The Inevitable B52 Mk II

Right. It’s been a long time since I updated here but conveniently that means that the B52 Mk I is the post before this one.

To remind anyone who’s not read the Mk I, the B52 was a shot cocktail we discovered at last year’s Warwick Folk Festival. Well, we’re booked for this year and I’m on a promise to deliver this cheesecake. The shot is a mix of Kahlua, Grand Marnier, and a sweet little Bailey’s top. So, long story short, coffee and orange.

My wonderful wife has been experimenting with these things she calls “Breakfast Bars” in the intervening year, a shortbread-y concoction with a layer of fruit or jam in the middle. Very morish, absolutely gorgeous, and the over-ripe banana with a hint of cinnamon in the base is utterly divine. But the base mix… It’s got that crunch of a good biscuit, it’s firm, it carries the flavours above it… So we tried it as a cheesecake base and it’s next level delicious. So it’s now the new gold standard base. It’s sort of a shortbread, sort of a crumble topping, and sort of explained here, now.#

The Base.

You’ll need…

  • ~4oz plain flour
  • ~3oz butter
  • ~3oz caster sugar
  • ~1-2oz oats
  • Instant coffee, 3tsp
  • Zest of 2 oranges

Oven to 180, murder blades in the processor thing.

This is a very approximate thing. 4oz could be 3, could be 5, depending on whether it feels right when it’s mixed.

First, butter and flour into the processor and blend until combined. Then add the sugar and do it again. Then add the oats – turns out these just bring everything together. See, told you it was more of a crumble than a shortbread. It’s definitely a biscuit at the end, though. Then chuck in the coffee and the zest, one final mix. Give it a taste, you should have a nice balance of coffee and orange. If one is dominating, add a little more of the other.

Tip it into the base of your 23cm/9″ spring-sided cheesecake tin. Press it flat with your fingers. It really is a lot like making shortbread. I’ve not tried pricking this layer with a fork yet as you would with shortbread but that might happen next time.

Into the oven, bake for 20 minutes. Yep, 20 minutes. Gives you plenty of time to make the mix. This is what it looks like before it’s baked, and the colour doesn’t change much in the 20 minutes. The observant among you will notice some more in the mixer. Might’ve made too much, oh no, have to make some little cheesecakes on the side. Damn. Woe is me, etc. etc.

The Mix

I’m not going to repeat the main recipe here, it’s largely the same. Except….

When you’re heating the marmalade, don’t sieve it. The bits are rather nice. And add in some orange zest as well. The important thing is to check the balance of the coffee and the orange. Helps if you’ve got some orange essence kicking around as well to add bits in.

Mix as well as usual, I’m sure you’re all old hands at this by now, and bake for 48 minutes or whatever you’ve worked out the sweet spot between 45 and 50 minutes is in your oven. Allow it to cool for a couple of hours in the oven before transferring to the fridge.

Now I’m writing this while baking, it’s got 8 minutes left. I’m planning to top this with a lightly coffee-flavoured chocolate ganache – 300ml double cream, 400g Bourneville dark chocolate, and a teaspoon or two of instant coffee. I’ll update this post tomorrow once all is done and we’ve had a chance to taste it…

Post-Chill Update…

Right. Definitely got to try pricking the base next time. This one had a hell of a crunch to it but was a bugger to cut! And the ganache layer was a little on the thick side, half would’ve been perfect. But, and I guess this is the really important bit, the flavours were spot on! That was the B52 in cheesecake form. I’m extremely happy with that. The Mark III will be perfect!

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