Particularly as we were together for ten years before we married, we always seem to have found a small way to mark the occasion. This year The Husband was on a stag party all weekend, and so I decided to cook a nice meal (the last from our most recent Hello Fresh delivery) and a homemade dessert. I hoped that as he was due home before lunch, there would be enough time for him to recover enough to spend the evening celebrating with dinner and a dvd.
When I asked The Husband to pick a cake for Easter, his first choice was a cheesecake. I wanted to make something a bit more akin to a cake, so he opted for the sachertorte instead. However, in his absence this weekend I spotted the fresh eggs he had brought home from a colleague who had been overrun whilst chicken-sitting for a friend, and I decided to rustle up his favourite for his return.
It wouldn't be my first choice of dessert, The Husband and I have a long-standing disagreement about whether vanilla is a valid flavour (the only time I opt for vanilla ice-cream is if it is to go with a pudding), and I would prefer dark chocolate over white every time. To me white chocolate just tastes of sugar and fat (which is probably pretty accurate) but it works well in this dish, adding a sweetness rather than being overpowering.
So as the ingredients might suggest, this is a sweet, creamy dessert, perfect for those sugar-fiends in your life. The ricotta makes it rich, but stops it becoming tooth-achingly sweet, and I had mine with a few berries on the side for a little more acidity. The shortbread biscuit base also made a nice change, as well as adding a few extra calories, I'm sure, just for good measure.
Be warned though, this is a big cheesecake, the original recipe is said to serve 16, and even with the mammoth portions The Husband gets through, that's probably a pretty accurate estimation. I tried adding the melted white chocolate over the top, as the original recipe states, but it was too thick to pour and so I wiped it off (and caused the beautiful crack in the top in the process!). Feel free to give the topping a go, but I haven't included it in the recipe here, and it honestly doesn't need any more sweetness adding!
White Chocolate and Vanilla Cheesecake
(Recipe adapted from BBC Food)
600g full fat cream cheese
6 medium eggs
150g caster sugar
250g shortbread biscuits
2 vanilla pods
150g white chocolate
- Preheat oven to 175°C.
- Place shortbread biscuits into a sandwich bag and crush with a rolling pin. Alternatively tip into a large bowl, and use the end of a rolling pin to crush them (similar to a pestle and mortar).
- Melt the butter in a small pan, and combine with shortbread crumbs in a mixing bowl. When the butter and biscuits are well mixed press the mixture into the bottom of a 25cm/10inch springform cake tin.
- Place cream cheese, ricotta, eggs and sugar into a food processor. Split the vanilla pods and scrape the seeds into a food processor. Combine the ingredients using a pulse setting until the mixture is smooth. (I used a bowl and a whisk to save on washing up and it worked just as well!)
- Slowly melt 150g of the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water.
- Gently fold the chocolate into the cheese mixture and spoon onto the biscuit base. Use a palette knife to smooth the top.
- Place into the oven and bake for around fifty minutes, until the surface is springy to touch. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.
- Once cool remove the sides of the cake tin and serve in slices.