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Friday, 13 March 2015

No-bake Rhubarb & White Chocolate Cheesecake



No Bake Rhubarb & White Chocolate Cheesecake
No-bake rhubarb and white chocolate cheesecake
I adore cheesecake!

I can quite honestly say that it's in my top 10 of all-time great desserts.  Quite possibly in my top 5.  Now, considering I have a serious sweet tooth, a dessert falling into my top 5 is going some.

If a cheesecake is listed on a restaurant / tearoom menu, the odds would be quite short in favour of me ordering said cheesecake.  If that cheesecake included rhubarb, then those odds would be even shorter.  And, if that same cheesecake included chocolate.... well you know where I'm going here, I'm definitely going to order it!


This very dessert, rhubarb and white chocolate cheesecake, was listed on a country pub menu whilst we were dining there.  Now, had it just been Mr E (my better half) & I dining alone then I would quite possibly have ordered two of them!  But, unfortunately (because I couldn't order two), I had to refrain because we were eating with family and friends and, well, it's just not the done thing is it??

And let me tell you, the rhubarb and white chocolate cheesecake was amazing!  Quite possibly the best cheesecake I'd ever had!

So, needless to say I had to try to recreate it.  Although I've not got it bang on, this recreation is still incredibly good and one I'd certainly recommended you try.  Put it this way, there were lots of "Mmmms" emanating from my mum's direction when she sampled a portion!
Rhubarb stems
 
There are many rhubarb & white chocolate cheesecake recipes available, the vast majority being baked.  This particular recipe that I'm sharing with you today is a no-bake cheesecake and is therefore far-far easier and less time consuming to make.  There's no oven watching and wondering if the actual cake will crack on cooking (which happens a lot with baked cheesecakes).  It's simply a prepare, mix, pop in the tin and refrigerate type of cake.  Now, how easy is that?!

I decided to make the cheesecake as an individual portion size rather than a large 20cm cake, that way I could control the numbers I made a bit better.  They're really cute and because they're individual they lend themselves to dinner party fare very easily.  Although, if you prefer, you could make a larger one by increasing the volume of the ingredients by 50-100% and lining a 20cm diameter loose bottom cake tin.  Do consider it will take longer to set as a larger cake.

 So, let's bake!

No Bake Rhubarb & White Chocolate Cheesecake
No-bake rhubarb and white chocolate cheesecake

No-bake rhubarb and white chocolate cheesecake.       Yum
Quantity: makes 7 individual cakes
Cost: approx. £5.76.  82p per portion
Freezable: Yes, (in an airtight container)
Difficulty: Very Easy
Time: Prepare & mix: 30 Minutes.  Chill time: 2.5 - 3 hours.
Adapted from: 'The old boar', a country pub near Halifax, West Yorkshire which has sadly since closed.

Ingredients:
40g unsalted butter
100g digestive biscuits, crushed
3 or 4 rhubarb stems
3 dessert spoons of sugar
Zest of 1/2 orange (don't throw it away, eat it!)
6 dessert spoons water
150ml double cream
180g cream cheese (such as Philadelphia)
2.5 dessert spoons icing sugar, sieved
0.5 tsp vanilla extract.
75g White Chocolate


How to make it:
1. Prepare your moulds.  I used a muffin tray and lined the holes with cling film, which made it easier to extract the cheesecakes from the tray once set. Just ensure the cling film has surplus sticking up around the muffin tray hole, you can use that surplus to remove the cakes once you're ready to serve them.  If you don't have a muffin tray, perhaps use a small cleaned tin can (say from baked beans) and line that in the same way.

2. Whilst melting the butter over a low heat crush the digestive biscuits.  I popped mine into a sandwich bag and used a rolling pin to crush them.  Tip the biscuit crumbs into the melted butter and mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon.

3. Divide the mixture between the 7 muffin holes. Using the back of a teaspoon, or your fingers, push the crumb mixture into the mould, ensuring it's compacted.  Place the tray in the fridge for the crumbs to firm up.

4.  Next prepare the rhubarb.  Clean it under running water.  Remove the ends of the stalks and discard.  Cut the rhubarb into 3cm pieces and place into a pan.  I find using scissors easier when working with rhubarb.  Add the orange zest, sugar and water.  Place on a low heat and stir periodically with a wooden spoon.

5. Place the cream cheese into a large bowl and break up with a wooden spoon.

6. Pour the double cream into a separate large bowl and whip using a balloon or egg whisk until thickened like custard - though don't over whip it else it will spoil.

7.  Add the whipped cream to the cream cheese and mix well.  Add the vanilla extract and sieved icing sugar an mix again.

8.  Melt the white chocolate.  Place the broken chocolate into a bowl and place that bowl over a pan containing water.  It is important that the base of the bowl doesn't touch the water. Place the pan on the oven over a low heat.  This will melt the chocolate in about 5 minutes.  Don't allow the chocolate to become too warm otherwise it will 'sieze-up' and become unworkable.  Remember, as Mary Berry says, chocolate melts in a child's pocket! So, it needs little heat. Once the chocolate has melted, take the bowl off the pan and set aside for a few minutes to cool slightly.

9. Check the rhubarb.  Once tender, pour into a separate bowl.

10.  Pour the chocolate into the cream cheese mixture and stir enough to ripple the chocolate through the mixture.  Add 2 dessert spoons of rhubarb juice and mix to ripple again.

11.  Remove the muffin tray from the fridge and using a teaspoon, place 2 generous teaspoons full of mixture onto the biscuit base.  Smooth out trying to ensure there are no air pockets. Place the tray back into the fridge to set.

12.  Once you're ready to serve, remove the tray from the fridge and carefully use the cling film to lift the cheesecake from the mould.  Gently peel the cling film away from the sides and base of the cake.  Serve on a plate with a spoonful of rhubarb.

No-bake rhubarb and white chocolate cheesecake
Enjoy!

If you have any rhubarb left, why not try a savoury recipe.  This one by James Martin looks good,  mackerel with rhubarb and orange chutney, the sharpness of the rhubarb cuts through the oiliness of the fish.  Alternatively, use the rhubarb as a breakfast base with a vanilla yoghurt and top it with granola.

Are you as much of a dessert lover as I am?



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