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Chocolate Lime Cheesecake

by . Featured in NIGELLA BITES
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Introduction

My inspiration here was a sweet - those chocolate limes I ate in my childhood.

The base is rich and dark and perfectly counters the light, tender cream-cheese custard above it, itself kept all the more delicately smooth by being baked in a water bath (and this is easy: don't let a bit of wrapping in foil and boiling a kettle put you off before you start) and made intensely, fragrantly sharp by having the juice of four uncompromisingly sour limes squeezed into it.

My inspiration here was a sweet - those chocolate limes I ate in my childhood.

The base is rich and dark and perfectly counters the light, tender cream-cheese custard above it, itself kept all the more delicately smooth by being baked in a water bath (and this is easy: don't let a bit of wrapping in foil and boiling a kettle put you off before you start) and made intensely, fragrantly sharp by having the juice of four uncompromisingly sour limes squeezed into it.

Chocolate Lime Cheesecake
Photo by Francesca Yorke

Ingredients

Serves: 8

Metric Cups
  • 200 grams double chocolate maryland cookies or other double chocolate chip cookies
  • 75 grams unsalted butter
  • 750 grams cream cheese
  • 200 grams caster sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • juice of 4 limes
  • 7 ounces double chocolate maryland cookies or other double chocolate chip cookies
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 cups cream cheese
  • 1 cup superfine sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • juice of 4 limes

Method

  1. Place a large overlapping piece of foil over the bottom of a 20-21cm / 8 inch springform tin, and then insert the pan ring over it. Fold the foil up and around the sides of the tin and place the whole thing on a second piece of foil, also folding it and pressing it securely up around the tin so that you have a water-tight covering. Actually, I sometimes find some water dribbles out from this supposedly secure casing on unwrapping, but it doesn't seem - as long as you unwrap the outer layer straightaway - to cause any sogginess.
  2. Process the biscuits until they are like crumbs, then add the butter and pulse again. Line the bottom of the springform tin, pressing the biscuits in with your hands or the back of the spoon. Put the tin in the fridge to set, and preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4/350ºF.
  3. Beat the cream cheese gently until it's smooth, and then add the sugar. Beat in the eggs and egg yolks, then finally the lime juice. Put a full kettle on.
  4. Pour the cream cheese filling onto the chilled biscuit base, place the tin in a roasting tray and pour hot water from the recently boiled kettle around the foil-wrapped cheesecake to come about halfway up the sides of the springform; don't overfill as you'll only spill it on the way to the oven. Transfer it as steadily as you can to the oven and cook for 1 hour or so, checking after 50 minutes. It should feel set, but not rigidly so. You want to be able to detect, below the skin, the slightest, sexiest hint of a quiver within.
  5. Take the roasting tin out of the oven, then gingerly remove the springform from its water-filled tin, stand it on a rack, peel off the outer layer of foil, tear away the side bits of the first layer of foil and leave it to cool. When the cheesecake's cooled down completely, place it in the fridge and leave it there till 20 minutes or so before you want to eat it.
  6. Transfer to the plate you're going to serve it on (it will need to be one without a lip, or a cakestand) and unclip. The underneath bit of the first layer of foil, along with the base of the tin, are going to have to stay in place, unless you like living really dangerously. I don't mind a bit of risk in the kitchen, but fiddling about with something as desirably lacking in solidity as this dreamlike cheesecake is beyond even my clumsily impatient foolhardiness.
  7. It makes life easier if, when you cut it, you heat the knife and cake slicer (and I find I need to use both, the one to cut, the other to lift up and ferry slice to waiting plate) under a very hot tap first.
  1. Place a large overlapping piece of foil over the bottom of a 20-21cm / 8 inch springform tin, and then insert the pan ring over it. Fold the foil up and around the sides of the tin and place the whole thing on a second piece of foil, also folding it and pressing it securely up around the tin so that you have a water-tight covering. Actually, I sometimes find some water dribbles out from this supposedly secure casing on unwrapping, but it doesn't seem - as long as you unwrap the outer layer straightaway - to cause any sogginess.
  2. Process the biscuits until they are like crumbs, then add the butter and pulse again. Line the bottom of the springform tin, pressing the biscuits in with your hands or the back of the spoon. Put the tin in the fridge to set, and preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4/350ºF.
  3. Beat the cream cheese gently until it's smooth, and then add the sugar. Beat in the eggs and egg yolks, then finally the lime juice. Put a full kettle on.
  4. Pour the cream cheese filling onto the chilled biscuit base, place the tin in a roasting tray and pour hot water from the recently boiled kettle around the foil-wrapped cheesecake to come about halfway up the sides of the springform; don't overfill as you'll only spill it on the way to the oven. Transfer it as steadily as you can to the oven and cook for 1 hour or so, checking after 50 minutes. It should feel set, but not rigidly so. You want to be able to detect, below the skin, the slightest, sexiest hint of a quiver within.
  5. Take the roasting tin out of the oven, then gingerly remove the springform from its water-filled tin, stand it on a rack, peel off the outer layer of foil, tear away the side bits of the first layer of foil and leave it to cool. When the cheesecake's cooled down completely, place it in the fridge and leave it there till 20 minutes or so before you want to eat it.
  6. Transfer to the plate you're going to serve it on (it will need to be one without a lip, or a cakestand) and unclip. The underneath bit of the first layer of foil, along with the base of the tin, are going to have to stay in place, unless you like living really dangerously. I don't mind a bit of risk in the kitchen, but fiddling about with something as desirably lacking in solidity as this dreamlike cheesecake is beyond even my clumsily impatient foolhardiness.
  7. It makes life easier if, when you cut it, you heat the knife and cake slicer (and I find I need to use both, the one to cut, the other to lift up and ferry slice to waiting plate) under a very hot tap first.

