to whip up, the day before an event, and is a real crowd pleaser.  I think I’ll be going with a white chocolate berry combo sometime over the festive season…

All grown up, with his fur baby

Enjoy!

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