Remember that episode of Friends where Chandler and Rachel steal and scoff a doorstep cheesecake from one of their neighbours? It’s one of my favourite episodes, firstly because it’s the season where Jen got the chop and her hair all season is PERFECT (…when wasn’t it? Also, as soon as the lockdown gets lifted, the first thing I’m doing is hightailing it straight to the hairdresser’s…), but also because – ugh, didn’t that cheesecake look just as perfect? I’d never been a cheesecake fan, but I was determined to give it another go after watching that episode. Still, every one I tried just didn’t leave me bowled over and filling to scrape it off the floor with a fork if it fell off the plate. And then I worked it out; all that time I’d been trying chilled, no-bake cheesecakes, whereas the heavenly-looking one in that episode of Friends was one of the baked variety – The Classic New York Cheesecake – which has a completely different taste and texture.
It’s also – apparently – much more difficult to make. There are literally thousands of “no bake” cheesecake recipes out there – all blasting how easy they are compared to the baked version. To that I say, bollocks; they’re not that difficult at all – they just take a little bit more time before you can stick your fork in there. I think they’re worth the wait; especially if they’re crammed full of cream eggs… just sayin’.
My husband went to Costco to pick up a few “lockdown essentials” a couple of weeks ago (we usually buy a lot of our tins and freezer stuff there in bulk anyway), and as well as bagging the last pack of eggs (they’re almost impossible to find here at the moment), he came home with a massive box of cream eggs – which I love, although a box of thirty is perhaps pushing it just a little. I knew a good handful were going to have to be used for baking – especially since Easter is just around the corner (check out theCream Egg DoughnutsI made last year 😉 ). This Baked Cream Egg Cheesecake has a soft and crumbly Bourbon Biscuit base (no digestive biscuit bricks here – bleugh!), a light and creamy filling (that sets with a slight wobble), and is crammed full of cream eggs. It’s easy to make and easily adapted, so if cream eggs aren’t your jam swap them out with something else. 🙂
Baked Cream Egg Cheesecake
200g Bourbon Biscuits
360g Full Fat Cream Cheese
100g caster sugar
2 Large Eggs
1 Packet of Mini Cream Eggs
2 Cream Eggs
First things first, whack your oven on and set it to 180°C. Break your biscuits up into smaller chunks, then blitz them in a food processor until you get a fine, sand-like crumb.
Pour the blitzed biscuits into the bottom of a 20cm loose-bottomed baking tin. Lightly press down to create a smooth base – but don’t pack them too tightly otherwise your base will come out of the oven like a brick and will be too hard to cut. 😦
Next, make the filling. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the cream cheese, yoghurt, caster sugar and eggs – mixing until you get a smooth and airy mixture. Roughly chop the mini cream eggs and stir them into the cheesecake mixture.
Pour the cheesecake mixture into the cake tin over the top of the biscuit base.
Slice the other cream eggs and scatter them over the top.
Bake the cheesecake for 40 minutes. Leaving the cheesecake inside, turn off the oven and open the door slightly – allowing the cheesecake to slowly cool (this should stop it from cracking).
Once the cheesecake has reached room temperature, pop it in the fridge to chill for a couple of hours. Bring it out about half an hour before you fancy scoffing a slice! 🙂
Have a great week everyone (Happy Easter for the weekend ahead!). 💛
I’ve had the idea of wrapping a ball of chocolate inside a donut for a while now. I mean what could be better? You wrap it inside the dough and then while you’re cooking the donut, the ball of chocolate inside slowly melts and… *sigh* Anyway, the plan was originally to use a chocolate truffle, but then I had this bag of mini cream eggs bashing around the cupboard and had a brainwave. I mean, I love cream eggs, but am I the only one who thinks the mini ones are a bit pointless? Well, no more! I’ve found the perfect use for them!
Cream Egg filled Donuts (makes eight)
75 ml of warm milk
2 tbsp caster sugar (plus a couple more mixed with cinnamon for coating)
pinch of salt
25 g melted butter
1 beaten egg
1 sachet of instant yeast
150 g plain flour (plus a little extra for kneading)
300 ml oil for frying
1 pack of mini cream eggs
If you’ve got a bread maker then throw all the ingredients in (flour on top, liquid on the bottom) and set to program 6 (or whatever the dough program is on your machine). If not then you’ll have to mix the yeast with the milk and sugar and wait for it to form bubbles, then mix and knead in a bowl with the other ingredients.
The dough will be sticky and hard to work with – but persevere! Turn it out onto a surface with plenty of flour and knead until it’s more manageable. Then separate into balls. Unwrap your cream eggs and wrap each one inside each dough ball, making sure they’re sealed up.
Pour the oil into a pan and heat it up (be careful!). You’ll know it’s ready when you can drop a little bit of bread into it and it sizzles and crisps. Turn down the heat – if it’s too hot then the balls will cook on the outside but not on the inside – and one by one drop the balls into the oil.
Once golden, take them out, dry the oil off with a paper towel and then roll them in plenty of cinnamon sugar. Yum! They’re best eaten while they’re still fresh and warm so you can bite in and enjoy the cream egg at its most gooey 😉
When I said to Sunny that I was going to bake an Easter Cake last week he pulled a face and went, “Isn’t it a bit early for Easter Cakes?” I pulled a face right back. I mean – come on – we’ve both been scoffing mini eggs and creme eggs since they appeared on supermarket shelves way back in January. Hey, you gotta make the most of them while they’re around, right?
Anyway, I’m pretty chuffed with how the cake turned out. It’s a chocolate sponge (obvs) with buttercream frosting, crowned with a Wheetabix chocolate nest-full of mini eggs (in hindsight, Shredded Wheat would have probably looked better). I had some frosting left over from Mother’s Day, so I used a bit of food colouring to turn it a sort of duck egg green, and then stirred in some grated chocolate to create a speckled egg effect.
Chocolate-Speckled Easter Cake
100g Caster Sugar
190g Self Raising Flour
35g Drinking Chocolate Powder (I’ve always used drinking chocolate over cocoa powder for my chocolate cakes – I prefer the taste!)
Set the oven to 180° and grease a deep cake tin (I used a reasonably small one).
Cream together the butter and sugar in a bowl, then gradually whisk in the eggs.
Stir in the flour and drinking chocolate powder, and then gradually add the milk to form a light and fluffy batter.
Bake for one hour, or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.
Allow to cool completely, then slice into three layers and sandwich with buttercream.
*The quantity of buttercream you’ll need will depend on the size of your cake. To make the butter cream, generally speaking, for every 100g of butter, you use 200g of icing sugar.
*To make the nest: stir melted chocolate into crushed Shredded Wheat or Wheetabix, then while wet, form into a nest shape on top of the cake. I used two Wheetabix Bricks and half a big bar of Dairy Milk Chocolate.
What are your favourite Easter chocolates? I’ve gone through about twenty family sized bags of mini eggs already. 🙂