Posts tagged cheesecake
Christmas Wreath Cheesecake! (with so many options!)

I recently took a trip to Spain to soak up some winter sunshine and do some work without the distractions of my kitchen. I have lots of travel plans for next year and this was something of a trial for a location independent work life.

That meant as soon as I landed back in the UK… I was straight back in the kitchen to unleash all that repressed kitchen creativity, ha ha

This was something of spontaneous unplanned creation, although the idea was triggered by a toffee wreath sponge cake in the Ocado Magazine. I veganized it, healthanized it, changed up the flavour and tuned it into a cheesecake. Nothing like the original really!

gingerbread wreath cheesecake 1 includingcake.jpg

What I love about this recipe is the pure versatility…

  • you can make your own plain cheesecake base or if you are pushed for time buy a plain one and focus on making the bliss balls decorations.

  • you can use any cheesecake recipe you prefer (if you have a tried and tested version you love- just go for that!)

  • you can make it any flavour you fancy - I went for gingerbread but any festive theme (or non-festive) would be awesome.

  • You can make the topping ahead of time and then decorate your cheesecake last minute for a super speedy show-stopping dessert.

So have I got your attention yet? :-)

Below, I have provided the cheesecake recipe I used if you want to try it, but as I mention above the main focus of this post is on the decorations, so you could literally use any plain smooth topped cheesecake base you like.

I kept my bliss balls plain for a ‘simple’ understated cake but after I made it I remembered my ‘bliss baubles’ from previous years- they would look absolutely epic on this cake! (Why didn’t I think of that at the time!!)

I developed the ‘baubles’ for a brand so I don’t think I showcase them on my blog at the time - but the concept is simple. Toss desiccated coconut in a little turmeric, greens powder and beetroot powder and roll the balls in it to get a pretty multi-coloured batch!

baubles bliss balls includingcake.jpg

Recipe: Christmas Wreath Cheesecake!

Makes an 8’ cheesecake

Cheesecake Ingredients:

Base*

  • 1/2 cup oats

  • 1/2 cup nuts

  • 1/2 cup nuts

  • 1 tbs coconut oil

Cheesecake

  • 1 cup water (separated into 2 x 1/2 cups)

  • 1 tbs agar flakes

  • 1 cup cashews (soaked overnight in cold water or for a couple of hours in hot water, then drained)

  • 1/4 cup syrup of choice (I used coconut)

  • 2 tbs coconut oil

  • 1 tbs lemon juice

  • 1 heaped tsp ground ginger

  • 1/4 tsp mixed spice

*NOTE: I found my base to be quite ‘bendy’ so it wasn’t as easy to remove from the pan as I would like. (But maybe that’s just me being clumsy as most of the recipe I have looked at use a similar base type)

Method:

Add the base ingredients to a food processor and blitz together until quite fine and clumpy. Press firmly into the bottom of a spring form pan (lining it may also help- optional). Set aside.

Add 1/2 cup water with the agar flakes to a small sauce pan. bring to a boil and then simmer for 2-3 minutes stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, blitz the remaining ingredients together in a food processor until thick and smooth (you may need to scrape down a couple of times). By this time the agar should be ready. Add this to the food processor and blitz for a further 20-30 seconds until the mixture is as smooth as it can be.

Working quite quickly (because the agar will begin to set) spoon/pour the mix on top of the cheesecake base. Tap the tin gently to smooth the top and get rid of any air bubbles. Once cooler enough place the cheesecake in the fridge to fully set (an hour or so).

Meanwhile, make the bliss ball topping as directed below.


Bliss Ball Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cup dates (use medjool dates if you haven’t got a powerful food processor)

  • 1 cup dessicated coconut (or nuts of choice- cashew/almond/pecan or a mix all work well)

  • 2 tsp ground ginger

  • 1/2 tsp mixed spice

  • handful of goji berries and pumpkin seeds for additional decoration.

*Remember you could use any flavour here or a mix of flavours - e.g orange, cherry bakewell, chocolate, vanilla would all work well depending on what base favour you opt for!

Method:

Blitz all ingredients together in a food processor. The mix should be soft and clumpy and easy to roll into balls. Using your hands, roll into balls of various (fairly small) sizes.

If choosing to decorate as multi-coloured ‘baubles’ - dust a little extra desiccated coconut with turmeric, greens power and beetroot power (plus blue spirulina if you can get your hands on it!- any other colours?!) and roll the balls in it.

Allow them to chill and firm up whilst the cheesecake base firms up.

