The Kiwi Cook

Illusions and delusions of a foodie from Down Under


Kahlua Cheesecake

October 1, 2014


I couldn’t resist making another cheesecake – after all it’s been.. hmm, about 3 months.. far too long! This time, a Kahlua/coffee/chocolate combo called my name. And crikey, might I add that you don’t want to be making this one for the little ‘uns – it’s definitely an R18!

I searched high and low and found this recipe from Cooks I followed the recipe reasonably closely, though I omitted a couple of ingredients from the base (i.e. sugar – not sure why you add sugar when biscuits are already sweet, and cocoa – thought it might have been over-kill) and kept it pretty simple with plain biscuits. In hindsight, I’m not sure whether I should have ditched the cocoa (a dark base would have looked better I reckon), so I’ve left it in the recipe. Next time, I might go with an Oreo cookie/melted butter combo.

Another change I made was to the cooking temperature. The original recipe called to bake the cheesecake at 190 degrees Celsius (375 degrees Fahrenheit). I know that for my oven, that would be too high and crack the cake, so I kept the temperature at a more moderate 160C (325F). It didn’t seem to take much longer to cook anyway – maybe 5 minutes. However, I’ve left the original temperature in, but my advice is cook the cheesecake in a way that suits your oven – as long as you check for the signs it’s ready (i.e. not quite set, and still quite jello-like in the middle), you’ll be fine.

And, just a word of caution – this cheesecake is very heavy on the old alcohol. And while the men-folk loved the strong flavour, the women-folk weren’t as keen. I’d probably halve the amount next time around, so I suggest you add a quarter cup initially, then taste it.

Finally, a comment on the ‘water bath/no water bath’ debate. I’ve now cooked cheesecakes both ways several times and as far as I’m concerned there seems to be no discernible difference between a cheesecake baked in a water bath and one that’s not (I know this flies in the face of convention). So I put this cheesecake straight into the oven, as per the original recipe, and I’m happy to report it didn’t crack and the texture was beautiful and silky as you can see from my photograph.

And, now with that overly long diatribe out of the way, here’s the recipe. Enjoy.


Serves 8-10



  • 200g crushed biscuits (such as shortbread or graham crackers)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened baking cocoa (optional)
  • About 85-95g butter, melted


  • 500g cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup espresso coffee
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup Kahlua or coffee liqueur, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • 250g sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Dark chocolate, grated


  1. Preheat oven to 160°C (325°F).
  2. For Crust: Put biscuits in food processor and blend until they resemble fine crumbs. Add cocoa and melted butter and mix well. Press into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake for 5 to 8 minutes, until firm but not browned; cool.
  3. Raise oven temperature to 190°C (375°F).
  4. For Filling: In a large bowl, beat cream cheese with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Gradually add sugar, mixing well. Beat in cocoa. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in coffee liqueur, coffee and vanilla. Pour into the cooled crust. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the sides are set but there is a distinct jello-like wobble in the centre. Take the cheesecake out and place it on a wire rack.
  5. Raise temperature in oven to 220°C (425°F).
  6. For Topping: Combine sour cream, 2 tablespoons sugar and vanilla in a small bowl; mix well. Spread evenly over the hot cheesecake. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes – don’t overcook it – it will just start to lose its shine and then firm up once chilled.
  7. Remove cheesecake from oven and cool to room temperature on a wire rack. Refrigerate, covered lightly with foil, for at least 8 hours or preferably overnight.
  8. Carefully remove cheesecake from pan and garnish with grated chocolate. Take out of the fridge about 20 minutes prior to serving.


Moravian Kolaches

September 27, 2014


The September Daring Bakers’ challenge was brought to us by Lucie from ChezLucie. She challenged us to make a true Czech treat – Kolaches!

Well, this was an interesting and incredibly delicious challenge! I hope my photos convey just how glorious these bread treats are – soft, flaky bread with a moist custard-like filling, a plum jam glaze and crunchy streusel topping. Salivating yet?

Continue reading

Quick Bircher Muesli with Berry Sauce

September 25, 2014

Bircher Muesli lg

Breakfast is definitely my favourite meal of the day – there are just so many delicious and healthy options to choose from and an unending number of variations. Bircher Muesli is a firm favourite – I love the soft, sweet mix of fruit, nuts and oats and prefer it to the hard, crunchy granola style muesli.

Continue reading

Chilled Lemon Soufflés

September 22, 2014


If you want to know what a lemon cloud tastes like, try this! It’s a light, aerated lemony mousse that just melts in your mouth – a sublimely tangy conclusion to a big family meal. And before you go running at the mere thought of tackling a soufflé, panic not. It’s not actually a soufflé – it just looks like one, thanks to the cool way in which it’s presented. Panic averted? Read on.

Continue reading


September 20, 2014


These little French pastries are traditionally known as Palmiers, but are also often referred to as ‘elephant ears’, ‘palm trees’ or ‘French hearts’ (though mine kind of remind me of little butterflies!). They are basically folded or rolled puff pastry, flavoured with cinnamon sugar (though they can be savoury), and baked until golden brown and caramelized. They’re incredibly quick to make, particularly if you use store-bought puff pastry, making them an excellent little tea-time treat when visitors arrive on your doorstep. They’re also a nice accompaniment to light desserts – I’ve served these with my Chilled Lemon Soufflés and Chocolate Mousse.

Continue reading

Pumpkin & Feta Frittata

September 18, 2014

Pumpkin and Feta Frittata

These days, I’m trying very hard to balance out my diet so that, for the most part, it’s really nourishing. For me that means avoiding processed foods, grains, sugar and dairy as much as possible and bumping up the fresh vegetables and proteins. By making healthy choices through the week I get to enjoy some food freedom on the weekends.

Continue reading

Almond & Rose Water Shortbread

September 17, 2014

Almond Shortbreadlgb

Think crisp, buttery shortbread, with the added texture of ground almonds, the tiniest hint of clove, and a glorious scent of rose that wafts into your nostrils as you eat it. Close your eyes and you’re momentarily transported to some exotic Middle Eastern garden. These are flavours I haven’t really explored before, but certainly will again.

Continue reading


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 509 other followers

%d bloggers like this: