This weekend just past was our annual potluck with four of our family’s friends. We do our best to get together at least once at year at someone’s house to catch up, eat comfort food and reminisce all the memories and funny moments from years past. The way that a potluck works is that each family brings a dish and we end up with an array of delicious home cooked meals to enjoy. This time around it was held at my family’s home and we nominated ourselves to be on dessert and salad duty. My mum rustled up a simple garden salad and classic apple crumble with cream. I on the other hand was up for more of a challenge, and since baking is certainly not my best skill, I was even more determined to prove myself. Some of our closest family friends are from New Zealand and I had seen on Facebook a month or so ago an idea for a cheesecake with a Kiwi spin: Pineapple Lump Cheesecake. If you haven’t had the pleasure of eating bags full of Pineapple Lumps then you’re missing out! Basically they are a pineapple flavoured chewy marshmallow coated in milk chocolate – YUM!!! The recipe I used as a guide was intended for mini cheesecakes but I opted for a cake sized version and tweaked a few things. I’ll just quickly say that I was a homemade cheesecake baking virgin and that it certainly caused a wee bit of stress whilst making it, but the end result was a room full of smiley, silent people indulging in a slice of pineapple heaven.
300g malt biscuits
100g Pineapple Lumps, chopped into pieces
50g condensed milk
500g cream cheese
300g thickened cream
1 cup pineapple juice
5 tbsp hot water
3 tsp gelatine
Yellow food colouring, optional
1/2 cup pineapple juice
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 corn flour
2 egg yolks
200g milk or dark chocolate
12 Pineapple Lumps, whole or cut diagonally
Line a large cake tin with baking paper and butter around the slides, or if making mini version then grease two muffin trays with butter. Melt the butter and condensed milk together in the microwave. Pop your malt biscuits into a food processor and blitz until it becomes a fine crumb, then add your chopped Pineapple Lump pieces. Place mixture into your cake tin or muffin trays and press down firmly with the back of a spoon to compress into a base.
In a bowl beat together your cream cheese and sugar until smooth, then slowly pour in your pineapple juice. Once combined add the thickened cream and a few drops of yellow food colouring. In a separate bowl add hot water to gelatine and set aside to cool. Once cooled fold into cheesecake mixture, pour on top of biscuit base and give cake tin a gentle shake to bring air bubbles to the surface. Place cheesecake into freezer for four hours to set or overnight in the fridge.
For the curd add water, pineapple juice, sugar and corn flour into a saucepan and stir constantly on a medium to high heat. The texture will look odd but just keep stirring until it forms a smooth paste, then remove from heat and add in the egg yolks and butter. Allow to cool completely before piping. If you are baking the mini versions then once cooled piped the curd into the centre of the cheesecakes and if you’re making a cake tin size then do whatever your heart desires.
Melt the chocolate and immediately pour over the cheesecake. This can be done whilst still in the tin or if you want a drizzle cake effect then remove cheesecake from tin prior to doing so. Lastly add on your decorative Pineapple Lumps and you’re ready for a sugar coma!
I ended up piping little rosettes on top but the curd wasn’t really strong enough to hold its shape. I think it would also be lovely to simply pipe the curd on top of the cheesecake and leave off the chocolate topping. You could also switch up this recipe fairly easy to suite whatever flavour you love most. Next time I’d love to swap out the pineapple juice and Pineapple Lumps for cherry juice and Cherry Ripe chocolates.