Every Christmas (yes, I know we’re in late February) my very kind family always gift me a large box of After Eight Mints, due to my love of all things mint this has practically become a tradition (apart from the disappointing Christmas of 2014 which we shall not mention). Slowly word spread of just how easily pleased this baker is when it comes to gifts & now I find myself with a plethora of bottle green boxes every year.
Normally I am content with devouring half a box of these dark, minty squares without any remorse. However, these thin, little after dinner (any time of day) confections can be a little sickly when consumed in excess. Here we are in February, spring is hinting towards an appearance & I find myself with three large boxes of After Eights still stashed in the pantry. This year, armed with a bowl & a whisk, I decided to try & find an inventive way to use up my surplus stock. Mint is a difficult flavour to work with when it comes to cakes & I already have one of these in my repertoire so I turn to desserts, one of my favourites to be exact.. cheesecake.
Smooth, creamy & with a buttery biscuit base, cheesecake truly is a gratifying treat that I simply cannot refuse. Usually, I favour a cheesecake of the baked variety however this doesn’t always suit fresher flavours. For the cool, refreshing flavour of mint a refrigerated cheesecake is ideal. I have previously concocted a mint cheesecake, however I irresponsibly failed to write down the recipe (this was in my pre-blogging days). All I remember of my minty green dessert was how ridiculously indulgent & moorish each slice was.
Luckily this time around, I learnt from my mistakes & wrote down this wonderfully satisfying recipe for all to try. I you’re lucky enough to have grown up in the UK during the 80’s / early 90’s then you may remember Viennetta. A mint ice-cream cake, only brought out on special occasions such as Christmas & birthdays, it was our version of an elegant dessert. As a child, I would sneak thick slices of this from the freezer when my mother wasn’t looking (although I’m sure I wasn’t the only one). This cheesecake is so reminiscent & similar in flavour as mint Viennetta that I felt the need to covertly devour my dessert behind closed doors.
NO BAKE AFTER EIGHT CHEESECAKE
(makes one 23cm cheesecake)
For the base:
- 320g bourbon biscuits
- 100g butter
For the filling:
- 600g cream cheese
- 284ml double cream
- 100g icing sugar
- 3 tsp peppermint extract
- A drop of green food colouring
- 150g After Eight mints
For the decoration:
- 150g After Eight mints
- 7 tbsp icing sugar
- A few drops peppermint extract
- Grease & line the base of a 23cm springform cake tin
- Using a food processor, blitz the biscuits until they resemble fine breadcrumbs
- Gently melt the butter in a small saucepan set over a low heat or in the microwave
- In a bowl, combine the biscuit crumbs with the melted butter, ensuring that all of the biscuit has been coated by the butter
- Tip the mixture into the prepared tin & use the back of a spoon to press the mixture down evenly into the base of the tin
- To make the filling, add the cream cheese, double cream, icing sugar, peppermint extract & food colouring to large bowl & whisk together until well combined & smooth
- Take 150g (half a box) of the After Eight mints & use your hands to break break them up into irregular sized pieces
- Stir the pieces through the filling & pour this over the biscuit base
- Evenly spread the surface before placing the cheesecake in the fridge & leave to chill overnight
- Bring the cheesecake back to room temperature for 30 minutes before releasing from its tin
- To decorate, use your hands again to break up the rest of the After Eight mints & arrange them in a circle on top of the cheesecake
- Mix the icing sugar with just enough water to make a pourable icing before adding in 1-2 drops of peppermint extract to taste
- Drizzle the icing over the After Eights & serve