I had a friend around for lunch the other day. Last time I saw her we were reminiscing about our university days and about the time that I attempted to make cheesecake using cottage cheese instead of soft cheese. Apparently you can actually do this but you have to sieve the cottage cheese first. I had not, and created a lumpy, slightly salty-tasting cheesecake which only she would eat (something I put down to smoking having killed her tastebuds).
Anyway, following this conversation I decided to try prove I could make a decent cheesecake. My friend was famous at university for her love of pina coladas, she went out dressed as one once, I couldn't find a recipe for a pina colada cheesecake on-line that I entirely liked, so I read several and then made it up as I went along with very successful results!
Piña Colada No-Bake Cheesecake(Makes enough to fill 10 small ramekins)
For the Base100g Butter
200g Digestive Biscuits
For the Middle200g Packet of Creamed Coconut (the solid kind)
300g Packet Soft Cheese
50g Brown Sugar
Gelatine (enough to set 1 pint of liquid)
For the Top400g Tinned Pineapple
Instructions1. Smash the digestive biscuits into fine crumbs using your preferred method (in my case a plastic bag and a rolling pin). Melt the butter in a saucepan over a low heat and mix the crumbs in with it. Divide the resulting mixture between the ramekins and press down with the back of a spoon. Put the ramekins in the fridge to set while you make the middle bit.
2. Using a fork, smoosh together the block of creamed coconut, the soft cheese and the brown sugar. Using a hand-blender, slowly mix in the milk until you have about a pint of creamy goodness (I did this by eye, so you may need more or less than 300ml of milk). You will then need to add your gelatine according to the instructions on the packet. I used pork gelatine leaves, which involved having to soak the leaves in cold water first, then slowly warming the coconut mixture in a saucepan, and melting the gelatine in it. Having incorporated the gelatine, spoon the mixture into the ramekins and leave in the fridge to set (I left it overnight).
3. Drain the tinned pineapple and mix it up in a bowl with a couple of tablespoons of the pineapple jam (exactly how much depends on your personal taste). Spoon on top of the coconut mixture and serve (if I'd had any cocktail umbrellas I would have decorated the ramekins with those).
Untested IdeasThis could, of course, be made in one cake tin. My guessimate would be that a 20cm springform tin would be appropriate. I chose to make it in ramekins because I was being a bit experimental and it is easier to do that without ruining everything in ramekins. Also, as I was making far more than my friend and I would eat in a single sitting I wanted it to keep better, which I find happens with individual portions.
If I'd had any rum, I probably would have experimented using it. You could try adding some to the middle bit in place of some of the milk, or making some pineapple and rum jam for the top.
Fresh pineapple can be a bit tough to eat and sometimes reacts badly with dairy products which is why I decided to stick with canned, but obviously you could try fresh for the top. My initial cheesecake just had canned pineapple on the top without the jam, but I felt it wasn't quite pineappley enough. The jam is frankly a bit odd on its own but it works well at enhancing the pineapple flavour. I am also considering making it again with some pineapple juice in place of the milk.
Finally I am thinking about using dessicated coconut, coconut biscuits and/or coconut oil in the base.