"Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. General opinion's starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don't see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often, it's not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it's always there - fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. When the planes hit the Twin Towers, as far as I know, none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages of hate or revenge - they were all messages of love. If you look for it, I've got a sneaky feeling you'll find that love actually is all around."
*Cue Billy Mack*
I'm going to admit it now, I'm attempting my first Christmas day roast this year. I know I know, we just don't really celebrate it the traditional way being an Asian family and all (rice, anyone?), but with a little push (I'm taking inspiration from you, Big Chef!) this year I'm going to attempt it. In the spirit of Christmas, it's going to be lovely to have everyone together and me cooking for my family and friends, and not even a undercooked turkey can stop me! Wohoo!
Will try and redeem self with Baileys cheesecake, however.
Full recipe at the bottom, which is a standard digestive biscuit base and chilled cream cheese, cream and chocolate sprinkles filling. The snowflake at the top is quite easy to make.
Do you remember when you were 5 and at school every Christmas you'd cut snowflakes from A4 paper and stick them on the windows? Well, you've just found yourself a homemade snowflake topping template! I used this site to, uh, remind myself how to make a paper snowflake, and this site to find the template I wanted (I used the second from the top).
Snip snip snip.
Then all you need to do is to lay the snowflake on the cheesecake (once set) and sprinkle cocoa powder on top. Remove the stencil and voila! Step back and watch as everyone goes "OOOooOOoOOOoO!!".
Or something like that.
Or maybe that's just the Baileys talking.
Thank you for reading in 2013 :-) You are all wonderful! I hope to see you again in 2014!
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.
Baileys and Chocolate Cheesecake
Prep takes about 30mins, add ~4hrs chilling time
Serves approx 8
For the base
250g/8¾oz digestive biscuits, crushed
For the cheesecake filling
600g/1lb 5oz Philadelphia cream cheese
75ml/3fl oz Baileys
100ml/3½oz icing sugar
300ml/10½oz double cream, whipped
100g/3½oz Cabury flakes, crumbled into tiny pieces
For the snowflake topping
A4 paper and scissors to make a snowflake stencil (see here and here for instructions and templates)
Cocoa powder, for dusting
Melt the butter in a pan and add the crushed digestive biscuits. Mix well until the biscuits have absorbed all of the butter.
Remove from the heat and press into the bottom of a lined 18cm/7in springform tin (clingfilm works well, this is so it's easier to remove the cheesecake later). Place in the refrigerator and allow to set for at least 1 hour.
Meanwhile, prepare the filling. Lightly whip the cream cheese then beat in the Baileys and icing sugar. In a separate bowl, whip the cream until the forms soft peaks and add the chocolate. Mix this into the cheesecake mixture and then when combined and smooth, spoon it on top of the biscuits.
Refrigerate and allow to set for at least another two hours. Once set, remove and lay the snowflake stencil on top and dust with cocoa powder.