12 November 2011

White Chocolate & Blackcurrant Jelly [Jello] Cheesecake

I first came up with this recipe in GCSE food tech. I can't remember what the specifications we were designing for were, but one of the things I came up with was a jelly cheesecake made with lime jelly and a chocolate biscuit base. The beauty of GCSE food tech was that the whole idea was to experiment and learn from your mistakes, which is why we had several weeks to perfect our recipes.

I strongly suspect that my GCSE food tech stuff was binned long ago, and if it wasn't it's at home in Plymouth, so I'll have a look at Christmas and let you know if I find it. Anyway, I can remember having an issue where the cheesecake would seep up into the jelly so I had to change the way I had originally planned for it to be arranged and make sure that the cheesecake was set before adding the jelly. [When I made this cheesecake again three years later I forgot this tactic and ended up with a surprisingly attractive cheesecake speckle in my jelly, as in the pictures. If you like the effect in the pictures, don't let the cheesecake set before adding the jelly.]

Alcoholic background has nothing to do with the cheesecake..!
Having tried this White Chocolate & Blackcurrant Jelly Cheesecake, I can tell you that the jelly flavours the cheesecake a little bit and the combination of the textures works very well. Housemate N thinks it looks pretty good, but is too hungover to try it at the moment.

Unfortunately, an issue with the recipe is that the white chocolate isn't really detectable, which is a shame. It probably adds something to the cheesecake, but not a strong white chocolate flavour, which is what I was going for.

E really liked her birthday cake from the other day, and it is fast disappearing. It is very rich, but incredibly moreish. Fridge cake really is one of the easiest things you can make, so I strongly advise you to go and try it. This cake isn't as tricky as it looks, it just requires a lot of patience because it is necessary to wait around for each layer to set before adding the next.

  • 250g Biscuits (I used digestives and leftover rich tea biscuits from last week)
  • 125g Butter
  • 200g White Chocolate
  • 750g Cream Cheese (I used quark again because it's nice and cheap)
  • 220g Caster Sugar
  • 1 Sachet Gelatine
  • 6Tsp Water
  • 1 Pack Blackcurrant Jelly
  • Line a springform tin with baking parchment. [Important: check springform tin for leaks before starting the recipe - in making this recipe in 2014 resulted in a lot of jelly everywhere, but somehow there was still enough left for a topping]
  • Crush the biscuits into crumbs, either by blending in a food processor or putting in a bag and hitting with a rolling pin (good for stress relief).
  • Melt the butter in a pan on a low heat, then mix it into the biscuits in a bowl or the food processor.
  • Grate 50g of the chocolate into the biscuit mixture and stir it in. If, like me, you're too impatient to grate the chocolate then just finely chop it.
  • Press the biscuit mixture into the springform tin, making sure that you not only push it into the base but also up the sides (it won't go all the way up, but push it as far up as you can) and try to make sure it's a fairly even thickness all the way around. Put the tin in the fridge until you need it.
  • Next, use the remaining ingredients, with the exception of the jelly, to make the cheesecake layer: mix the cream cheese and sugar together. Melt the chocolate in the microwave in a bowl and stir it into the mixture. Make up the gelatine as per the packet instructions - mine said to dissolve the gelatine in the same amount of water - and stir it into the mixture. Pour the cheesecake mixture into the tin and put it into the fridge until it has pretty much set (about 45 minutes).
  • Make up the jelly as per the instructions on the packet, let it cool slightly and carefully pour it over the cheesecake layer. You may wish to use a ladle or big spoon so that you don't make a hole in the cheesecake from the weight of the pouring jelly. Put the tin back into the fridge until the jelly has set (1-2 hours).
  • Run a knife around the inside of the tin and open up the springform tin. Carefully push the cake off the bottom of the tin onto a plate and serve.

You can vary this cheesecake as you like. I used blackcurrant jelly because some had been sitting in my cupboard since last year, but you could use lime jelly with dark chocolate as I did with my GCSE design, or strawberry jelly with white chocolate. Mandarin jelly would work with dark chocolate and a bourbon biscuit base as well.

Next weekend I'll be staying with my grandparents in Liverpool. They don't have the internet so I probably won't be able to post until the Monday afterwards, but I told them I'd make them a Victoria sponge so look out for that. I'm gonna jazz the topping up a bit with some cream and maybe some fruit. We'll see.
See you then, and don't forget to let me know what you think of this cheesecake in the meantime, and if you try anything I've posted yourself then let me know how it goes!

[The photos and contents of this post were updated 18/11/2014]

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