Once ready to decorate, place the balls gently in a mix of sizes around the perimeter of the cake top. Sprinkle goji berries and pumpkin seeds as desired in the gaps as ‘foliage’.

NOTE: you could make these ahead of time as they will store in the fridge for a couple of weeks. They transport well too if you needed to take them elsewhere to a festive party and decorate a cake there!

The entire assembled cheesecake will keep for 2-3 days in the fridge.

gingerbread wreath cheesecake 2 includingcake.jpg
gingerbread wreath cheesecake 3 includingcake.jpg


Did you try it?

I’d love to see… tag @johodson on Instagram with your creation!! :-)


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Raspberry cheesecake single serve ‘rame-cake’

It was a busy morning for me. First stop swimming followed by pilates. I enjoy swimming as it is one of the only times I am able to truly switch off, maybe it’s the rhythmical pace gliding up and down the lanes or maybe it’s the submersion and notion of feeling ‘in your own little bubble’. It is also the time when I often feel most creative, my mind is quiet and thoughts come flooding in….

…. It can also be the most frustrating time to be creative, inspired thoughts in the middle of a pool with no way to write anything down is, well, rather annoying at times!

After my swim and a quick sauna, the pilates session is a nice compliment to round off the morning’s activities. I’m a bit of a pilates newbie but I’m finding I actually quite enjoy it. My usual activities involve more hard core cardio or flinging myself about- i.e around a squash court or a pole… (I teach pole dance classes), I was recently advised to take up pilates as I have had problems with my hips due to the fact my joints are hypermobile, and actually I think it may be helping. It also gives me an opportunity to sloooow down, something which I am notoriously very bad at! Thus, my Friday mornings have become a time to revive my mind and set me up for a productive weekend.

Once home I was in need of food and lots of it.…. The mug cakes were calling!!

The recipe for my first ever chocolate mug cake post was based on one large mug or two ramekins. Whilst that’s great for sharing (or if you are in need of a major cake hit!), I often simply want a little treat just for me, and a mug is too much. So here I have reworked the recipe amounts to create a ‘single serving ramekin’ aka the ‘rame-cake’ and believe me this is more than enough to hit the spot!

In putting together this recipe I was also keen to experiment with a GF version... um, so then one 'ramecake' became two... shhhh!  I have noted my GF alterations below, and in my opinion this version was perfectly yummy with barely a hint of any graininess so often typical with GF flours.  I did notice a slight difference in texture as I sampled each cake one after the other, but had this not been the case then I don't think I would have 'noticed' I was eating a GF sponge. 

 Recipe: Raspberry cheesecake single serve ‘rame-cake’

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbs white spelt flour
  • (see GF version below)
  • 2 tsp rapadura 
  • Tiny pinch salt
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • (increase to a heaped 1/4 tsp for GF)
  • 2 tbs soy milk
  • (add 1 extra tsp for GF)
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp yoghurt
  • Few drops vanilla extract
  • Small handful of frozen raspberries broken up (I use frozen as they are easier to break, don’t colour the batter and are available all year round)
  • 1 tsp vegan cream cheese, 1tsp soy milk, tiny amount of agave (or any liquid sweetener) to make the ‘cheesecake’ (omit this if you just want a fruity sponge!)

Method:

Mix the ‘cheesecake’ ingredients- cream cheese, soy milk and agave together and set aside. Place coconut oil, vanilla and soy milk up in a small bowl and melt together until the coconut is melted.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet mix and keep mixing until there are no lumps or dry patches of unmixed flour. Lightly mix through the raspberry pieces and spoon the batter into a ramekin or mini bowl. Top the batter with the ‘cheesecake’ mix and mix in slightly with a toothpick if desired.

Cook on full power (based on 900W) in microwave for 30 seconds. Check with a cocktail stick until it comes out almost clean. Cook for up 20 seconds more if necessary until cooked.

NOTE: For the GF version I used GF flours to the equivalent of 2 tbs.  I used 1 tbs of Doves Farm GF mix (this is a UK brand consisting of rice, potato, tapicoca and buckwheat flours) plus 2 tsp almond meal.  I think the addition of nut meal really helps to prevent the sponge from becoming grainy or dry. I imagine any type of GF flour mix would be quite flexible for those that have their favourite combos.  Also note the slight increase to baking powder as I found that with a level 1/4 tsp the cake did not rise to the same degree as the spelt version so was a little more dense. I also added slightly more soy milk as in my experience GF flours are dryer.

Please let me know how you get on and any changes you make!

 P.S The pics are of the spelt version.

 P.S The pics are of the spelt version.


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