On Nigella Lawson’s TV shows, she’s always inviting people round for a midweek dinner party. Who does that? I’m doing well just to make a school lunch the night before. But if you’re having company over and want something quick, easy and delicious that you can make ahead of time, then this no-bake cheesecake is just the thing, no matter what day of the week it is. It literally takes only minutes to make, perfect for easy entertaining or just a weekday treat. Veronica Molloy from Crossogue Preserves has managed to distill the flavour of one of Ireland’s iconic foods — an Irish coffee — into one little jar as Irish coffee curd. It’s ready to eat with a spoon straight from the shelf, but it also works beautifully in this sophisticated but simple dessert. Veronica also suggests drizzling it over crepes or pancakes, pouring it on top of ice cream, spreading a little on a scone or stirring it into plain yoghurt for an instant dessert.
My cooking demo at the Totally Tipperary food festival last weekend was the first one I’d ever done, so I wanted to make things as easy and foolproof as possible for myself. The first dish I made was sweet chilli sausages with a tomato, chilli and coriander sauce, which took all of 5 minutes to pull together, especially since I’d prepped the few things that needed chopping the day before (the last thing I wanted was to cut myself with a knife from nerves). This cheesecake was the second dish, and seeing as how I was off the stage in 20 minutes flat after demonstrating not just dinner but a dessert too, it will give you an idea of just how quick and easy this is. It’s the kind of dump-and-stir recipe that even the most basic cook can confidently make, yet it’s tasty enough to serve for guests.
I’m giving away a jar of the Crossogue Preserves Irish Coffee Curd as well as two other Crossogue Preserves products of your choice (check out their full list of products here). Just leave a comment on this post to be in with a chance of winning (open to residents of Ireland only).The competition will close on Wednesday, 6 July at 6:00 p.m. and a winner will be randomly selected. Good luck! [updated: congrats to Paula R, who won the giveaway]
Irish Coffee Curd Cheesecake
adapted from a Crossogue Preserves recipe
Serves 10 to 12
The cheesecake will set in the fridge and will be ready after a few hours, but the flavours actually improve if you can leave it overnight. To bump up the coffee flavour, try adding 1 tablespoon cold espresso or strong coffee to the filling. If you can’t get Crossogue Preserves Irish Coffee Curd, trying using 225 g (8 oz) lemon curd instead for a lemon curd cheesecake. This will happily keep for several days in the fridge.
For the base:
200 g (7 oz) digestive biscuits
100 g (4 oz) butter, melted
For the filling:
1 x 229 ml carton (1 cup) double cream
200 g (7 oz) cream cheese, softened
250 g (9 oz) mascarpone
1 x 225 g (8 oz) jar of Crossogue Preserves Irish Coffee Curd
3 tablespoons sugar
chocolate-covered coffee beans, melted chocolate or cocoa powder
To make the base, place the digestive biscuits in a Ziploc bag and seal tightly. Bash with a rolling pin until the biscuits are all broken into fine crumbs. (Alternatively, whizz the digestive biscuits in a food processor.) Place the biscuit crumbs in a bowl and add in the melted butter. Mix together well, then press firmly into the base of an 8-inch springform tin lined with parchment paper. Place the tin in the refrigerator while you make the filling.
In a medium bowl, beat the cream with an electric mixer until it’s stiffly whipped. Set aside.
In a large bowl, mix the cream cheese, mascarpone, Irish coffee curd and sugar together, either with a whisk or an electric mixer. Gently fold in the whipped cream until everything is well combined. Carefully pour the filling onto the biscuit base, being careful not to disturb the crumb crust. Make sure the filling is evenly distributed and smooth the top.
Place the cheesecake in the refrigerator to set for at least 3 hours, or even better, overnight. Decorate with chocolate-covered coffee beans, drizzle over some melted chocolate, dust with cocoa powder or just leave it unadorned.