When we first met our kitchen star Lulu, she confessed that her main motivation for learning to cook so young was to whip up all the sweet treats that her parent wouldn't make – although they secretly loved being 'forced' to finish off her kiddy cupcakes.
Fast forward a few years, to when a certain budding chef has her own eponymous cooking series, Lulu's Kitchen, and it's hardly surprising that news of her sweet-toothed talents has spread and the birthday cake commissions are rolling in like rolling pins!
And when those cake requests are of the white chocolatey, cheesecakey variety, it's obvious that some serious testing is required... Cue triple-trials and family sugar comas until Lulu finally perfected a cheesecake shell that balances crunch with crumble, and a filling that's firm yet creamy. Mmmmm!
LULU'S TIPS FOR SUCCESS:
• Make sure all ingredients are at room temperature before you begin. If the cream cheese is too cold, you'll get a lumpy cheesecake.
• Don't overmix the filling, as too much air in it can lead to your cheesecake cracking!
• Don't peek or poke – changing oven air temps and testing the centre is also a cause of cracking.
• Don't worry if it's not perfect… it will still taste great and you can cover any flaws with fruit.
Behold the White Chocolate Cheesecake recipe that Lulu favours...
1¼ cups shortbread biscuits, crushed
75g butter, melted
500g block cream cheese, softened
¾ cup caster sugar
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
2 teaspoons gelatine, dissolved in ¼ cup boiling water, cooled
200g Cadbury white baking chocolate, melted
1 cup cream, lightly whipped
Fresh berries, for decoration
Icing sugar, for dusting
Method1. Combine the biscuits and butter and press into the base of a lightly greased 22cm springform pan.
2. Beat the room temperature cream cheese, sugar and lemon rind with an electric mixer until smooth, but don't overmix! Stir in the gelatine mixture and fold in the melted chocolate and cream.
3. Pour the filling into the prepared base. Refrigerate for three hours or until set. Decorate with fresh berries and dust with icing sugar.