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Recipe  •  8 March 2022


Chocolate cheesecake

Try your hand at this cheesecake with a healthy twist!

I like to smuggle healthy ingredients into my desserts where I can, and the avocado in the topping also helps this no-bake cheesecake become super creamy too. This serves 8–10 adults, but a few more if your diners are little!

Serves 8–10

Prep 30 minutes, plus at least 1 hour of chilling

For the base

  • 180g (6¼oz) porridge oats
  • 100g (3½oz) unsalted butter, melted
  • 90g (3¼oz) soft dried pitted prunes
  • 2 tbsp almond butter (replace with an extra 30g/1oz of prunes to make it nut-free)

For the topping

  • 1 large ripe avocado (or 2 small)
  • 300g (10½oz) cream cheese
  • 70g (2½oz) golden caster sugar
  • 4–5 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 180ml (6fl oz) double (heavy) cream (see tip below)
  • Fresh berries, to decorate

Line the base of a 20cm (8in) springform cake tin with non-stick baking paper. Put the oats in a food processor and briefly whizz for 5 seconds to break them up slightly. Add the melted butter, prunes and almond butter to the processor and blend until well combined and starting to clump together. Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake tin and, using the back of the spoon, press it down into the base of the tin, levelling the top. Put the tin in the fridge while you make the topping.

Wipe out the food processor bowl and add the avocado. Give it a brief whizz to start breaking it up, add the cream cheese and sugar, then sift in the cocoa powder. Whizz until it looks fairly smooth – a few lumps right now are okay.

In a separate bowl, add the cream and whisk until it thickens but still falls off the spoon very easily – don’t make it too thick here. Using a spatula, add the cream to the food processor, and scrape down the sides so that all the cream cheese and avocado is in the centre and will mix with the rest of the ingredients. Whizz one final time until it looks super smooth, but ensure you don’t overmix at this stage as you don’t want the cream to separate.

Take the tin with the base out of the fridge, scrape the cheesecake mixture into it and level it out. Place the cheesecake back in the fridge to completely cool and harden – 1–2 hours will be fine, but preferably overnight.

To serve, run a knife around the edge of the cheesecake and remove the springform sides to the tin. If you can, use a palette knife to lift the cheesecake from under the baking paper, but if you’re worried it will break, leave the tin base attached. Decorate with sliced strawberries and blueberries, or raspberries and slice into wedges.

The cheesecake will keep in the fridge for 3 days.

Make it dairy-free Replace the double cream with another avocado and use plant-based cream cheese and butter.

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