Photograph by Ell.

Cookies & Cream Cheesecake

I made this cheesecake a couple of years ago for a birthday. People had seconds and we all enjoyed the company and conversation this cake bought; safe to say it was a hit! It's rather easy to make too.

What you'll need:
250g Arnott's Chocolate Ripple (or another crunchy chocolate biscuit)
125g salted butter, melted

2 x 250g cream cheese, softened and chopped into cubes
2/3 cup castor sugar
1/2 cup condensed milk
1/4 cup thickened cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla (essence or paste)
1 packet of Oreo cookies

What to do:
Put a sheet of baking paper over the base of the 20cm spring form pan before placing the spring form side on and clipping it into place. Grease the sides.

Place the chocolate biscuits and melted butter in a food processor. Process until the biscuits are crumbed and the butter has mixed in to make a chunky paste. Tip this mix into the greased pan, press it down and out toward the edges firmly. It should be roughly 5mm thick so you should have enough to push up the sides of the pan to make a shell. You can see in the photo that the shell doesn't need to be too thick - it will set and hold together. Just try to push it up as high as you can whilst keeping an even thickness and height. Pop it into the fridge to set.

Put the cream cheese in a mixing bowl and beat until smooth. Add the sugar, condensed milk, cream and vanilla. Beat until super smooth!

Chop half the oreo's into small pieces. Chop the other half into bigger bits; thirds are a good size, but quarters are fine if you'd prefer. Carefully mix these biscuits into the cream cheese mixture. I love seeing the little crumbs and random bits in there!

Spoon the mixture into the shell carefully. Be careful not to damage your perfectly sculpted edges by pouring mixture onto it or dinting it with the spoon. Once all the mixture has been spooned in carefully spread it out to make a nice, even surface. Put the cheesecake into the fridge for at least 2 hours to set.

Melt about 150g milk chocolate and pour into a piping bag - a plastic freezer bag or ziplock bag is fine too. Snip the corner off and pipe up, down and across repeatedly to achieve the desired thickness and look. (Keep in mind the closer you cut to the corner, the thinner your piping will be. It is much easier to build thickness than to reduce it!) Once decorated, pop it into the fridge for just a little longer or until ready to serve! Enjoy :)