One of my favourite things about Christmas is all the delicious food that you get to make. I have a sweet tooth so I'm always drawn to desserts and treats! Because of this, I usually get the task of making dessert for Christmas day, so I begin trawling through Pinterest for recipes and inspiration! (Seriously what did we do before we had Pinterest??!!)
When I saw this cheesecake recipe posted on Facebook by one of my friends (I think it was the lovely Meghan over at MNMs) I knew I found my dessert! As my sister in law has coeliacs disease (a true gluten intolerance) we try and make as much of the Christmas Day food gluten free so that she doesn't miss out on anything. Last year I made Nigella Lawson's Chocolate Cloud Cake (also gluten free) which was absolutely divine! (Think the lightest, fluffiest chocolate cake loaded with fresh whipped cream and you've got it!)
The Chelsea Winter cheesecake recipe is also dairy free, but there's a few options of how to make it if you're not dealing with those allergies too. It was really easy to make, I prepared the base and filling the day before, so all I had to do on Christmas Day was top it with strawberries and it was ready to eat! I also used two 23cm springform pans as I didn't have a 28cm pan, and it worked out really well.
Here's my adaptation of Chelsea's recipe (you can find the original recipe here)
Gluten Free Chocolate Cheesecake with Strawberries
Base:300g Cashew nuts
1 cup coconut (I used desiccated)
75g butter (melted)
⅓ cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon lemon zest
150g ground almonds
1 block Whittakers Dark Chocolate 62% cocoa
1 cup whipped cream (regular, not light)
⅓ cup icing sugar (make sure you use a gluten free brand)
250g cream cheese
2 egg whites
3-4 punnets strawberries
¼ cup berry jam mixed with 1 tablespoon water
Line your tin/s with baking paper.
Put all the base ingredients in a food processor and whizz until breadcrumb texture. Press the base mixture into the tins until firm and an even layer (not too hard though). Put the tin/s into the fridge to chill.
Melt the chocolate in a glass bowl over a pot of simmering water, make sure the bowl isn't touching the water and stirring the chocolate a few times while melting. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for approx 20 mins.
Mix together the whipped cream, icing sugar and cream cheese until you have a light and fluffy mixture. Beat in the chocolate a third at a time, scraping down the sides as you need to with a spatula.
Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture and mix until well combined and even.
Spoon the chocolate filling over the base as evenly as you can. If you want to make the filling nice and smooth, use a hot spoon to flatten out.
Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight.
To remove the cheesecake from the pan, warm the outside of the pan and then loosen the sides of the pan to lift up the base.
Slide the cheesecake onto your serving plate, the base should lift off easily from the pan and you should be able to fold back the baking paper as you place it down.
For the topping, place sliced strawberries all over the top until covered (the filling will be firm).
Warm the jam & water in the microwave and brush over the top of the strawberries.
This dessert was so popular that we pretty much ate ALL of it on Christmas Day. No time for seconds! I'm really keen to make it again as it really was easy. I didn't take any pictures of it cut because I was too busy scoffing it down. Make sure you check out chelseawinter.co.nz for other delicious recipes!
Check out the other desserts and treats we had!
Rocky Road Ice-Cream Christmas Pudding (see it on Pinterest on my sister's board here)
We were also all treated to personalised mini gingerbread houses, again made by my very clever sister! Each house had the initial of the recipients on each end. There was even a gluten-free house for my sister in law! (If you're interested to see more pics of her amazing creations, look for the hashtag #mysisterisamazing on instagram!)
This was at home, when we were about to eat it!
And last but not least, the first night we were away for Christmas, my sister hosted a family BBQ at her house. For dessert she made a Bomb Alaska! Yum! A bit retro but delicious all the same!
Now you can see why #mysisterisamazing ! Hope you're all enjoying some wonderful treats and desserts while you're on holidays. Maybe you've made my White Chocolate Russian Fudge, or Mini Pecan Pies? Check out the other recipes.
I'd love to hear what you're cooking and baking!