I’ve always felt like New Years Eve falls too soon after Christmas; by that point I’ve had enough of celebrating and socialising and just want to hibernate for about a month with a duvet, stack of films and a supply of Christmas chocolates… And I certainly don’t want to go out to a packed bar or club with an hour long wait to get drinks; parties at home with friends are definitely my preferred form of celebrating. So I shall be doing just that for this New Years, though not at my own home, which is probably best as I wouldn’t want to have to clean up the next day!
Parties require nibbles and drinks, all the better if they are alcoholic….the food AND the drinks that is. This Baileys cheesecake fits the bill perfectly, it is rich and creamy with a nice hit of Baileys Irish cream in both the velvety cheesecake and in the rich chocolate ganache topping; the ginger biscuit base provides a lovely contrast of texture and a hint of ginger. I actually served it for dessert on Boxing Day (where it disappeared very quickly), but really it is perfect for any celebration (or regular day). It is a baked cheesecake, and ideally needs to be made the day before serving as it needs to cool down slowly (to prevent cracking) then chill in the fridge for a while first; though you could get away with baking it in the morning to serve in the evening; or up to a couple of days in advance. I always bake my cheesecakes in a water bath, which helps to prevent the surface from cracking and ensures that the texture is silky smooth; just make sure that you wrap your tin extremely well, with several layers of clingfilm and tin foil, to prevent any water from seeping in and making the base go soggy.
The cheesecake goes perfectly with a Baileys Flat White Martini, a smooth, creamy take on an espresso martini. It is really quick and simple to make and only requires three ingredients – Baileys, vodka and espresso coffee, which makes it perfect for serving at parties. It is VERY easy to drink, and the buzz from the caffeine helps keep you awake to party; it is quite strong though so I don’t think I could manage more than a couple! There’s a handy video here that shows you how to make it.
- 250g (9oz) gingersnap biscuits
- 75g (1/3 cup) butter, melted
- 600g (21oz) full fat cream cheese
- 150ml (1/2 + ⅛ cup) double (heavy) cream
- 150g (3/4 cup) caster (superfine) sugar
- 2 tbsp cornflour (cornstarch)
- 4 large eggs
- 150ml (1/2 + ⅛ cup) Baileys Irish Cream
- 1tsp vanilla extract
- 150g (5.3oz) dark chocolate, chopped
- 80ml (1/3 cup) double (heavy) cream
- 100ml (1/3 + ⅛ cup) Baileys Irish Cream
- To serve one:
- 25ml espresso
- 25ml vodka
- 50ml Baileys
- coffee beans to serve
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Blitz the biscuits in a food processor until they are reduced to crumbs. Add the melted butter and blitz again until it resembles wet sand. Pour the crumbs into a 23cm(9in) round springform cake tin, spread them out across the base and pack down firmly.
- Bake the base for 10 minutes then remove from the oven and leave to cool while you make the filling. Beat together the cream cheese, cream, sugar and cornflour with an electric mixer until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition; finally mix in the Baileys and vanilla extract.
- Put the kettle on. Wrap the outside of the tin in a double layer of clingfilm then a double layer of wide tinfoil, making sure that there are no gaps or splits; place the tin in a large roasting tray.
- Pour the filling into the tin then pour enough boiling water into the roasting tray so that it comes about halfway up the sides of the tin. Place in the oven and bake for about 1 hour until the cheesecake is set but still has a slight wobble in the centre.
- Remove the cheesecake from the water bath, return it to the switched off oven, close the door and leave it in there for at least an hour. Allow the cheesecake to cool until it is almost at room temperature then carefully run a knife around the edge to loosen it from the tin before refrigerating overnight.
- The following day, place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream and Baileys together until almost boiling then pour it over the chocolate; stir until smooth. Allow to cool a little while you carefully un-mould the cheesecake and place it on a serving platter. Pour the ganache over the top of the cheesecake and gently spread it out. At this point you can either serve the cheesecake or return it to the fridge for up to a couple of days until you are ready to serve.
- Add the espresso, vodka and Baileys to a cocktail shaker filled with ice, shake until cold then strain into a martini glass, top with a couple of coffee beans to serve.
I am sharing this with Saucy Saturdays hosted by The Flavour Bender, Take Two Tapas, La Petit Chef and Mid-Life Croissant, Fiesta Friday hosted by The Not So Creative Cook and Cooking With Mr Fitz, Foodie FriDIY, Foodie Friends Friday, Friday Favourites and Friday Features