I do love a good cheesecake. My several cheesecake recipes attest to this. When I was asked to try Philly’s Chocolate Cream Cheese my mind got wandering as I thought of all the possibilities. I wanted to try something different while still staying realistic and, as I also love pastry, I thought I would make a chocolate short crust pastry with a no bake cheesecake filling. Easy as pie (sorry that was terrible). I found a wonderfully simple pastry recipe at SBS food, so it was all systems go from there.
As I made a chocolate pastry, I wanted the filling to compliment this while not losing the taste of the cream cheese. The addition of coffee to make this a mocha cheesecake seemed logical and I have to say that it worked really well – there is a hint of coffee there but this doesn’t overshadow the flavour of the chocolate in the cream cheese.
The chocolate cream cheese feels lighter than regular cream cheese and whipped up like a dream so in fact this filling feels almost mousse like, rather than your usual dense cheesecake.
This isn’t an in your face rich dessert and so could be a perfect Christmas dessert option for those who may not enjoy the heaviness of Christmas pudding.
I hope that you enjoy it as much as I did. Have a safe and happy holiday!
Philly Chocolate Cream Cheese blocks were given to me at no cost, but all opinions expressed are my own
Mocha Cheesecake Tart
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 tablespoons icing sugar
200 g (1⅓ cups) plain flour
1 good pinch salt
150 g chilled unsalted butter, diced
2-2½ tablespoons iced water
500g Philly Chocolate Cream Cheese, softened
3/4 cup caster sugar
3 teaspoons gelatine
1 1/2 tablespoons coffee
1.4 cup boiling water
1 cup thickened cream, softly whipped.
For the Pastry – recipe courtesy of SBS Australia
1. Place the cocoa powder, icing sugar, flour and salt in a medium mixing bowl. Add the chilled butter. With your palms facing upwards, use your fingertips to rub in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
2. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the iced water over the flour and butter mixture. Use a round-bladed knife in a cutting motion to mix until evenly combined and the mixture starts holding together. Press a little of the mixture between your fingers: if it holds together easily, there is no need to add more water. If it doesn’t, add the remaining ½ tbsp water and combine. The pastry should be soft but not sticky.
3. Bring the pastry together with your hands and transfer to a lightly floured, cool benchtop. Lightly knead the pastry with your fingertips for about 30 seconds or until smooth and soft. Shape the pastry into a disc, wrap well in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 20 minutes to rest.
4. Unwrap the pastry and place on a lightly floured, cool work surface. Gently pat the pastry with the palm of your hand to flatten slightly. Use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll the pastry into a disc about 3-5mm thick. Always roll from the centre of the pastry outwards and in the same direction, giving the pastry a quarter turn after each roll so that it rolls evenly and doesn’t stick to the bench. Be careful not to use too much flour or the pastry will become dry.
5. Carefully drape the pastry loosely around the rolling pin. Place it over an ungreased tart tin with a removable base and then unroll the pastry, being careful not to stretch it. Gently lift the edge of the pastry and ease it into the tart tin to line the base and sides, and settle it into the corners. Use your fingertips to press it gently into the corners without stretching it. Then, working around the tin, press the pastry into the side using your thumb or finger.
6. Roll the rolling pin over the top of the tart tin to trim any overhanging pastry. Chill for 30 minutes.
7. Preheat oven to 200°C. Place the uncooked pastry base in the tart case/s on a baking tray. Prick the pastry base with a fork (about 12 times for a 23cm round case). This will help the pastry case from “bubbling” during baking.
8. Line the pastry case with non-stick baking paper and fill with pastry weights, dried beans or raw rice, making sure they press into the corners. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes.
9. Remove from oven and use the paper to lift the weights out of the case. Return the pastry case to the oven and cook for a further 5 minutes for a partially cooked pastry case or 10-12 minutes for a fully cooked pastry case. Remove the tart case from the oven and cool in the tin on a wire rack.
For the Mocha Cheesecake Filling
1. Beat the chocolate cream cheese and sugar with an electric mixer until smooth.
2. Dissolve the gelatine and coffee in the boiling water. Cool slightly and then add to cream cheese and mix until smooth.
4. Fold through the thickened cream.
5. Gently pour mixture into prepared pastry case (I left my case in it’s tin at this stage) and place in the fridge for 2 hours to set.
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