It wouldn’t be a lockdown if I didn’t do a little bit of baking, so last weekend I made a Milkybar chocolate cheesecake. One of my best friends, Rhi, made this ages ago and it was the tastiest thing I’d ever eaten. I’ve lost count of how many times she’s made this cake for me, and since we can’t see each other because of lockdown, it was time that I learnt to make it myself.
The original recipe is from Jane Patisserie and you can see it online here. It only took 10 minutes to prepare and apparently serves 14 people, but I can tell you from prior experience, I wouldn’t share this with 13 people. It’s a generous recipe but I could eat this all day (thanks, Jane!).
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• 300 g Digestives
• 150 g Unsalted Butter
• 300 g Milkybar Chocolate
• 500 g Full-Fat Cream Cheese
• 75 g Icing Sugar
• 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
• 300 ml Double Cream
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• Milkybar Buttons
• 150ml Double Cream
• 2tbp Icing Sugar
• 50g Milkybar Chocolate
* Jane explains in her blog post that substituting ingredients for low-fat options don’t work well for this recipe. So, skip the Weight Watchers and go full fat!
Firstly, before I start baking I like to get everything measured and into glass bowls. My husband laughs at me, but honestly, it makes everything so much easier. You’ll have a couple more dishes to do but it makes baking a cake far less stressful when you have everything you need in front of you. This is especially important when making a chocolate cheesecake because you’ll be melting ingredients!
Preparing the base
The benefit of getting your ingredients ready also means you can prepare in advance. This is a good idea if you keep your butter in the fridge (because it’ll give it a bit of time to come to room temperature).
Firstly, you’ll need to blitz your digestive biscuits in a food processor or mash them up using a rolling pin. I found when I use the rolling pin method that there were still some lumps left, so I used my hands just to break it up a little bit. I found that having a couple of chunky bits in it is actually quite nice, so don’t worry too much about making it as soon as sand.
Once you’ve prepared a bowl of biscuits it’s time to melt the butter and combine.
There’s a couple of different ways to melt butter. Don’t make the mistake of putting it straight into a saucepan and on the hob. This usually ends up melting the butter too quickly and burning it. This ends up smelling bad and going black, which isn’t any good for baking.
Either pop it in the microwave or use a double boil saucepan. If you don’t have a double boil saucepan then you can just fill a small saucepan with hot water and place a glass bowl over the top. Boil on low heat and add the butter to the glass bowl and stir regularly.
Ensure you’re using a heat-resistant bowl and careful when you take it off the heat.
Once the butter is melted, pour it into the large bowl of biscuit crumbs. Combine the biscuit and butter together with a large wooden spoon. Once the ingredients are mixed together then scoop the mixture into an 8″/20cm Springform Tin or similar.
Pushing the base down firmly gives the best results. It tends to hold together better when it’s finished and there’s more room for cheesecake filling – yum!
Making the filling
For this recipe, I’m using Milkybar chocolate because it’s my absolute favourite. That said, you can tweak this recipe and try it with any flavour you want. Some chocolates will have a different melting point and you may need to consider the consistency of things like berries.
My friend made one with Oreos and Biscoff cheesecake which was so delicious and it’s made me really want to try experimenting with different flavours! If you’re using biscuits as decorations, remember they’ll go soft if they’re left out or in the fridge – so you’ll need to eat it quickly!
I melt my chocolate the same way that I melt my butter, using the double boil method. I find this is particularly important when working with chocolate as it needs to be melted slowly. Chocolate takes longer to melt than butter, so it’s tempting to turn up the heat on the hob or forget about it in the microwave.
In a minute you’ll need to prepare some other ingredients, too. Leaving your chocolate in a glass bowl over boiling water will ensure it keeps its runny consistency, whilst you’re busy doing other things.
When you’re confident there are no more lumps in your chocolate and you’ve given it a good stir, its time to take it off the heat. I leave the chocolate in the bowl but turn the hob off, so it doesn’t burn.
Sift your icing sugar, and pour into a large mixing bowl with your cream cheese and a tsp of vanilla extract. I poured the ingredients straight into my Kenwood 4.6L stainless steel mixing bowl, ready to be whisked up!
I highly recommend using either a stand mixer or an electronic hand mixer for this part of the process. As some of the ingredients are quite thick, you might make it harder work for yourself using a hand whisk. We have the Kenwood Titanium Chef, and I absolutely LOVE it.
This powerhouse does everything you can imagine. It came with a dough hook, a K beater and a power whisk but there are 20+ optional attachments, from choppers to juicers. This is perfect for our minimalist vibe as we don’t need a separate bread maker or blender.
Begin slow and then increase the speed to ensure that it gets all the ingredients and combines well.
Our Kenwood mixer has an electronic speed control with halo illumination (very snazzy!), so I started on the lowest setting and gradually increased speed.
There’s also a pulse and fold option which could be really helpful if you choose to whip up some icing for the top of the cake – but that was just a step too far for my baking expertise.
Add the melted chocolate and pour in the double cream. Continue to mix well so all the ingredients combine. I found that the chocolate was clumping slightly on the whisk attachment so I increased the speed and that solved the issue.
**Can we also have a moment of appreciation for the halo illumination ring on the Kenwood stand mixer? This was made with Instagram in mind. SUCH a dream** ✨☁️
When you’re happy with your mixture, you’re ready to pour it onto your biscuit base. If you’re not using a springform tin or similar, then I’d suggest using a shallow tin.
You don’t need to grease the tin or put down any greaseproof paper. I’d go as far as advising against it because it’s a no-bake cheesecake! Especially, as you’ll want a smooth finish.
Tip: I’ve used a bottomless cake tin which is quite deep (you can see from the pictures). This means I can pop the cake out afterwards with ease.
Pop it in the fridge for 6 hours (or even better, leave it overnight). It’s tempting to cut into it early, but believe it, it’s worth the wait. This way you’ll be sure the base and the mixture has completely set.
The next day, carefully take it out of the cake tin and transfer it onto a plate. I used a butter knife to run around the edges to give it a smooth texture (it’s a good excuse to lick the knife clean, too!)
Finally, before you dig in… decorate with Milkybar chocolate buttons!
If you want, you can melt some more chocolate and drizzle it over the top. Mix 2tsp with 150ml of double cream, then pipe onto the cake and top with buttons. Honestly, though, I didn’t have the patience.
Now, the best part – eat it! 🍰🌸