Irish Cream White Chocolate Cheesecake

From Chef Oonagh Williams of Gluten-Free Cooking with Oonagh.

Irish Cream White Chocolate CheesecakeThis is not a baked custard cheesecake. It is a gelatin-set cheesecake that I first made in England and continue to make. Apart from the crust, there is no baking, no worrying if you’ve overcooked the custard, no cracking of cheesecake, no overnight cooling, etc. It’s very popular with my students and clients, and you can vary it with different chocolates and liqueurs. It is stiff when you remove it from the fridge, but softens to more of a mousse consistency when it’s been out of the fridge for half an hour.  My husband likes it firm, I prefer softer. This is a very mild flavor, since Irish Cream is very mild. Use a 7” springform or double the recipe for a 9-10” springform pan.

Almond Shortbread Crust Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup (3 oz., 80 g) almond flour
  • 3 Tbsp. (45 ml) powdered sugar
  • 3 Tbsp. (1½ oz., 42 g) butter

Filling Ingredients:

  • ½ lb. (1 brick, 8 oz., 225 g) cream cheese at room temperature. I use store brand lite cream cheese, but it does make a softer set.
  • 2 Tbsp. (30 ml)  powdered sugar
  • 1 4 oz. (112g) bar good quality white chocolate, broken into small pieces. (At the time of writing, Lindt are saying their white chocolate is gluten-free. Guitard is the only other white chocolate I know, but its flavor doesn’t compare to Lindt.)
  • 1¼ cup (10 fl. oz., 300 ml) whipping or heavy cream, divided
  • ½ tsp. gelatin from Knox gelatin packet, sprinkled on 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) water in small cup
  • 3 Tbsp. (45 ml) Irish Cream liqueur (At the time of writing, Carolan’s says it’s gluten-free.)

Topping Ingredients:

  • ½ cup (4 fl. oz., 120 ml) whipped cream
  • 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) powdered sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) Irish Cream liqueur

Directions:

  1. For the crust, mix almond flour and powdered sugar. Rub in butter until mix resembles fine breadcrumbs. I do this in food processor, but stop while mix is crumbs and before it mixes to a paste.
  2. Sprinkle evenly into base of 7” springform pan and press down.  Bake in a preheated 350°F oven for about 12 minutes. Base should be a light golden brown and about ¼” thick when cooked. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
  3. Pour ¼ cup (60 ml, 2 fl. oz.) cream into a 4 cup microwave bowl and heat for about 44 seconds.  Add chopped chocolate, let stand for 2 minutes, then stir until chocolate mix is smooth. If necessary, heat for about 10 more seconds if there are lumps left. You have to treat white chocolate very carefully, as it has a tendency to harden (seize) if overheated.
  4. In a separate 4 cup bowl, beat together cream cheese, sugar and 3 Tbsp. Irish cream liqueur until smooth and creamy.
  5. Slowly beat chocolate mix into cream cheese mixture and beat for about 1 minute to increase fluffiness. I added a few drops of green coloring to mix.
  6. Microwave the gelatin-water mix for about 10 seconds until it becomes yellowy clear liquid. Then beat into chocolate cream cheese mix.
  7. Pour ½ cup (4 fl. oz., 120 ml) cream into bowl that was used for melted chocolate and beat cream until stiff.
  8. Gently beat cream into cheese and chocolate mix.
  9. Pour into chilled crust. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or until firm.
  10. Once chilled, run a thin plastic spatula around edge between cheesecake and pan, release spring form side and remove. Gently run a thin knife between base and bottom of pan and slide cheesecake onto serving plate. If you have a springform pan with a glass base, there is no need to move the cheesecake.
  11. To finish, whip ½ cup (4 fl. oz., 120 ml) whipped cream with 1 Tbsp. powdered sugar and 1 Tbsp. Irish cream liqueur and pipe rosettes around top edge of cheesecake.
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