Christmas is better spent enjoying the warm weather and time with family. But if you’re anything like me, everything is left until the last minute and then becomes a mad panic. To be honest I’d actually really enjoy being super prepared for once, so this year is all about maximum impact with minimal effort. There are plenty of great products at the supermarket which have already done the work for you and only need dressing up on Christmas Day.
Keeping Christmas desserts easy yet delicious was the inspiration for my Pavlova Cheesecake. Fusing together two popular festive desserts only seemed right, and can easily be made ahead of time and kept in the freezer until it’s ready to be served. Starting with a classic vanilla cheesecake base (which can be made and frozen a week out from Christmas) this is then topped with a generous layer of whipped cream and piled high with your favourite Pavlova toppings, mine are fresh berries and kiwi fruit. The next element really finishes the Cheesecake, because a Pavlova isn’t a Pavlova without crispy meringue. So I simply crushed pre-made/bought meringues over top before serving the cheesecake.
Give this recipe a go, and don’t forget it’s ok to cut some corners at Christmas time to take out some of that festive stress by keeping it simple, fun and delicious!
- 130g Vanilla Wine Biscuits, available from Countdown
- 65g Butter
- 250g Cream Cheese
- 65g Caster Sugar
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 150ml Cream
- 1 ½ Teaspoon Gelatine
- 1 Tablespoon Boiling Water
- 200ml Cream
- 1 ½ Tablespoon Icing Sugar
- Meringues, available from Countdown
- Kiwi fruit
- To make the base, line a 20cm circular baking tin (springform works great) with foil or cling film and set aside.
- Blitz vanilla wine biscuits in a food processor until a fine crumb.
- In a medium saucepan melt the butter before mixing in the biscuit crumb until combined. Press mixture into the base of your prepared tin and place in the fridge while you start on the filling.
- For the cheesecake filling start by whipping the cream until it reaches a soft peak with a hand held beater and set aside.
- In a ramekin, add the boiling water and sprinkle the gelatin over top, mix to dissolve and then set aside to cool slightly.
- Either using a free-standing mixer or hand beater again, add the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla extract and beat on a medium speed until smooth. Turning the mixer down, slowly pour in the gelatine mix before giving one last blast.
- Fold through the whipped cream until incorporated and then pour filling over prepared base.
- Chill in the fridge over night or a minimum of 4 hours.
- When you’re ready to serve your cheesecake, it’s time to dress it up. Whip cream, cut up berries and add to the top of your cheesecake as you would a pavlova. Don’t forget to add crushed meringue for that extra crunch.
- Get as creative as you like, slice, serve, kiwi summer!