Culinary Adventures, Eats
Comments 24

The Demystification of Cheesecake


Mum always had a few baked goodies in her repertoire. When I lived at home and was asked what caked I wanted for my birthday, “Cheesecake!” is what I would say. Mum would make a GIANT pan of cheesecake. Not typical a family size cheesecake that fits in on a plate or a 23cm (9″) round tin, but a family-reunion size glory that could only be assembled in a roasting pan. Everyone else would have polite obligatory slices, only making a dent in it. I would get to polish off the rest of the cake over the following days. Good times.

That was well over a decade ago now and I never once tried making a cheesecake for myself. Don’t get me wrong, I still eat cheesecake, I’ve bought lots of cheesecake and requested them to be made for me too. I guess cheesecake has always been somewhat of a delicious enigma.

I add things to my bucket list because I want to understand them and get to know them better. This post is the demystification of cheesecake.

So, I made a dark chocolate cheesecake. I used Delaney Mes’s Easy Chocolate CheesecakeDelaney writes the blog Heartbreak Pie. She’s good at eating and cooking, moved to Auckland fairly recently and has a rad haircut. One Two of the reasons why I went for her recipe is the “no bake” angle and I liked the word “easy”. Baking is frightening to me. Still.

I used an entire block (well, minus 2 cubes for testing purposes) of Whittaker’s Dark Cacao. This 62% cocoa chocolate doesn’t have a bitter taste and when eaten on it’s own tastes very serious. I’m not a chocolate addict, but when I eat chocolate, I appreciate dark chocolate’s seriousness. It’s a “I’m not here to mess around” kind of chocolate.

The hardest part was waiting 2 hours for it to set. The base made from crushed biscuits was super crumbly and it was as if I’d built my cheesecake on top of a pile of sand so next time I think I’m going try and make the base from scratch. Yes. That means baking.

Still, it tastes divine and it looks pretty.

I dabbed a little lemon passionfruit cream on top to glue down some fresh blueberries. It’s rich and sweet so paring this cheesecake with tart flavours is very sexy. Serve with more berries on the side.

The Koala, the resident sweet-tooth does not seem to mind that I made a pavlova and a cheesecake this week. Not at all.


our-growing-edge-badgeThis post is part of Our Growing Edge, a monthly blogging event I have started to encourage us to try new food related things. If you have a blog and have tried something new this month, come and join this event.


  1. That looks fabulous. I have to agree on the dark chocolate thing, I rarely eat it, but when I do, it has to be done seriously. I used to make cheesecakes all the time, and never once – because I didn’t know they existed – did I do a baked one. Only in the last few years have I eaten one, and now that is my challenge. A baked cheesecake. I look forward to your next adventure, first pav and then cheesecake. What will you do next?

  2. this looks too good!! I need to try this for sure…because I love dark chocolate and my husband loves cheesecake. thanks for this recipe, love your blog!!

  3. In the early eighties there was a cheesecake craze! I mean so crazy that on a uni trip to NYC one of MUST DO points was to visit Lindy’s Cheesecakes and have cheesecake! For the next 5 years I tried to perfect the cheesecake recipe. Of course, we preferred the baking kind. The trick was not to have the top crack open like a massive fault line. But then we topped it with fruit or chocolate sauce or caramel, well, you get the picture. I haven’t made a cheesecake for a while (last February) and the previous time was a few years before that. It’s just such a rich dessert, no one wants to have it anymore. Just when I was getting the knack of the top not cracking!
    Your chocolate cheesecake looks very rich and dark and delicious Genie. I feel the same way about chocolate, go big or go home! Good for you for making this recipe, by the sounds of it, you did good!

    • Thanks for your insight Eva. I can’t remember if I have ever eaten a baked cheesecake before. Is it more rich or les rich than the non-baked kind? Maybe a baked cheesecake will be on my next to do list.

  4. Yum! No-bake cheesecake? Sounds (and looks) amazing!

    Love love love dark chocolate too :3 Have you tried Mayan-style stone ground chocolate? It’s super dark, almost bitter, and made almost purely of cacao beans and cane sugar. No cream/milk. So good!

    • The chocolate I used had no milk in it, but the cheesecake has so much dairy (creamcheese, sour cream, full cream) in it that it kind of cancels it out.

  5. Looks wonderful! I can’t eat too much of sweet any more, so dark chocolate is the way to go nowadays. I love pairing sharp with sweet, it lifts it so nicely.

  6. Hey Genie, thanks for the write-up and the lovely compliments! I think I under-buttered the base of that recipe, so I usually add a bit more melted butter and it sets fine. In my recipe in the Whittaker’s cookbook I put a base you make from scratch – and it’s so satisfying. I once read a quote which said ‘approach love and cooking with reckless abandon’ so maybe try that with baking and see what happens?! Beautiful picture! Delaney.

    • An honour to have you drop by Delaney! I will add more butter next time. Who doesn’t love butter?

      It hurts me to follow recipes so baking with reckless abandon never goes so well for me. I’m a freestyle cook but not quite there with baking. Though I’m trying very hard to follow instructions these days! In baking anyway.

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