Additional Information

For vegetarians - if using another brand of cream cheese make sure it is suitable for vegetarians.

For vegetarians - if using another brand of cream cheese make sure it is suitable for vegetarians.

Tell us what you think

What 12 Others have said

  • Made this for a dinner Party. Very yummy. Like others the top Browns but in an attractive way and dusted with icing sugar adds to the appearance. Tip: when placing the tin in the tray criss cross two straps made from folde foil under neath so that it's easier to lift out when cooked. Also put a tea towel under the cooling rack as some butter/oil drips from the tin in the cooling process. Definitely a keeper :-)

    Posted by SliceNDice on 27th August 2016
  • Hi I live in West Africa and I cannot get the cookies required for the base. Is there a suitable substitute? Many thanks

    Posted by JAFFLE on 17th January 2012
  • Hi, In my country there are no "Double Choc Maryland" cookies (especially in purple packet :) ) Could you tell me what they are like, so I can find a substitute?

    Posted by formica on 18th November 2011
  • Hello christopher Nigella puts 4 eggs and 2 yolks we had it in a tv programme of her in the Nerderlands have fun bye Jannette

    Posted by schrijnemj on 12th October 2011
  • Hello! I'm a teensy bit confused by the instructions. Is it 4 whole eggs AND 2 egg yolks to be added? It's just the checklist reads: "2 yolks juice of 4 limes". I'm a bit of a newbie when it comes to baking =^_^=

    Posted by christopherjk on 30th July 2011
  • Great recipe, big hit. I topped it with toasted coconut, delicious! Thanks!

    Posted by JodyvanGulik on 17th January 2015
  • i have tried this twice now and tried to cover it halfway to stop burning the top but it just doesn't cook properly. i've now took to changing the recipe of 75g to 100g butter with a full 230g of double choc chip cookies to cover the base as i've increased it to a 9" base instead as the mixture is too much for 8" base.! it still bubbles over so beware but still not sure about putting it in water? it cooks without the water as i've tried it last night and its turned out well.

    Posted by Pratchettfan78 on 6th March 2014
  • I love your recipes. Thank you to make my day sweet.. kisses from Brazil!!

    Posted by nubiafspaula on 6th February 2014
  • I made this with my son yesterday (school holiday activity along with your banana cake!) - it's wonderful - he said he'd make it if he ever got onto masterchef!!

    Posted by bettig on 22nd August 2013
  • Nigella, a REAL cheesecake is something I have always wanted to make. I saw this on TV and decided I would try. I halved the ingredients as my wife is on a strict diet so it was for me only. I used ginger nuts and grated some chocolate into the warm crumbs. It did not quite go with the lime ,next time choc chip cookies or digestives. I also experimented by using my worktop oven. Everything worked out, at 50 mins I checked with a cocktail stick and we decided to go with an extra 10 mins and then to rest it. Apart from a bit of browning on top it turned out really good. Took a slice (each) very happy with the result. Then I tried to Skype it to my mum and it slid off the plate onto my laptop kb & screen. Good news : both laptop and cheesecake are "doing well" after minor surgery. Thank you for making a dream come true.

    Posted by pjtives on 16th January 2013
  • Any double chocolate chip cookie should work (by double I mean chocolate chips in a chocolate biscuit) - I also add extra chocolate chips just to make it scrummier. Another cheeky tip - if you place the whole cheesecake in an extra large oven bag (leave open and roll down so it's level with the tin) you won't have to play about with tinfoil (which is the trickiest part of the recipe!) and you can guarantee no water getting in.

    Posted by redsea on 21st October 2012
  • I made it, it's delicious Thanks for the recipe and the tips

    Posted by Nizz on 28th January 2012
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