Halloween comes but once a year and brings with it chocolate eyeballs for the kids and for the adults, a healthy, tasty desert we all deserve: Aperol cheesecake!
“Healthy-pah!” I hear you cry! Well, before you eat your own eyeballs, let me set you straight! This gorgeous recipe from Delicious magazine has everything needed to nurture your wellbeing into a state of pure zen.
Chocolate Oreo biscuits (chocolate is good for you – check out the proof!)
mascarpone (it contains vitamin A and calcium!)
and the pièce de résistance, the Universe’s gift to mankind (via Italy):
Aperol spritz jelly. Aperol is good for your wellbeing as it evokes happy images of sun, beaches and long lazy summer afternoons rolling into balmy evenings, chilling with friends and family without a care in the world. Need I say more?
And as a friend commented, this recipe is ‘a bleedin’ health bomb!’ Check out the recipe below, courtesy of Delicious.
- For the base and sides:
- Oil for greasing
- 300g Oreo biscuits
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- 90g unsalted butter, melted
- For the filling:
- 560g full-fat cream cheese (we like Philadelphia)
- 150g mascarpone
- 150g icing sugar
- 300ml double cream
- Finely grated zest 2 oranges
- For the Aperol spritz jelly:
- 100ml Aperol
- 230ml prosecco
- 65ml soda water
- 20ml sugar syrup (see tip)
- 6 gelatine leaves (we used Costa)
- To make the base, lightly oil a 20cm loose-bottomed (not springform) tin. Put the Oreos and cocoa in a food processor and whizz to fine crumbs or bash in a freezer bag with a rolling pin. Transfer toa bowl, stir through the melted butter, then press into the base and up the sides of the tin, making sure it’s firmly and evenly packed. The crust should be just under 5mm thick, getting thinner towards the top. Push up some of the crumbs to give a ragged edge (see picture). Transfer to the fridge to harden.
- To make the filling, put the cream cheese, mascarpone and icing sugar into a large mixing bowl, then beat with an electric hand mixer until smooth. Pour in the cream and orange zest and beat again until smooth and very stiff (it will turn from shiny to dull), then spoon on top of the base and smooth the top with the back of a spoon. Return to the fridge and chill for several hours, or overnight (see Make Ahead).
- To make the jelly, mix the Aperol, prosecco, soda water and sugar syrup gently in a bowl with a metal spoon (try to keep in the air bubbles). In a separate small bowl, soak the gelatine leaves in cold water until soft and floppy.
- Transfer 100ml of the Aperol mixture to a small saucepan and heat until steaming. Take off the heat. Squeeze the water from the gelatine, then add to the pan, off the heat, stirring to dissolve. Strain back into the bowl of Aperol mix and stir gently to combine. Skim off any foam that rises to the surface, then leave the jelly to settle in the bowl until cool (it will still be liquid).
- Pour the jelly very gently over the cheesecake, then transfer carefully to the fridge. If there’s still foam on it, try laying the tip of a sheet of kitchen paper very gently over the foam – it should soak it up. Chill for at least 6 hours or overnight.
- Take the cheesecake out of the fridge 20 minutes before serving.
PER SERVING (FOR 10) 794kcals, 64.3g fat (40.4g saturated), 5.5g protein, 41.2g carbs (30.5g sugars), 0.7g salt, 0.5g fibre
We recommend starting this recipe at least 24 hours – preferably 2 days – ahead. Don’t be frightened off, though: most of the time is spent setting. The cheesecake needs to set for at least 6 hours, or preferably overnight, before being topped with jelly. The jelly itself will also need to set for at least 6 hours or overnight.
To make this non-alcoholic, you could use a plain orange jelly or use 450ml lemonade mixed with orange food colouring and set it with 5 gelatine leaves.
You can buy ready-made sugar syrup (sometimes known as gomme) in supermarkets, or make your own with equal amounts of caster sugar and cold water – heat to a simmer, then stir to dissolve the sugar, Homemade syrup keeps in the fridge for up to 3 months. Use in cocktails or for steeping fruit mixed with alcohol.
A sweet orange muscat, oozing with luscious citrus, served shiveringly cool.
Photo and recipe credit: Delicious magazine