Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Rhubarb & