Coconut + Passion Fruit Cheesecake

This is my last recipe using Flora's new range of Dairy Free spreads and this one is probably my favourite. A good cheesecake is such a classic. A couple of years ago, I visited the Cheesecake Factory in Chicago and was in awe of the sheer number of different flavour combinations. I went for a carrot cake cheesecake and if I’m honest, I don’t think I was convinced! It was just a bit odd.

When making my own cheesecake, my mood definitely determines whether I go for a baked or non baked version. Now, both are delicious in their own way and serve different purposes, but as easy as they are to put together, it can still be tricky to not end up with a dense, cloying block of cream cheese.

A no bake cheesecake tends to have a much lighter and airy feel compared to the rich, velvety texture of a baked cheesecake which I can find a bit much in the middle of summer. I also prefer to have the oven on for as little as possible when the weather is much warmer, so a no bake cheesecake wins for today. It also helps that I can make it a day in advance, making it a super low maintenance dessert.

 I’ve gone all tropical with this coconut and passionfruit cheesecake. That sunshine yellow on top is enough to brighten up any day. The filling made with cream cheese, double cream and coconut milk is gloriously light and creamy and balanced well with a beautifully tart passionfruit topping. All this sits on top of what might be my favourite part of any cheesecake – that biscuit base.  What makes this base extra special is the Flora Dairy Free Coconut and Almond spread that I have melted down and mixed with digestive biscuits and desiccated coconut instead of butter. It really makes that coconut flavour shine through which can sometimes be difficult to achieve without using artificial flavourings.

This cheesecake does need a good amount of time to chill before serving so I’d definitely recommend making it the night before you need it.


R E C I P E
serves 16-18

Ingredients

200g Digestive Biscuits
50g Desiccated Coconut
100g Flora Dairy Free Coconut and Almond Spread

Filling:
600g Full Fat Cream Cheese
150g Icing Sugar
150ml Coconut Milk
350ml Double Cream
½ tsp Vanilla Extract

6 Passionfruit
1 tablespoon Caster Sugar
1 tablespoon Lemon Juice
½ tsp Cornflour

Handful Toasted Coconut Flakes

Method:

Melt the Flora Dairy Free Coconut and Almond spread in the microwave and set aside. Grease and line a 23cm spring form cake tin.

Place the biscuits and desiccated coconut in a food processor and pulse until it resembles fine crumbs. Alternatively, place everything in a large food bag and bash with a rolling pin. Pour in the melted spread and mix together.     

Press the biscuit mixture firmly into the base of the cake tin and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes until firm.

Prepare the filling by beating together the cream cheese and icing sugar until smooth. Stir in the coconut milk and set aside. In a separate bowl, whip the double cream and vanilla extract thickened. Fold this carefully into the cream cheese bowl until completely smooth and then pour onto the biscuit base.

Let the cheesecake set in the fridge for at least 6 hours, but preferably overnight.

Make the passionfruit topping by adding the pulp, sugar, lemon juice and cornflour into a pan. Heat gently for 3-5 minutes until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture has thickened. Pour into a separate bowl and let it cool.

Once the cheesecake is fully chilled, pour over the passionfruit and top with some flaked coconut.

 

Honey + Walnut Sandwich Biscuits

The combination of Honey and Walnuts are a match made in heaven. That nutty, earthy taste from the walnuts paired with a sweet floral honey is just gorgeous. I find that when walnuts are used in baking they tend to be confined to the traditional coffee and walnut cake – which is delicious, but I think they have so much more potential.

Anyway, I’m in full summer baking mode at the moment and have come up with these cute little sandwich biscuits which would be right at home at any afternoon tea.  To let that walnut taste really shine through, I’ve used Flora Dairy Free Walnut Spread and the flavour is gorgeous. It’s incorporated into both the biscuit and the buttercream and it really does make these biscuits extra special. I’ve used orange blossom honey which I think adds a beautiful floral sweetness but do use whatever you’ve got to hand.

The recipe is super straightforward and during warmer summer months, the last thing I want is to be doing is spending hours and hours in a hot kitchen. The dough does need to be chilled in the fridge before rolling out, and this just prevents it from spreading and losing shape once it gets in the oven.

Let me know if you have a go at making these or any other biscuits you’ll be baking this summer.


R E C I P E
makes 12-16 sandwich biscuits

Ingredients

120g Flora Dairy Free Walnut Spread
80g Caster Sugar
2 tbsp Orange Blossom Honey
½ tsp Vanilla Extract
1 Egg
320g Plain Flour
¼ tsp Baking Powder
½ tsp Salt

Filling
150g Flora Dairy Free Walnut Spread
200g Icing Sugar, plus extra to dust
Pinch Salt
Walnuts, crushed

M E T H O D

Beat together the Flora Walnut spread and sugar until smooth. Stir in the honey, vanilla and egg and beat until fully combined

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder and salt. Mix to make a stiff dough and bring it together with your hands. Wrap the dough in cling film and then let it chill in the fridge for at least an hour. Preheat oven to Gas Mark 5/190C.

Once the dough is chilled, roll out the dough in between two sheets of baking paper to a thickness of a pound coin.

Cut out shapes with a round cookie cutter and place on a lined baking tray. Use the back of a piping nozzle or a smaller round cutter to stamp out holes from half of the biscuits. Chill again for 15 minutes and then bake for 12-15 minutes until the edges are firm. Let them cool completely on a wire rack.

Prepare the filling by beating together the Flora Walnut spread and icing sugar and pinch of salt until its smooth. Place it in the fridge until needed.

Spoon the filling into a piping bag fitted with an open star nozzle or simply snip off the end. Pipe dots of icing on the base of each biscuit and sprinkle with crushed walnuts before topping with the other biscuit and dust with icing sugar