For reasons that I don’t quite understand (something about cables) we had no TV this week.
It was brilliant.
I ran errands, gave the dog a bath, finished my book and made these not-suitable-for-children cheesecakes bites.
Whoever first put cheese in a dessert was nothing short of a culinary wizard. In this I’m using full-fat cream cheese and ricotta. Don’t be afraid to go full fat. It’s not the demon everyone would have you believe.
Also a low-fat cheesecake is scarcely a cheesecake at all.
This has a nut crust because I try to avoid grains. Nuts are a better bang for your buck, nutritionally speaking, and this way you avoid the sugar and nasty additives that lurk in store-bought cookies.
So you can pile it into your face entirely without guilt.
Baileys Cheesecake Bites (makes 12)
- 1 cup walnuts
- 3/4 cup pecans
- 2 tbsps maple syrup
- 1 tbsp nut butter (I chose sunflower but you can just as easily use peanut)
- 1/3 cup sieved cocoa powder
- Using a food processor grind the nuts into a rough crumb
- Add the cocoa powder
- Stir in the nut butter (it may need softened first) and maple syrup
- Using your (clean!) hands press the mixture into a greased, or lined, 8 x 8in square baking dish.
- Put in the fridge and leave to chill for at least 30 minutes or ’til needed.
- 15oz ricotta cheese
- 8oz cream cheese
- 1/3 cup Baileys Irish Cream
- 3 large eggs
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1 tsp vanilla
*Make sure the cream cheese and eggs are at room temperature before you begin. If they aren’t soft enough you run the risk of over-beating and over-beating causes an airy, collapsing, cracked cheesecake.
- Mix the cream cheese, ricotta, Baileys, honey and vanilla in a blender on a medium setting or, if like me you are currently between blenders, using your big, beefy arm. Added advantage: tickets to the gun show.
- Once these are very thoroughly combined so it’s the consistency of a thick sauce, add the eggs one by one. Take care here not to over-beat (see dire warning above).
- Pour into pie base and bake at 300 for 40-45 minutes. The texture should be firm at the edges but still wobbly in the middle (it actually kinda grossed me out a little ’til I remembered that it was pie and there’s nothing to fear from pie).
- And now for the hardest part of the whole escapade – let it cool completely before putting it in the fridge to chill out a bit more. If you are a Type A pleasure delayer like me, this won’t be so bad. You can return to the scene of the crime to gloat over it every so often. If you are a MUST EAT NOW type then I suggest you go away and watch an episode of The Wire, phone a friend or do something else equally engrossing.
- When it’s been chilled for about an hour, remove from the fridge and cut into squares.
And then have a reward for all your hard work.