It’s getting all romantic up in here guys – I dug out the never-before-used heart shaped baking tin for this no bake Amaretto Cherry Cheesecake and everything. Welcome to What Charlotte Baked does Valentine’s Day 2019.
Valentine’s Day, Schmalentines Day
To be honest, Valentine’s Day is something I think more about for blogging purposes than I ever do for actual romance purposes. It’s fun to get involved with the pink and the hearts in the post-Christmas doom and gloom, and although I’m sure I’ll get around to buying Katie something nice (and cheap – we’re on a budget this year) at some point, in our house it’s not really the incredible hearts and flowers day that I know some of you subscribe to.
But I can always get behind a gorgeous no bake cheesecake.
I absolutely love making cheesecakes. I’ve decided they are my number one. Especially the no bake sort, where you just whip a load of dairy together, slap it on a buttery biscuit base (will I ever not link to Gregg?), drizzle some melted chocolate or sauce on top, and you’re guaranteed a gorgeous scrummy dessert that everyone’s going to love.
And they aren’t hard to make. AT ALL. In fact, the truth is they are probably the easiest dessert recipe around. No oven means no overbaking or underbaking. And my foolproof cheesecake base uses no gelatin or complicated tools. An electric hand whisk will go a long way to avoiding arm ache though, that’s for sure.
Booze in a cheesecake?
Yes, you can put alcohol in a no bake cheesecake. Although amaretto and dairy don’t sound the most appealing combo on earth on paper, the proof that nothing bad will happen when you add a generous shot of Disaronno to your cheesecake batter is most definitely in the pudding. Creamy, light, and silky smooth, this is the cheesecake batter of your Valentine’s Day dreams.
The addition of some extra liquid to the batter makes this a much lighter cheesecake than say, last week’s chocolate orange one. Both great for different occasions, but this amaretto cherry cheesecake is perfect for when you can only just fit dessert in after a slap-up candlelit meal for two.
The amaretto flavour is light and in no way overpowering, but if you wanted to step things up a notch then add a teaspoon or two of good quality almond extract to the batter to give it a MUCH stronger almond kick. And if you want to keep things alcohol-free, then sub in a couple of teaspoons of almond extract and leave the amaretto out completely.
As easy as Cherry Cheesecake
When it comes to the cherry topping, it’s basically just a simple homemade pie filling. I always use frozen cherries over fresh ones when I can help it, ‘cos I ain’t won the lottery. I like to add cornflour / cornstarch to the topping to help keep it a little bit less runny, but if you don’t have some drizzle running down the edges then what’s the point?
You could always make this amaretto cherry cheesecake extra simple by getting some pre-made cherry pie filling and spooning that on top, but when the homemade version is this easy then why not give it a go?
Amaretto Cherry Cheesecake (No Bake)
For the biscuit base
- 300 g digestive biscuits or graham crackers
- 75 g ground almonds
- 115 g unsalted butter melted
For the cheesecake layer
- 240 g mascarpone cheese
- 360 g full fat cream cheese I used Philidelphia
- 150 g icing sugar (confectioner's sugar)
- 6 tablespoons amaretto liqueur
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 300 ml double or heavy cream
For the cherry topping
- 50 ml water
- 150 g caster sugar (US granulated)
- 300 g fresh or frozen cherries pitted
- 3 tablespoons cornflour or cornstarch
- Grease and line the bottom of a 20cm (8 inch) springform tin. Crush the digestive biscuits into fine crumbs. The easiest way to do this is in a food processor, but you can also crush them by placing them in a sturdy plastic bag and bashing them with a rolling pin. Place the crumbs into a bowl with the ground almonds, and add the melted butter. Stir together until the crumbs are evenly coated with the butter, and then spoon into the pre-prepared tin. Press the crumb mixture right up to the edges of the tin using the back of a spoon, and level out the top, pressing down to make sure it is nice and compact. Place the tin in the freezer to set whilst you make the topping.
- To make the cheesecake topping, place the mascarpone cheese, cream cheese, sifted icing sugar, amaretto liqueur, and vanilla extract into a large bowl. Mix well until smooth.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the double cream until stiff peaks are just about formed. Add the cream to the cheesecake mix, folding in gently to avoid knocking the air out of the whipped cream, until completely incorporated.
- Remove the biscuit base tin from the freezer, and spoon the cheesecake batter on top of it. Spread out using the back of a spoon or a palette knife, getting it right to the edges of the tin. Smooth out the top and place in the fridge until set. This will take at least four hours, but overnight is preferable.
- Once set, carefully remove from the tin and place on a serving plate or board. If necessary, neaten up the edges with a palette knife. Pop back in the fridge whilst you make the cherry topping.
- Heat the water and sugar in a saucepan on medium heat, stirring until the sugar has completely dissolved. Add the cherries and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour a few tablespoons of the cherry juice into a small bowl, and add the cornflour or cornstarch to this. Stir until the cornflour has completely dissolved, and then add back into the saucepan with the cherries. Cook for a further 10 minutes, and then leave to cool slightly before placing in the fridge until chilled.
- Once ready to serve, gently spoon the cherry topping onto the amaretto cheesecake.