The night before our dinner party, our washer-dryer broke down during the middle of a wash, and then we flooded our kitchen trying to fix it. We scattered the floor with every towel we could find in the house, which when there’s only two of you isn’t many. Then Conor cut his finger on the machine and there was blood, but not before he scalded his hands under boiling water trying to drain the filter. I grabbed the closest bucket I could find, which unfortunately was filled with soil from when I was replanting our cacti, and was generally useless, and Conor got angry at the mop because as far as mops go it’s pretty non-functional. Our flat is really warm, so the heat dried most of the water for us and eventually we dumped the towels in the bathtub. We attempted to dry the clothes that were being washed, but the drum wouldn’t spin and after 2 hours of waiting the clothes came out really hot, but still wet. I would have cried if I didn’t have to go out and buy a replacement for the part we had snapped.
All this to say I was convinced this was a sign a dinner party would be a bad idea. But after returning with a longer inlet hose Conor managed to sort the machine, we dried our clothes, the kitchen stopped smelling damp, I cleaned out the bucket of (wet) soil, and Conor reminded me how much prep I had already done for the party. Also, that it was probably too late to cancel.
So the next morning I woke up at 7am to cook, and Conor woke up a couple hours later and did the washing up. I was most excited for these individual raspberry white chocolate cheesecakes. Yes because of the recipe itself, but also can you believe I’d never made individual dessert-table style desserts before. I literally spent days looking for glass ramekins the perfect size. If only I invested as much effort looking for a better mop (I’m not sure why we still haven’t thrown it out yet.)
The cheesecakes are another one of my “fancy without the fuss” desserts. The filling is rich and creamy, and sits atop a buttery biscuit base. Topping with a tart raspberry sauce, fresh raspberries and mint leaves is optional, but recommended. I chose to make it on the day of the dinner party itself because it takes hardly any prep time, but you can make it the night before and leave in the fridge.
- For the base:
- 300g hobnob biscuits
- 160g unsalted butter, melted
- For the filling:
- 400ml double cream
- 400g cream cheese
- 70g caster sugar
- 400g white chocolate, melted and cooled to room temperature
- Fresh raspberries
- To top (optional):
- Raspberry sauce
- Fresh raspberries
- Mint leaves
- To make the base: Place hobnob biscuits in a ziplock bag and bash with a rolling pin until broken into small crumbs. Alternatively you can use a food processor. Pour the biscuit crumbs into a bowl. Add the melted butter and mix together. Press the mixture into glass ramekins, or a loose-bottom tart tin. Place in the fridge to set for at least 15 minutes.
- To make the filling: beat together the double cream, cream cheese and caster sugar. Add the melted white chocolate and handful of fresh raspberries and combine mixture together. Pour the filling over the base and place in the fridge to set for at least 1 hour.
- To finish (optional): top filling with raspberry sauce, fresh raspberries and a mint leaf.