Monday, 3 August 2015

Neapolitan Cheesecake (Wheat Free)

It was this August bank holiday weekend, 2015, that my little sister turned 18 years old, and was no longer little. For her birthday she requested cheesecake, and cheesecake I provided!

Despite not being able to decide between a chocolate or a strawberry cheesecake, she had very specific instruction that the cheesecake be of the chilled variety, and definitely not baked. She spent so much time umming and aahing about which flavour she wanted, that I decided to make both.

Now, as I have mentioned in my previous Neapolitan adventures, here in Ireland it's vanilla, strawberry, and lemon, not chocolate. However, to fit in with my sister's request, I did the typical white pink brown combination.

I didn't really know how to decorate it once I had made it, but at the moment sprinkling biscuit or cake crumbs onto the finished cake is in vogue, so jumping on the bandwagon kinda worked this time. You can decorate your cake however you want, though.

Taking the recipe I used to make her cheesecake last year, I decided to play with it a little to see if I could make it more of a formula instead of a static recipe, dividing the ingredients into parts and ratios. It worked very well: in fact, there was an opinion among the consumers that it was one of my finest cheesecake creations.

This recipe has been slightly edited so that the chocolate and strawberry layers are equal. In my cake, the chocolate layer was a little deeper than the strawberry one.

☑ Soya (check for soya lecithin)
☑ Yeast
☑ Wheat
☑ Nuts
☑ Eggs

☒ Gluten
☒ Refined sugar products
☒ Dairy


For biscuit base,
  • 3 ounces (85 grammes) white spelt flour
  • 1 ounce (30 grammes) porridge oats
  • 1 tablespoon (15 millilitres) cocoa powder
  • 2 ounces (55 grammes) butter, at room temperature
  • 2 ounces (55 grammes) caster sugar
  • Pinch of salt

For chocolate layer,
  • 8 ounces (225 grammes) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 4 fluid ounces (120 millilitres) whipping cream, cold
  • 4 ounces (115 grammes) good quality milk chocolate
  • 1 teaspoon (5 millilitres) vanilla essence
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons (30 to 60 millilitres) caster sugar, to taste

For strawberry layer,
  • 8 ounces (225 grammes) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 4 fluid ounces (120 millilitres) whipping cream, cold
  • 4 ounces (115 grammes) strawberry jam, at least 50% fruit content
  • 1 teaspoon (5 millilitres) vanilla essence
  • 2 tablespoons (30 millilitres) lime juice, or 3 tablespoons (45 millilitres) of lemon juice
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons (30 to 60 millilitres) caster sugar, to taste

For white chocolate icing,
  • 7 ounces (200 grammes) whipping cream
  • 3½ ounces (100 grammes) white chocolate, in small pieces
  • 1 teaspoon (5 millilitres) vanilla essence


First, make the base.
  • Line the sides of an 8 inch (20 centimetre) round loose bottomed tin with baking paper. Preheat the oven to 180ºC (350ºF, Gas Mk.4).
  • In a mixing bowl, mix the flour, oats, cocoa, salt, and caster sugar together until blended. Rub the butter into the dry ingredients to make a coarse crumbly mixture.
  • Tip the mixture into the tin and even out with the back of a spoon, pressing very gently. 
  • If you want, you can take a tablespoon or two of the crumbs and bake separately to make the topping: just sprinkle them on a small ovenproof dish and bake alongside the main crust
  • Bake for 10 minutes, only enough to set the crust. Take out of the oven and cool completely on a wire rack.

Once the base is cold, make the chocolate layer.
  • In a bowl or jug, melt the chocolate in the microwave in 1 minute intervals on the Defrost setting, mixing between each spin in the microwave. Alternatively, you can melt the chocolate traditionally in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Set aside to cool.
  • In a mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth and creamy. Fold in the cooled melted chocolate until fully mixed. Add the sugar to taste: you may not need all the sugar.
  • In a separate bowl or jug, whip the cream until it forms stiff peaks. Fold gently but quickly into the chocolate cream cheese mixture. Taste for sweetness again, adding more sugar if you want, but working quickly to not deflate the mixture.
  • Pour into the tin on top of the crust and smooth out evenly. Chill for an hour before adding the strawberry layer.

To make the strawberry layer,
  • In a small bowl, beat the jam to make it smooth and to even out the texture.
  • As before, beat the cream cheese in a large bowl, then fold in the jam until fully mixed. Add the lime juice, and then add the sugar to taste.
  • Whip the cream in a separate jug or bowl until it forms stiff peaks, then fold into the strawberry cream cheese mixture. Taste for sweetness again, adding more sugar if needed.
  • Pour on top of the chocolate layer, smoothing out with a spoon. Put in the fridge to chill overnight.

Also make the whipped white chocolate icing,
  • Put the broken white chocolate in a small mixing bowl or large jug.
  • Heat the whipping cream either in a saucepan over medium heat, or in the microwave, until it reaches simmering point: little bubbles should appear around the edges and it should be steaming hot.
  • Pour the hot cream over the white chocolate and let it stand for about 2 minutes. Then, mix thoroughly with a spoon or balloon whisk; the heat of the mix will have started to melt the chocolate.
  • Allow to cool to room temperature before putting in the fridge to chill overnight with the cheesecake.

The next day, assemble the master piece.
  • An hour before you intend to serve your cake, you will need to ice it. Take the white chocolate cream and whip it until it makes soft peaks.
  • Use half of the cream to ice the sides very carefully. Make sure that your icing utensil, whether it's a palette knife, table knife, or the back of a spoon, only touches the icing layer, and not the cheesecake layer: this will prevent smearing.
  • Put the remaining half in a piping bag fitted with a large star tip and pipe a rosette design around the edge of the top.
  • Sprinkle the biscuit crumbs on the top, if you like, or leave it plain.

This cake is very rich and indulgent, and this cake can serve up to 16 people, so eat with caution. It will keep in the fridge, covered, for about 3 to 5 days.

THIS TIME IN 2014: How NOT to Make Hazelnut Ice-Cream
THIS TIME IN 2013: Traditional Coconut Ice

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