One of my favourite memories of my Grandmother was her giving me the little Lotus biscuit that came with her coffee when she'd take my sister and me out for lunch. For me, there is not better pairing with those little cinnamon flavoured treats than a cup of coffee. Fast-forward 30 years and some bright spark turned those biscuits into a paste, which tastes like it came from the heavens above! After consuming 3 jars (neat), I felt I needed to create a recipe using this sticky delight that justified me eating it. Add it's best friend, coffee and you've got a perfect cheesecake combo! Just a few notes;
If you've discovered Biscoff paste in your supermarket and were wondering whether smooth or crunchy is best..............it makes no difference! The base flavour is the same whether you get the smooth or crunchy, so go with your heart!
I think by now we've established that I'm not renowned for my healthy approach to baking, so it comes as no surprise that I insist you use full fat cream cheese in this recipe. There is some science behind this reasoning and that is that the lower fat cream cheeses don't have the same structure as their more delicious cousins and you'd be left with a rather loose and sloppy mess!
Coffee! I unashamedly use instant coffee in this recipe because adding liquid in the form of espresso shots would jeopardise the stability of the mix! However, when I say 'instant', I do mean that posh stuff that looks like dust and comes in a tin, as opposed to a jar! Also, if you can't get the 'espresso' strength then use double the amount of regular instant coffee to keep the flavour levels up!
Lastly, decoration! Whether or not you decide to decorate your cheesecake is totally up to you. However, if you've gone to all this effort then I think a final gilded flourish is the very least you can do! I recommend grating chocolate (or sifting cocoa) over the top to finish this creamy delight. In the picture above, I created this pattern by running strips of sticky tape over the tin (with the cheesecake still in it) to create a criss-cross design. I dusted cocoa over the top and then removed the tin (and tape) to reveal a pattern. The golden balls are nothing more than Maltesers rolled in edible gold glitter (you can get this in supermarkets now). Hint: Remove the cheesecake from the tin, place the sticky tap over the outside ring before placing back over the cheesecake. If you tape up the tin and then try to get the cheesecake out, you'll get into a big mess and end up crying!
For the base:
250g Digestive biscuits
100g unsalted butter - melted
1 heaped dessert spoon of Biscoff (optional)
For the cheesecake mix:
300ml double cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
400g full fat cream cheese
200g Mascarpone cheese
175g icing sugar
2 tsp instant coffee dissolved in a little water
25g dark chocolate – grated
Blitz the biscuits in a food processor until they resemble fine crumbs. Add the butter and BIscoff and blitz to combine. Spread the mix evenly over the base of a 23cm spring form cake tin and use a spoon to press it down gently. Refrigerate until cool.
Whip the cream to soft peaks.
In a separate bowl combine the cream cheese, Mascarpone, Biscoff, icing sugar, vanilla and dissolved coffee.
Fold the whipped cream into the mix and spread this evenly over the biscuit base, using a palette knife to smooth the top.
Grate over the chocolate and refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours, or overnight.
To remove from the tin, warm the sides gently with your hands and unclip the latch. Transfer the cheesecake to a serving plate, slice and serve.