You know when you buy loads of one thing because you think you have none? And you get home and realise you have tonnes of the stuff already?! That happened to me this week with soft cheese. I ended up with seven tubs of soft cheese from M&S. SEVEN. I quickly realised that it was on me to do something about because I’d bought it all. I didn’t really fancy faffing around for hours on end making a huge cheesecake because I just don’t have the time these days. Cheesecake bars are way easier to distribute and also less ‘formal’, if you know what I mean? I found a simple recipe online and set about trying it, with scepticism because it has nothing in the cheesecake except cream cheese, eggs and sugar! Most cheesecakes require something else, i.e. Crème fraîche or sour cream but this one doesn’t. It’s a US recipe and US cream cheese is very different to british cream cheese let alone M&S own brand ‘soft cheese’, so it’s safe to say I wasn’t really holding my breath with this one. I was even more surprised when it took less than 20 minutes to come together! I recommend making this in the evening as it needs to rest in the fridge over night.
Serves 9 (normal slices) or 18 (mini slices)
For the base:
250g digestive biscuits (I used chocolate topped)
For the cheesecake:
500g cream cheese (I used supermarket soft cheese)
75g caster sugar
3 large eggs
1tbsp vanilla extract
100g white chocolate
1 pack raspberries
1) Pre-heat the oven to 150FAN. Line an 8×8” tin with baking parchment.
2) Crush up the digestive biscuits. You can do this but putting them in a bag and crushing with your hands until nice and fine, or you can put them in the food processor. They should resemble sand.
3) Melt the butter and add it to the crushed biscuits. Mix it together and press it in to the tin, reaching the edges in a nice even layer. Place the tin in to the freezer while you make everything else.
4) Melt the white chocolate in a bowl in the microwave in 30 second blasts and set aside.
5) Using a stand mixer or a handheld mixer, beat the cream cheese for a minute or two. Add the sugar and beat for another 5 minutes. Add the eggs individually, mixing well after each addition.
6) Add the vanilla extract and give it a final beat with the mixer until evenly dispersed. Stir through the white chocolate by hand and add a handful of raspberries, reserving some for the top and to serve with. 7) Pour in to the tin, scatter over a few more raspberries and bake for 45 mins to 1 hour. (Mine took just over an hour until the edges browned and the middle was still a bit wobbly.) Turn the oven off and leave it in there for another half hour before letting it cool to room temperature and leaving it in the fridge over night. It will be perfect the next morning!
8) Cut in to squares and serve with fresh raspberries. If you want smaller portions, then cut the squares in to triangles for bite-size bars! Recipe adapted from Kraft