A few weeks ago I had the idea for this Guinness Cheesecake. Given that I’d never made a cheesecake before, I knew it would take some thought, planning and possibly a couple of failed attempts that would end up in the bin. I read a lot of recipes and a lot of advice about how to bake the perfect cheesecake. Then I went and did things my own way.
Most people use digestive biscuits as their cheesecake base, but my Guinness Cheesecake needed something darker, so I opted to use bourbon biscuits instead. How was I going to turn a plain vanilla cheesecake into a Guinness Cheesecake? I needed to make a thick batch of Guinness syrup and spoon that over. This cheesecake would take a few days to make fully from scratch, what with needing to make the Guinness syrup first, but boy, was it worth it. It’s the best thing I’ve baked in ages!
Baked Guinness Cheesecake
300g bourbon biscuits, crushed
100g melted butter
1 tablespoon of Guinness syrup
600g cream cheese
100g caster sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla essence
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Half a jar of Guinness syrup
Melted white chocolate to decorate
Whiz your bourbon biscuits up in a food processor until you have fairly fine crumbs. Add your tablespoon of Guinness syrup and melted butter and whiz through again.
Grease a springform tin, I used a 30cm one. Press your biscuit crumb mix into the bottom of the tin. Make sure it’s evenly spread and well-packed. Pop the tin in the fridge for half an hour to firm up.
Pre-heat your oven to 170°.
In a large mixing bowl, beat your cream cheese, then add the sugar, vanilla essence and lemon juice. Add the eggs one by one taking care not to beat them too hard, you don’t want to create air bubbles in your mix.
Take your base out of the fridge and wrap the base of the tin in foil, some mix may leak out so it’s best for your tin to have a foil “nappy” to catch the drips. Put your springform tin on a baking tray too, it just makes it easier to take out of the oven.
Bake for an hour. Keen an eye on it and keep the oven door shut as much as you can. Once the cheesecake has risen all over (mine had a dip in the centre until right near the end), turn your oven off and leave the door shut. This will stop your cheesecake from cracking. Leave it as long as you can, after half an hour I opened the oven door a fraction and I left it overnight to cool fully before decorating.
Carefully remove the cheesecake from the tin and put it on a large plate or whatever you’re going to serve it on. You ideally want something with a bit of a lip to catch any syrup which slips off the cheesecake.
Depending on the consistency of your Guinness syrup, you may want to re-boil it until it goes thick like a slightly spreadable toffee. If you do this, make sure it’s more or less cool before you pour it on your Guinness Cheesecake.
To decorate, pour your thick Guinness syrup over the top of your cheesecake, just enough so it sits on the top. Melt some white chocolate and artistically drizzle it over the top of your cheesecake, then admire your hard work!
This Guinness Cheesecake is a real beauty of a cheesecake. It’s the perfect celebration cheesecake and it’ll feed an appreciative crowd. The Guinness is both sweet and savory at the same time, and it has a wonderfully bitter edge. It’s a fantastically grown up cheesecake which is so good, even my son approves of it.