Creamy sweetness and rich coffee bookended by crunchy caramel flavours. Yes, I think that perfectly describes my cheesecake recipe and I know you want to try it out for yourself! I was inspired to make this cheesecake when my coffee delivery arrived from Pact because the tasting notes of the Finca La Montana Espresso coffee read simply ‘cinder toffee’. This got the cogs in my brain turning, as I remembered back to childhood summers at the seaside and bags of crunchy cinder toffee. I tasted the coffee and there was an undeniable zing of roasted caramel so how could I not include this delicious coffee in a dessert recipe?
Cinder toffee is also the taste of Christmas for me, as I always without fail eat a Crunchie bar on Christmas morning. Are Crunchies made from cinder toffee? It’s a very similar taste anyway and you could certainly get away with using a Crunchie to decorate the top of your cheesecake if you can’t get hold of cinder toffee. I think the Crunchie tradition started for me because there was always a small Crunchie in the chocolate stocking selection pack and as it was my least favourite chocolate bar I always ate it first. But now, I couldn’t possibly not eat a Crunchie before breakfast on Christmas day and I would be so disappointed if it wasn’t in my stocking. Anyway, back to the recipe.
I decided that cinder toffee and coffee was a killer combination and I wanted to incorporate some smooth creaminess to counteract all the rich flavours so I’ve layered my cheese cake mixture so that every bite is the perfect mouthful; bitter and sweet, smooth and crisp. I decided to use Lotus biscuits due to their caramel flavour and the fact that they are so often served with a cappuccino in coffee shops. I combined this with digestive biscuits so that the traditional cheesecake flavour is there and the caramel doesn’t overpower the pudding. The way I see it, coffee and cheese are after-dinner staples so why not combine them in this decadent dessert to serve up at the end of a delicious meal?? Without further ado, here is the recipe and method:
125g digestive biscuits, 125g lotus biscuits, 100g melted butter, 3 tablespoons strong Pact coffee, 300ml double cream, 400g full fat soft cheese, 200g mascarpone, 125g icing sugar, 100g cinder toffee
Crush the biscuits – I used a blender but it’s just as easy to put them into a freezer bag and crush with a rolling-pin – then mix with the melted butter until the mixture resembles damp sand. Press into a spring-form cake tin using the back of a spoon to form the base. Chill while you get on with making the cheesecake filling. Whip the cream to soft peaks before mixing in the soft cheese, mascarpone and icing sugar. Take a teaspoon of the mixture and taste it to make sure it’s really yummy! Then divide the cheesecake mixture into thirds, spreading two-thirds of the plain cheese mix over the biscuit base. Chill for about 15 minutes.
With the remaining third of the cheesecake mixture, add 2-3 tablespoons of freshly brewed strong espresso coffee (depending on taste, so you’re going to have to test it again!) and mix in thoroughly. Spread on top of the cheesecake to create a dark top layer and then return to the fridge to chill for about 30 minutes. When you’re ready to serve, release the spring-form cake tin and slide the cheesecake onto a serving plate. Crush up some cinder toffee (in a bag, with a rolling pin again) and sprinkle all over the top of the cheesecake before adding a few big chunks of cinder toffee to the centre to decorate. The cinder toffee that I bought already had white a dark chocolate drizzled over the top so either use the same type of cinder toffee, leave off the chocolate altogether or drizzle a little melted chocolate of your own over the toffee.
The Finca La Montana Espresso coffee is available from Pact until 20th Oct so get your order in now! But don’t worry if you miss it this month – it’s likely to make a reappearance again in the future, and in the meantime you can use any of Pact’s delicious coffees the recreate this cheesecake. If you want to save a bit of cash on your ingredients, you can use voucher code “cassiefairy” on the Pact Coffee website which will give you your first bag of Pact coffee for only £1 – it’s so kind of Pact to create this code especially for Cassiefairy readers! Get that coffee brewing and let me know how you get on with making the recipe and please get in touch to share your photos if you make one for yourself. Enjoy!