225g(2 cups / 8oz) digestive biscuits or graham cracker crumbs
115g(½ cup / 1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
240ml(1 cup) cream double/ heavy cream
80ml(⅓ cup) Amarula Vanilla Spice
450g(1 pound) full fat cream cheese , softened
240g(2 cups) icing sugar
2tspvanilla extract or ideally vanilla bean paste
200g(2 cups) frozen blueberries
100g(½ cup) sugar
1tbspcornflour(cornstarch) diluted in 2 tbsp cold water
Make the base
Line a 8x8 inch square baking tin with greaseproof paper, letting the edges overhang. Don't grease the tin, it will make lifting the cheesecake out impossible!
Blitz your cookies into fine crumbs using a mini chopper / food processor.
Mix with the melted butter then tip the crumbs into the prepared baking tin. Use your hands to firmly press the cookie crust to create an even base for your cheesecake bars. Chill in the fridge while you make the filling.
Make the cheesecake filling
Whisk the double cream until it forms soft peaks and set aside (in the fridge).
Sprinkle the gelatine over the hot water, leave for 5 minutes then stir well to dissolve.
Pour the Amarula Vanilla Spice in a saucepan and heat this over very low heat. Stir in the gelatine and take off the heat. Do not allow the mixture to come to the boil.
Beat the cream cheese, icing sugar and vanilla extract until combined.
Add the gelatine mixture and beat it into the cream cheese.
Add a spoonful of the whipped cream into the cheesecake filling to loosen it. Gently fold in the remaining cream until the filling is smooth.
Spoon the filling over the chilled base and level using a spatula. Chill in the fridge overnight or for at least 4-5 hours until the cheesecake sets.
Make the blueberry compote
Combine frozen blueberries, lemon juice, sugar and vanilla extract in a saucepan and cook over low heat.
Stir in the diluted cornflour (cornstarch) and continue to simmer, stirring gently, until the berries have softened and some start to burst. This will only take a few minutes. Leave the compote to cool slightly before serving.
Slice and serve!
Lift the cheesecake out of the tin using the overhanging paper and carefully remove the paper (helps if you have a cake lifter to assist you).
Slice using a large knife, wiping the knife between each slice. You can cut this into several small slices or fewer larger portions if you prefer.
Spoon a little of the compot over each slice just before serving.
Cheesecake Bars Tips and Tricks
Always use full fat cream cheese otherwise your cheesecake might not set properly. In the US you will find brick-style cream cheese which is best for this recipe. In Europe full fat Philadelphia cheese is a good option.
How to make a lump-free cheesecake: Take the cream cheese out of the fridge for 30 minutes before you start this recipe.
A light cheesecake: Folding whipped cream into the cream cheese will make your cheesecake lighter in texture, smooth and creamy. Make sure your cream is cold when you whip it and beat it on a lower speed setting to achieve perfect soft peaks.
Setting your cheesecake bars: I have added a little gelatine to keep the cheesecake filling stable and easy to cut.
Vanilla FTW! If you can, use real vanilla pods or vanilla bean paste in the cheesecake filling for best flavour.
Storing: The cheesecake bars can be kept for 2-3 days in the fridge, without the topping, in a covered container.