Friday, 11 February 2011

Better Late than Never Chocolate Cheesecake Bars

Does making a hybrid cheesecake using traditional Dutch biscuits for the base mean that I'm turning Dutch? Nope. But these tasty treats do taste mighty fine so I'm willing to go with it just this once.

These are a week late but finally I got to make these chocolate cheesecake bars. What could make for a better combination than biscuits, cheesecake and chocolate. Well I know that I'm struggling to think of anything. The recipe I used comes from Bakerella who uses 'Europe's favourite cookie' for the base. This 'European' cookie is the spiced speculaas biscuit and is one of the reasons why I wanted to make these bars so much. Oh and the cheesecake. Oh and the chocolate. Yeah ok, all of it. These biscuits are everywhere here in the Netherlands so I didn't have any problems finding them in the supermarket. If you're in the UK then look out for 'Lotus Original Caramalised  Biscuits'.

The chocolate ganache is amaaazing. I actually want to make a cake right now just so I can use it as the filling. I've never made a ganache with butter and icing sugar before and it's definitely my new favourite. Heck, I might just make some and smother it on some buttered toast. Yep, that's supper sorted.

I really don't think that I have to sell these. I think the ingredients and the pictures speak for themselves. Just go and make Go!

You can find the original recipe here, but I made a third less to fit my tray. Actually that's a little my opinion the biscuit base is the best thing about a cheesecake so I made the original quantity of the base and only reduced the chessecake and ganache layers. She also added sugar to the base which, being English and not American, I find a bit weird so I skipped that too.

Adapted from Bakerella
Makes about 12 small squares

Biscuit Base

190g crushed speculaas biscuits
85g melted butter


Line a 28cm x 17cm pan with baking parchment. I really don't think I would've got it out in one piece otherwise.

Add the biscuit crumbs to the melted butter and stir until combined. Press the mixture into the pan and press down firmly but not too firmly. You still want to be able to get your fork through it!


150g Cream Cheese, softened
150g sugar
15g plain flour
2 eggs
150ml sour cream
2 tsp vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 160C (conventional), 140C (fan oven), 325F.

Cream the sugar, cream cheese and flour with and electric mixer on medium until light and fluffy. On a medium low speed add the eggs one at a time, mixing well with each addition.

Add the sour cream and vanilla and mix until just combined. Pour onto the biscuit base and bake for about 45 minutes.

Remove and allow to cool. it's time to prepare the ganache. Aka, it's now time to eat ganache out of the bowl with a spoon...

Chocolate Ganache

150ml double cream
37g butter (A bit of a random weight I know. I've converted the recipe from American imperial so this was originally 6 tbsp)
150g dark or milk chocolate or whatever tickles your fancy, chopped
25g icing sugar


A little note: Maybe I shouldn't be admitting to this being a big food lover but I'm not a massive fan of dark chocolate. Is that really wrong? The original recipe calls for dark chocolate but I used a mixture of dark and milk just to tone it down a bit. Feel free to go all dark if you have a more grown up chocolate food palate than I have!

Heat the cream and butter over a low heat until just before boiling. Remove from the heat, pour over the chocolate and stir until well combined. Add the icing sugar and beat with a wire whisk until combined and smooth.

Pour over the cheesecake and pop it in the fridge overnight to set.

And voila! All there is to do now is cut it into bars and serve. A little get a clean cut, I like to heat the knife slightly over the hob before cutting. It works a treat. And don't forget to give the knife a wipe between each cut. Yes, that's right, I'm somewhat of a perfectionist.

Enjoy. Or, keeping with the kinda continental theme, eet smakelijk as the Dutch would say.

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