B52 (Mk 1) Inbound

Alrighty. Obligatory backstory. Feel free to skip until you get to the list of ingredients.

Those of you who know me know I don’t drink. I know, it’s like “how do you know someone is vegan?” “They’ll tell you.” Used to drink, don’t. Usually. Except for certain occasions such as the Warwick Folk Festival where a little alcoholic immunisation help the joints with the roughly 20-odd hours of ceilidhs that occur over the weekend. And even there it’s not a lot. Apart from Saturday night where we somehow ended up on shots at the fantastic Moon Gazing Hare spirits horse box. Having discounted the unfortunately named BJ as it contains Amaretto DiSaronno (basically my wife’s Kryptonite), we moved through the Baby Guinness (Kahlua topped with Baileys) and ended up on the B52. For those who don’t know, it appeared to be equal parts Kahlua (coffee liqueur) and Grande Marnier (orange liqueur), topped with a Baileys float. Oh, and they slipped down very nicely indeed.

And then the culinary brain kicked in. Hang on, it shouted over the band. You already do a coffee cheesecake, it’s extremely good. And you already do an orange cheesecake, also rather tasty. So why not look to combine the two… I mean, what could go wrong?

So today’s recipe is by way of an experiment. If it works, there’s a whole world of cocktails out there to inspire the next generation of cheesecakes that could follow…

(if you’ve skipped, start here)

Without further ado, then, quick spin round the ingredients, Clive, then back to me. Oh, and oven to 180°C with a shelf in the middle ready to go. Oh, you can ignore the rhubarb. And the ghee. And the oil and jam jars at the back…

For the base, you’ll need:

  • 6-8oz Bourbon biscuits, finely ground. I find the murder blades in the spinny thing work very well for this.
  • 3oz butter, melted.
  • 2oz very strong dark chocolate chucked in with the Bourbons as you blitz them to a powder not dissimilar to coffee granules.

Mix all the base ingredients together, put into the bottom of a 9″ spring-sided cake tin, press flat to make a nice, even base. I use a potato masher for this. Put the cake tin on a flat tray to catch any escaping melted butter, whack it in the oven for 10 minutes.


For the cheesecake itself you’ll need…

  • 4 small pots or 2 large pots of Philadelphia cream cheese. Please, for the sake of the end product, use the full-fat cheese. Please. Really. Don’t think you can make a low-fat cheesecake, it’s not worth the disappointment. And don’t think you can get away with supermarket own brand for this ingredient, either. I’ve done that experiment so you don’t have to.
  • 1 225g pot of marscapone. Yes, I’m mixing grams and ounces. Don’t tell me you don’t have both in your kitchen. These things come in 225g pots. Use 1.
  • 4 medium eggs. If you look closely at the picture of the ingredients, you’ll see 5 eggs. That’s because these are rather small eggs. So I’m using more of them. If you’ve got really big eggs, just use 3. If you’ve got goose, emu, or ostrich eggs, please let me know how you get on but do adjust your proportions accordingly.
  • 1 jar marmalade. There’s a whole step you can skip if you buy marmalade that doesn’t have bits in. Is your time worth it? Probably. Unless you made the marmalade yourself, in which case make sure you’ve a good crust of bread to hand.
  • Instant coffee. The good stuff. Full fat, again. 1 tablespoon, heaped flat.
  • 1 tub soured cream, 300ml ish.
  • 5oz caster sugar
  • 2oz Horlicks/similar malted powder stuff. Supermarket own brand absolutely fine to use here.

If your marmalade has bits in it, put the entire contents of the jar into a pan, heat it up (but not to boiling) and sieve out the bits. Then dissolve the instant coffee in the orange goo that’s left. Put to one side, leave to cool.

Then in a big mixing bowl mix together the cream cheese, the marscapone, the sugar, and the malty stuff until thoroughly combined. Add the eggies (sorry, eggs), blend those in gently, don’t over-mix. Finally while mixing, pour in the cooled coffee/orange mix and the soured cream, combine the lot. Beige is the colour you’re aiming for. It’s very beige.

The oven timer should’ve gone off some time around adding the eggs, you’ve taken the base out and it’s cooled slightly. Pour everything from your mixing bowl into the cake tin and return it to the oven. Endless experimentation tells me it needs to be there for 48 minutes.

Now wash up. Seriously. Wash everything up, put it all away. You’ll thank me later.

When the 48 minutes have elapsed, your cheesecake will look like this.

Switch off the oven, prop the door open a crack, and allow the cheesecake to cool naturally with the oven.

Once cooled, put it in the fridge overnight, then you’re on to making the topping:

For the topping, you’ll need:

  • 1 tub marscapone.
  • 300ml ish double cream.
  • 4 tablespoons rum into which you’ve dissolved 2 tablespoons of that fine, full-fat instant coffee.
  • 50-75g icing sugar, depending on how sweet you want your topping.

Whip the double cream, mix together the coffee/rum, sugar, and the marscapone. Fold B into A. As long as B is the coffee/marscapone mix and A is the double cream. If you’ve done it the other way around, fold A into B.

Run a knife around the inside of the spring-form tin, remove the metal outer. Then apply a generous layer of topping to your cheesecake. Pause, admire it, then add a bit more then leave it alone. It doesn’t need more topping, you’ll use about half of it. I suggest making a cake to use up the rest, or make 2 of these!

If my calculations are correct, the B52 should be gorgeous!

Tasting notes and modifications…

Well, the coffee overwhelmed the majority of the orange. Too subtle. So I’ve halved the amount of coffee to go into the orange. Further experimentation required. Far too much topping added, it really doesn’t need to be almost 60/40 cake/topping. So again, I’ve dialed that back.

But it’s a solid start and I wonder what other cocktails might just work…


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