It’s Bonfire Night and it would be criminal not to do a Bonfire Night themed bake and I decided to create a Bonfire Chilli Chocolate Cheesecake using Beech’s Chocolate’s Lime and Chilli Dark Chocolate with a bonfire chocolate topping.
Beech’s Chocolate is a UK-based company which uses all natural ingredients to produce chocolates which are suitable for vegans as well as being gluten-free. Traditional and quality chocolates are being produced by a British chocolatier in Lancashire and have been since 1920. You can find their full range here on their website and why not check out my Spiced Chocolate Welsh Cakes using Beech’s Ginger Chocolate here!
Chilli chocolate is a bit of a foreign flavour combination to many however the background warmth that comes from the chocolate means that the cheesecake filling doesn’t need as much sugar as usual, allowing the strong chocolate flavour to come through, especially with added cacao powder which is an intense chocolate hit.
You also don’t need to use branded cream cheese for your cheesecake. Own brand cream cheeses which are significantly cheaper than the brand leader do work in baked cheesecakes as long as you drain off any of the excess liquid in the tub before you use it and that it’s full fat cream cheese. Ideally your cream cheese should be at room temperature so it blends smoothly however this is not a necessary step if you whisk it with the sugar well.
A lot of Bonfire Night themed bakes tend to have edible decorations in the form of Flakes or Matchmakers to create the bonfire but I decided to do a twist on this same effect, coating spaghetti strands in chocolate and placing them around the ‘bonfire’. I suggest that you wouldn’t eat them and remove them before eating. Cacao nibs give the appearance of stones and rocks which add to the overall effect.
Here are some of my other cheesecake recipes:
6 digestive biscuits
40g margarine, melted
240g full fat cream cheese, any excess liquid drained away
3 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tbsp cacao powder
2 large eggs
1 x 60g bar of Beechs’ Chocolate’s Lime and Chilli Dark Chocolate, melted (any other chilli chocolate would also work here if you can’t find Beechs!)
30g cacao nibs
150ml double cream
60g dark chocolate
20 strands of spaghetti, half broken in 3 pieces and half broken into 4 pieces
Preheat the oven to 180˚C. Line a 6-hole muffin tin with 6 paper muffin cases.
Either in a food processor or in a sandwich bag with a rolling pin, bash up the biscuits to form fine biscuit crumbs. Pour them into a bowl and add the melted margarine and stir until it forms a buttery biscuit base. You can check if it is done by pressing it against the side of the bowl and if It clumps together, it’s ready.
Divide the biscuit base between the 6 muffin cases and press the bases down firmly. Bake for 10 – 12 minutes until they are set and then cool for 10 minutes. Turn down the oven to 160˚C.
Meanwhile prepare the filling by whisking together the cream cheese, sugar and cacao powder together until well mixed. Add the eggs in one by one, whisking well between each addition; it will take some time for the eggs to emulsify. Whisk in the melted chilli chocolate and switch from a whisk to a spatula and fold the mixture, scraping down the sides of the bowl.
Use an ice cream scoop to evenly divide the chocolate cheesecake mixture between the cases. Smooth out the cheesecakes and then finish with a sprinkling of cacao nibs in the centre.
Bake the cheesecakes for around 25 minutes until when you shake the tin, the very centre of the cheesecakes has a slight wobble and they have risen slightly. Once baked, turn off the oven, open the oven door slightly and leave the cheesecakes in there to cool for about an hour.
To prepare the bonfire decoration, melt the chocolate in a small bowl in the microwave. Hold the end of the spaghetti and spoon the chocolate over the broken spaghetti strands so that it is coated evenly. Use a spoon to draw the chocolate down the spaghetti and make sure it’s even. Place them onto a strip of baking parchment and repeat until you have done all of the spaghetti. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Keep the leftover chocolate.
Whip the double cream until it holds soft peaks; I’d recommend using a hand whisk rather than electric or you could overwhip the cream and it will split. Add in the melted chocolate and fold through. Place into a piping bag with a petal attachment or cut off a zigzag pattern at the end as your nozzle.
Pipe a bonfire of the chocolate cream on top of the cheesecake and sprinkle over some of the cacao nibs over. Insert the spaghetti strands diagonally so that they cover the chocolate cream and have the appearance of the bonfire.