Happy St. Patrick’s Day! To celebrate we’re sharing this exclusive Lime Cheesecake Cups recipe from spring’s exciting new author Finn Ni Fhaolain. Finn’s new cookbook Finn’s Worldisavailable nationwide 21 April. Pre-order now on the Eason website.
When life is all about following your dreams and catching the best waves, it can be hard to find the time and money to feed yourself well. Enter Finn’s World, where you’ll discover how you can eat delicious, healthy food that won’t break the bank. Find out Finn’s tips on how to do more of what you love every day, as we all strive to live happier, more balanced lives.
I’ve served this to friends and fam and it’s now a staple for catering for large groups too. It took me a long time to make cheesecake, since back in the day store-bought gluten-free biscuits were as hard as the hob of hell – as my granny would say. But from making lots of almond milk, I’ve been inundated with ground almonds that are kind of soggy. Lovely. Which begged the question: could they be toasted like this? What would I do with the toasted almondy bits? Lightbulb! Cheesecake base. This recipe is awesome for students, since it doesn’t rely on a dodgy oven and all the ingredients can be picked up at a supermarket. While you could do this recipe in a regular 23cm pie tin, I always divide it up between little glasses and top them with piped mascarpone for a super-fancy finish – perfect for serving to guests. These keep brilliantly in the fridge. Dessert done and dusted the day before a party? Winner!
MAKES 10ISH INDIVIDUAL CHEESECAKES
For the Topping
600g low- or lowest-fat Philadelphia cream cheese i.e . damage control
½ cup (110g) honey
2 large or 3 small limes
½ tsp green food colouring (optional)
For the Base
2 cups toasted (120g) ground almonds or
2 cups (150–200g) gluten-free biscuits of your choice I use the plain digestives from Aldi, as they have a good crunch; SuperValu own-brand ones ar e also good
½ cup (100g) coconut oil or butter
cup (110g) honey to sweeten, if using toasted almonds not necessary if using biscuits
1 In a large bowl, scoop in the Philadelphia and lash in the honey.
2 Use the finest section of a grater to grate the zest off the limes (look for unwaxed ones) onto a plate. If you have a zester, you fancy thing you, use this instead to minimise the chances of grating off your finger. Pop the zest in on top of the cheese and honey.
3 Now juice your baldy-looking limes and add this to the mix.
4 Put in the food colouring if you’re using it. Blend it all up with a hand blender and taste test – add more honey or lime as you like. The mix may seem a bit runny at this point but don’t worry: it will firm up in the fridge later!
5 If you’re using ground almonds for the base, put a big non-stick pan over a medium heat and throw the almonds in. I’m a terrible person for wandering away from pans on the stove. Don’t do this – if they burn your kitchen will stink! Stir them around till they go from beige to a pale brown.
They will also start to smell quite lovely. Now chuck them in a bowl and add the coconut oil or butter, whichever you’re using. Butter is more traditional but coconut oil makes it feel a bit more tropical! Rub it in with your hands, then add the honey and mix it all together.
6 If you’re using biscuits for the base, take them out of their packet, put them in a Ziploc bag (push the air out before you close it so it doesn’t just pop!) and bash the bejaysus out of them with a rolling pin. You can decide how fine you like your crumbs – I tend to bash mine to smithereens and consider it a workout. Put them in a bowl with the butter or coconut oil and mix.
7 Press your chosen base mix into your pie dish or divide it between the glasses and press down. I tend to bend a teaspoon 90 degrees and use this to pat down the mix. Please excuse my abuse of cutlery.
8 Spoon on the lime cheesecake topping and pop the lot in the fridge for at least an hour.
If you’re serving it for a party, take the cheesecake out of the fridge after an hour and, using a piping bag – I have a wee one from the €2 shop – pipe on some chilled mascarpone in the same way you would cream or icing. I much prefer it to either, as it has a better texture than cream and stays perfectly set in the fridge if you make the dessert the night before, and it doesn’t have the sickly sweetness of icing so it won’t overpower the cheesecake.
Before bringing to the guests, put a little something on top, e.g. physalis or a thin bit of biscuit.
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