A few weeks ago, my beloved dog was stolen. Eventually, following the offer of a reward, my dog - and another which was stolen at the same time - was returned. The return of our four-legged friends was a cause for great celebration, so this week I decided to hold a dinner party for my dogs and the owner of the other dog. Such a momentous occasion calls for a special dessert, so I turned to the gastronomic tome Children's First Cookbook! Despite the fact that the cake was designed to be made by a four-year-old, it is one of the most scrumptious cheesecakes imaginable. The added benefit is that you do not need to cook it, you simply pop it into the fridge to set.
A word of warning when entertaining canine guests - hang onto your napkins…
Makes 8 portions
● 125g butter
● 250g digestive biscuits
● 300g fresh or frozen raspberries
● 60g icing sugar
● 1 tsp cornflour
● 450g cream cheese
● 225g caster sugar
● 1 tsp pure vanilla essence
● 400 ml double cream
● Optional topping: mixed berries and melted white chocolate
● Break the biscuits into pieces, place in a plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin.
● Melt the butter in a saucepan and stir in the crushed biscuits.
● Spread the mixture over the base of an 8"/20cm cake tin and place in the fridge.
● Put the raspberries into a pan together with the sugar.
● Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for about 3 minutes.
● Press through a sieve to get rid of the seeds(the underside of a soup ladle is good for this).
● Mix the cornflour with a couple of teaspoons of water. l Pour the sieved puree into a pan, mix in the cornflour mixture, bring to the boil and then simmer for a couple of minutes until thickened. Pour into a bowl or jug and set aside to cool.
● Beat the cream cheese, caster sugar and vanilla in a mixer for a couple of minutes. Beat the cream until stiff but take care not to over-beat. Fold into the cream cheese mixture.
● Remove the cake tin from the fridge and spread two thirds of the cheesecake mixture over the biscuit base. Swirl about two thirds of the raspberry puree into the cheesecake mixture.
● Spoon the remaining cheesecake mixture on top .
● Decorate the top of the cake by trailing lines of raspberry puree dropped from a teaspoon horizontally across the cake. Using a skewer, draw vertical lines through the puree to create a feathered pattern.
● Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
● If you wish you can decorate the top of the cake with mixed berries and drizzle with melted white chocolate.