Friday 18 October 2013

Chocolate Cheesecake Bars...

Today is National Chocolate Cupcake day so naturally I've made something entirely different! Doh!

Parragon Books kindly sent me the Classic Baking cookbook, and I couldn't help but smile when I realised it's almost entirely dessert recipes! In it's 256 pages it has all the recipes you'd expect including Lemon Drizzle Cake, Carrot Cake and even Chocolate Chip Cookies, through to some more interesting and obscure recipes like Lebkuchen, Boston Cream Pie and Apricot Cream Cake.

We had a good look through and it was actually my 5 year old who chose 2 recipes he'd like to try. I've got the ingredients to make Poppy Seed Crumble Squares over the weekend, but the dessert we tried yesterday was Chocolate Cheesecake Bars...

There are no special skills required to make this dish, it's all very basic and mainly just involves mixing.


For the base
250g/9oz Plain Flour
2tsp Baking Powder
3tbsp Cocoa Powder
140g/5oz Butter cut into small cubes
140g/5oz Caster Sugar
1 Egg

For the filling
250g/9oz Butter, softened
280g/10oz Caster Sugar
2tsp Vanilla Extract
4 Eggs, lightly beaten
750g/1lb10oz Medium Fat Soft Chese/Quark
100ml/3.5oz fl oz Whipping Cream
1tbsp Cornflour

Icing Sugar and Chopped Hazlenuts for sprinkling


1. Preheat the oven to 160C/325F/Gas Mark 3. Grease a 20cm x 30cm baking tray which is at least 5cm deep. I like to line mine too with greaseproof paper. Although the edges are not so neat, it makes it far easier to lift out.

2. Sift together the flour, baking powder and cocoa powder into a large bowl. Rub in the butter and sugar. Shake your bowl and the lumps will come up to the top, where you can see them to rub them into the mix better. Then add the egg and mix into a crumbly dough.

3. Spread 3/4 of the mixture on the prepared baking tray, pressing firmly into the base and slightly up at the sides. Save the rest of the mixture for later. I think when I made it that I maybe saved too little mixture, so make sure you save a good quarter of yours.

4. To make the filling beat the butter, sugar and vanilla extract together in a large bowl. Gradually add the eggs, then add the cheese, cream and cornflour and beat until smooth. 

 5. Spread the filling mixture onto the base and smooth flat with a spatula. I'll be honest, my mix was completely runny, there was no substance to it at all and I thought I must have gone horribly wrong at this point. I couldn't smooth it because it was just a liquid!

 6. Sprinkle the reserved crumble mixture over the top with your fingers. Even though my filling mix was liquid, the crumble mix mainly floated, but there wasn't enough to make it look anything like the photo!

7. Bake in the preheated oven for 1 1/4 hours. Leave it to cool completely before removing carefully from the baking tray.

Once cool the cheesecake was lovely and firm and cooked through well. The fact that it had been incredibly runny before it was cooked was obviously not an issue. It rose a few cm's during cooking too, so make sure the shelf above isn't too close.

The recipe suggests that you dust with icing sugar, sprinkle with chopped hazelnuts and cut into bars before serving. I actually used my Oxo serrated peeler on the side of a bar of white chocolate instead.

The cheesecake was absolutely gorgeous, really rich tasting and incredibly chocolatey. It wasn't heavy, but had a nice firm texture. The addition of the layer of crumble above the cheesecake was a really nice touch and it did benefit from having a dusting of something sugary over it as it wasn't incredibly sweet. We ate most of it that night and finished it the next day, and I think it was better after resting for that time.

Did it look like the one in the book? Nope, hardly at all... Somehow I seemed to have 3 times as much filling and half the crumble that I needed to match that picture. .Do I care? Not really because frankly it was completely delicious and impressive and I'll make it again soon. I think I'll make a bit of extra crumble mixture next time....

Classic Baking contains more than 100 recipes over 256 pages. It has plenty for the complete amateur as well as several you'd have to be pretty cocky to attempt. The photos are really clear and large and the instructions are very easy to follow and nicely worded. I don't know if the recipe I chose was in the right proportions to match the picture, but it was in the right proportions to make the dish, so I'll let that go. I'm really excited by this book and my family have spent the last week treating it as the Mealtime Book Of Dreams, with everyone placing orders for what I should try next. Classic Baking has an RRP of £16.00 and is currently for sale on Amazon at £10.60

Casa Costello
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  1. Replies
    1. They're not difficult at all - do it! You won't regret it :D

  2. OMG!! That looks utterly divine!!!

  3. Replies
    1. It was very tasty....sadly all already gone...*sobs* :D x

  4. I think it's a testament to your ingenuity and pioneed spirit that yours don't look like the book's. It shows you've made them your own! (They look fabulous by the way...)

    1. Hahaha....thank you! I love that, it makes me feel so much better :D

  5. Oh chick they look absolutely delicious!! :) Nom nom nom! I think it should be National Chocolate Cupcake day every day :) x

    1. :D, we definitely need a different cake every day :p

  6. Replies
    1. Thank you - it was gorgeous. I'll definitely make it again soon :) x

  7. Popping over from #recipeoftheweek - these look absolutely delicious!

  8. OMG these look amazing, I could live on cheesecake Yum!

    1. I think I could join you. It's got protein, I'm sure if you top it with fruit it becomes a balanced meal :P

  9. I love the sound of that, so naughty and moreish.

  10. Ohhhhhh, that looks so good. I want some NOWWWW. Pinned. Thanks very much for linking up with #recipeoftheweek. There's a new linky live now - would be brilliant to see you there again! :) x


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