Believe it or not, there are actually times where I don’t feel like baking (it’s rare, but it does happen, let’s face it, this year’s a rare one) but I still have a craving for something sweet. A craving that can quite often be satisfied with a cup of tea & a plate of biscuits or some of the secret stash of ice cream tucked away behind the frozen peas. Other times, I like to meet myself half way, something homemade but with minimal effort & hands on time.
This is where we enter the realms of no bake bake desserts. I’ll be honest, I used to turn my nose up at the floods of no bake recipes out there on the internet, seeing them as a somewhat inferior attempt at baking. How wrong I was. Quick, simple & using minimal ingredients, sometimes it’s hard to believe just how few pantry items & how little time went into creating something that is so rich, sweet & indulgent!
Thankfully you can always find biscuits & cheese in my kitchen at any given time (because what if life without either?), meaning I’ve had ample opportunities to experiment a little. The two things I’ve learned in the realms of no bake cheesecakes & tarts though are to always use the best quality cream cheese you can (mascarpone being the queen here) & use your fridge wisely, always give your desserts plenty of time to chill & firm up otherwise you might just be looking as a biscuit filled Angel Delight instead.
Thus far I’ve pretty much got a no bake recipe for each season. There’s Strawberry Cheesecake for summer Fig, Honey & Walnut Tarts for late summer, Coffee Hazelnut Tart for winter & even an After Eight Cheesecake for Christmas. Evidently, autumn was lacking a dessert & seeing we’re in October now, it felt fitting to create something using my favourite ingredient of the season, pumpkin! Thus I bring you a creamy, lightly spiced, chocolatey, pumpkin based cheesecake of dreams! This isn’t overly sweet, owing to the savouriness of the pumpkin & bitterness of the dark chocolate & well rounded with just hints of warmth & spice, enough to make you feel cosy & indulgent.
NO BAKE PUMPKIN & CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE
(makes one 23cm cheesecake)
For the base:
- 300g dark chocolate digestive biscuits
- 100g butter
- 1/2 tsp salt
For the filling:
- 600g cream cheese
- 284ml double cream
- 225g icing sugar
- 300g pumpkin puree
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ginger
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 100g dark chocolate
- 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
- Place the biscuit & melted butter into a bowl & mix together, ensuring that all of the biscuit has been coated by the butter
- Tip the biscuit 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 to a large bowl & to beat together until smooth
- Take another bowl & divide the filling mixture in half
- In one bowl, add in the pumpkin puree & spices before beating to combine
- Gently melt the chocolate in a small bowl set over a pan of bubbling water or in short bursts in the microwave & add this to the other bowl before beating together
- Taking spoonfuls at a time of the filling from each bowl, spoon it haphazardly over the biscuit base, be sure to do this whilst the chocolate filling is still warm (if it has started to set, gently heat it back up a little in the microwave until it’s smooth & fluid again)
- Take a table knife or a skewer & use it to lightly swirl together the two fillings (alternatively, you could pour the chocolate filling over the base & chill for 30 minutes before pouring over the pumpkin filling to create a layer effect)
- Put the cheesecake in the fridge & leave to chill overnight
- Once chilled, remove from it’s tin & store in the fridge until needed