Espresso martini cheesecake
Make this bittersweet cheesecake when entertaining a crowd – it can be prepared a few days ahead, then simply pour over the boozy coffee syrup to serve
- Serves: 15 persons
- 250g Lotus Biscoff biscuits, whizzed or bashed to crumbs
- 125g unsalted butter, melted
- 600g soft cheese
- 250g mascarpone
- 120g icing sugar, sifted
- 2tsp vanilla bean paste
- 600ml double cream
- 85g cocoa powder, sifted
- 50g chocolate spread (such as Nutella), stirred or warmed to loosen
- 1tbsp espresso powder
- 1tbsp coffee liqueur
- chocolate-covered coffee beans, to serve
- 100g golden caster sugar
- 4tbsp coffee liqueur
- 4tbsp vodka
- 1tbsp espresso powder
Step 1Line a 25cm x 20cm traybake or brownie tin, that is at least 5cm deep, with baking paper so that it overhangs – this will help you lift the cheesecake out later. Tip the biscuit rubble into a bowl and pour over the melted butter. Mix well until it resembles damp sand, then transfer to the prepared tin, packing it into the base with the back of a spoon. Chill.
Step 2Whip together the soft cheese, mascarpone, icing sugar and vanilla in a stand mixer until smooth, then add 500ml of the double cream and whisk until thick.
Step 3Transfer a third of the mixture to a new bowl. Sift the cocoa powder into the remaining mixture, and add the chocolate spread. Beat until just combined, adding the remaining 100ml of cream if the mixture starts to stiffen up too much. Mix the coffee powder with the liqueur until just dissolved, then fold through the chocolate bowl until dark brown in colour.
Step 4Smooth the chocolate layer over the chilled biscuit base, levelling the surface. Add dollops of the vanilla mixture, then smooth over with a scraper to prevent the layers merging. Chill for at least 4 hours or overnight. Use the back of a teaspoon or palette knife to smooth over the surface or faintly trace stripes diagonally over the cheesecake – this will create a pattern when the syrup goes on.
Step 5Heat the ingredients for the syrup in a small pan over a low heat for 20 minutes, swirling occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved and the syrup is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Leave to cool almost completely – the syrup should still have some movement but be cool enough to touch. Once cooled, it should have a caramel consistency.
Step 6Fifteen minutes before you’re ready to serve, chill the cheesecake in the freezer then remove from the tin to a board or platter. Drizzle over the syrup (rewarm very gently to loosen if you need to) and, using a palette knife dipped in hot water then dried, spread it out to the edges. Decorate with the chocolate coffee beans to serve.