Biscuits · Cakes

Halloween Cheesecake and Chocolate Chip Cookies

It was a fantastic night on Tuesday as I spent a good many hours in the kitchen baking away. It might surprise people to know that until Tuesday I had never made a proper cheesecake – that is a no-bake cheesecake with not only a proper base, but also a base that comes all the way up the sides. I was a little nervous about whether or not the sides would hold when removed from the container, but it was an incredible success. Unfortunately I didn’t get to eat any as it was for a Halloween Bake-Off at my Mum’s work, but I was told everybody loved it and asked for the recipe – which happened to come from none other than Martha Stewart herself.

Secondly I knew I was going over to a new friend’s house for dinner for the first time so I wanted to also bake something to bring over there. I wasn’t sure at first what to make, but then I remembered that most everybody enjoys a good cookie so I whipped up some double choc-chip cookies and brought them over. I thoroughly enjoyed them myself, but if you don’t have a sweet tooth then this recipe is not for you.

Martha Stewart’s

No-Bake Spiderweb Cheesecake

Serves: 12, Prep: 4 hrs 45 mins,

Crust Ingredients

  • 500g chocolate ripple biscuits, crushed
  • 185g unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tsp sea salt flakes

Ganache Ingredients

  • 125g dark chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup thickened cream

Filling Ingredients

  • 1kg cream cheese, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups caster sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt flakes
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 cups thickened cream

Method

  • Combine biscuits, butter and salt in a bowl to make crust. Press mixture over base and 6cm up sides of a springform pan. Cover. refrigerate.
  • Place chocolate and cream in heatproof, microwave safe bowl to make ganache. Microwave on high for 1-2 minutes, stirring halfway through. Reserve 2 tbsp for decorating, spread rest over base and sides of crust. Cover. Refrigerate again.
  • Use electric mixer to beat cream cheese on medium speed for 3 minutes or until fluffy to make filling. Reduce speed to low. Gradually beat in sugar and salt until combined. Increase speed, beat for 3 minutes or until very fluffy. Add lemon juice. Beat until well combined. Whisk cream in separate bowl until  semi-stiff peaks form. Whisk 1/4 of the cream mixture into the cream cheese mixture, fold in remaining cream.
  • Spoon filling into crust, smoothing surface afterwards.
  • Transfer remaining ganache into plastic ziplock bag – but heat first if not runny enough. Snip corner off of ziplock bag and pipe a spiderweb pattern onto the top of the cake.
  • Freeze for four hours or overnight.

Valli Little’s

Double choc-chip cookies

Makes: 16, Prep: 15 mins, Cook: 15 mins

Ingredients

  • 125g unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups (250g) firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 cups (225g) plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 100g good-quality dark chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 100g white chocolate, roughly chopped

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
  2. Place butter and sugar in a bowl and beat with an electric mixer until pale. Add vanilla and egg and continue to beat until just combined. Sift in the flour, baking powder and a pinch of salt then fold in. Stir through chunks of chocolate.
  3. Place tablespoonfuls of mixture 4-5cm apart on the tray. Bake for 15 minutes until golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool a little before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Serve.
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