Wednesday, 19 December 2012

My Christmas Cheesecake and Trifle Recipes

If you happened to visit my home on Christmas Eve morning, you would be greeted with the smell of baking and the sight of controlled chaos in the kitchen. 

For as long as I can remember, Christmas Eve has always involved a morning of baking and preparing at home. We used to go to a family gathering at my Auntie's on Christmas Eve, so my Mum would be making home made flans (quiches) to take with us, and  preparing her apple pie from scratch for Christmas dinner. Now my Auntie hosts her Christmas party a few days earlier, which leaves the 24th free for dessert making. It's a tradition for me to make a trifle and a cheesecake, and I thought I'd share them with you!

Now these two desserts are blatantly packed full of calories, but a slice of cheesecake or a portion of trifle once a year isn't going to do any harm. These are special occasion desserts, perfect for family gatherings and a little indulging at Christmas. Both recipes I'm about to share cater to easily 8-12 people, but you could adjust the ingredient quantities accordingly.

Blackberry and Apple Trifle

I've made this trifle each year since 2006 after finding the recipe in a magazine, and making a few adjustments. It's a delicious trifle with so much flavour in every layer, and my family go mad for it. I'm intolerant to cream, so I either make a section without cream, or just eat around it. It serves at least eight, if not twelve, and can last days. You'll need a very large serving bowl as you can see below.

Serves 8+, depending on portion sizes.


75g unsalted butter
3tbsp maple syrup
6 cox's apples, thinly sliced
200g each of blackberries and raspberries
100g white chocolate (optional)
500g ready made custard
1tbsp vanilla extract
400g Madeira cake
568ml double cream
Decoration (chocolate shavings, sprinkles... whatever you like)


1. Melt the butter in a pan, add the maple syrup, and cook for 1 minute.
2. Add the apples to the butter/syrup sauce and fry until soft.
3. Tip in to a serving bowl. (It will need to be quite large as it's a big dessert!)
4. Put the blackberries and raspberries on top. If you buy frozen, leave them to defrost for an hour or two before starting the trifle).
5. If you wish to add the white chocolate to the custard, now is the time to melt it over a pan of simmering water. (White chocolate makes the custard very sweet. I've started skipping this step as I think it tastes better without it).
6. Mix the vanilla extract with the custard, and white chocolate if you chose to use it, and stir.
7. Cut the cake in to thin slices and arrange over the fruit.
8. Add the custard mix to the bowl.
9. Pop the bowl in to the fridge to let the custard set a little.
10. Whip the double cream until it just holds it's shape, then spoon over the custard and chill until ready to serve.
11. Just before serving, decorate the trifle with chocolate shavings, sprinkles, edible glitter... or what ever you wish! 
12. Enjoy!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Cheesecake

I've also made this cheesecake for two or three Christmases now. It was a recipe I saw on Nigella Lawson's cookery show, which looked amazing, so I had to give it a try. It has the perfect balance of peanut butter, chocolate, and biscuit crust, and it really is delicious. I have to say it's one of the best dessert recipes I've ever made. Don't take my word for it, give it a go! 

This is another huge dessert, but it freezes really well, or could be adjusted in size accordingly.

I don't know why I covered the top in red edible glitter that Christmas...

Serves: a small army...


For the Base

200g digestive biscuits
50g salted peanuts
100g chocolate chips or chocolate
50g unsalted butter, softened

For the Filling

500g cream cheese
3 eggs
3 egg yolks
200g caster sugar
125ml soured cream
250g smooth peanut butter

For the Topping

250ml soured cream
100g chocolate chips or chocolate
30g soft brown sugar

Tip: You could replace the chocolate chips with Cadbury's Dairy Milk chocolate for a creamier, sweeter taste.


1. Preheat oven to gas mark 3
2. For the base, process the biscuits, peanuts, chocolate chips, and butter in a food processor until the mixture comes together in a clump.
3. Turn mixture in to a 23cm/9inch springform tin and press it in to the bottom of the tin, and up the sides using your fingers- this makes the crust.
4. Put the tin in the fridge to chill while you make the filling.
5. For the filling, process the cream cheese, eggs and egg yolks, sugar, soured cream, and peanut butter in a food processor, whizz it to a smooth mixture.
6. Pour and scrape the filling mixture in to the cheesecake base in to chilled springform tin, and cool for 1 hour, checking after 50 mins. The top only should feel set and dry. When cooked take the tin out of the oven while you make the topping.
7. For the topping, warm the soured cream and chocolate chips with the brown sugar gently in a small saucepan over a low heat, whisking to blend in the chocolate as it melts. Once the mixture is melted and well combined, take it off the heat.
8. Spoon and spread the topping very gently over the top of the cheesecake, being careful not to break the surface of the cheesecake.
9. Put the tin back in the oven for ten minutes.]
10. Once out of the oven, let the cheesecake cool completely in it's tin, then cover and put in the fridge over night. 
11. Take the cheesecake out of the fridge slightly before serving to take the chill away. Too long will make it gooey and hard to slice.
12. Enjoy!

Let me know if you decide to make either of these this festive season!

Do you bake and make your own desserts for Christmas gatherings?


  1. Replies
    1. It's delicious! I'd definitely recommend it if you're a fan of peanut butter desserts xx

  2. the cheesecake looks and sounds yummy. xx

    1. I can confirm that it tastes just as good as it sounds! It's delicious xx


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