11 Dec 2014 No Bake Sweet
Chestnut purée may seem an unusual cheesecake ingredient but its distinctive flavour and smooth texture work beautifully with crunchy cookie crumbs. Assemble just before serving so the cookies don’t get soggy. Maraschino cherries look best with stems still attached if you can find them – try delis, speciality food stores or even cocktail bars. Most supermarkets sell them without stems. Let me show you how to make them on my recipe video here (thanks to a collaboration with Mummy Pages).
1. First, decorate the glasses. Pour the sprinkles into a small bowl. Snap the chocolate into a small heatproof bowl and either melt in the microwave in 30-second blasts, stirring between each go, or over a pan of simmering water, shallow enough that the water doesn’t touch the bowl. When melted, brush chocolate around the top of each glass in a 1/2 cm-thick band on the inside and outside (or you can did the rim of the glass in but make sure to let excess chocolate drip off). Dip each glass into the sprinkles and leave to set.
2. Toast the hazelnuts in a dry frying pan over a medium heat, tossing regularly, until golden. Blitz the cookies in a food processor, or seal in a food bag and bash with a rolling pin, until you have rough crumbs. Stir the hazelnuts into the cookie crumbs and set aside.
3. If using unsweetened chestnut purée, blend in a food processor to get rid of any graininess. Beat the mascarpone and sugar in a medium bowl until smooth. Fold the chestnut purée into the mascarpone until well mixed. (If using sweetened chestnut purée simply beat with the mascarpone and omit the sugar.)
4. To assemble, spoon a tablespoon of crumb mixture into each glass. Top with 2 tablespoons of the creamy mixture, being careful not to mess up the sides or top. Add second layers of biscuit and creamy filling and finish with biscuit. You can serve straight away, or for a firmer finish, cover with cling film and chill for 1 hour.
5. When ready to serve, softly whip the cream in a medium bowl. Dollop a spoonful onto each sundae, sprinkle with edible pearls and sit a cherry proudly on top, stalk upright. For ultimate cute factor, decorate with homemade flags. Serve immediately.
This recipe is from my book No-Bake Baking, available worldwide in all good bookstores or on Amazon.
Photo © Donal Skehan
25g whole blanched hazelnuts, finely chopped
100g double chocolate chip cookies
175g unsweetened chestnut purée (or sweetened if it’s all you can find)
25g caster sugar
2 tbsp edible sprinkles of your choice
50g milk, dark or white chocolate
75ml double cream
1 tbsp edible pearls
6 maraschino cherries with stems
6 homemade flags
6 X 125ml glasses
Food processor (if using unsweetened chestnut purée)