Om nom nom. (photo by Ashley)

I invented this recipe a few months ago when I went a bit off piste. I had a great plan to invent something totally new, and I wanted to use the new Vanilla Bean Paste I’d been sent, so on World Baking Day, I created the Vanilla Bean and Baileys Velvet Cheesecake. I use the word velvet because the texture is incredibly velvet-y. It’s not light like some cheesecakes, nor heavy like others. It’s creamy and smooth and sets beautifully. Yum. I made it with both cream cheese and ricotta, as I happened to have both in the house.

You need:

  • 12-15 digestive biscuits
  • 100g butter
  • 50g golden caster sugar
  • pinch of cinnamon (optional)
  • 250 mls double cream
  • 300g cream cheese
  • 200g ricotta cheese
  • 3 tbsp vanilla bean paste – I used LittlePod Natural Vanilla Paste, which I absolutely love. It’s a very versatile and handy product to have in stock! This really does work best when you’ve got the actual beans, as they are part of the look of the cake.
  • 60 – 100mls Baileys
  • Strawbs to serve
  1. First off, crush the biscuits by placing them in a plastic bag and whacking them with a rolling pin. Or you can use a food processor. I tend to opt for the more violent option.
  2. Melt the butter, then add it to the biscuit crumbs along with the sugar and cinnamon. I like to use cinnamon in my biscuit bases as I spent a few years growing up in Canada, where a lot of bases are made of graham crackers, which are slightly cinnamon-y! It’s a lovely complementary flavour, but not 100% necessary if you don’t feel like it.
  3. Line an 8” spring form cake tin with baking parchment.
  4. Mix well, then press into the bottom of the tin. Bake the base for 15 mins on 200°c until golden. When it is cool, refrigerate!
  5. Next, pop your cream cheese and ricotta in a stand mixer (or use an electric hand held whisk) and beat until smooth and combined. Add the cream and beat on low until well mixed. Pop the vanilla in and mix well.
  6. Have a look at the texture. If it’s a bit thick, add 60mls of Baileys and see what you’ve got. Add a bit more if you think it needs it. The Baileys part is a subtle aftertaste, so you don’t need masses of it. Beat on medium speed until everything is well combined.
  7. Pour/spoon/scoop the creamy mixture into your spring form pan. Smooth over the top with a spoon or a palette knife and refrigerate for four hours or more.
  8. When you come to serve, slide a palette knife around the outside of the pan before releasing the spring. If you used baking parchment, you should be able to slide the cheesecake off and onto a plate for serving. I serve this one with lots of strawberries, though you can also do a nice raspberry coulis with it too!

Enjoy!


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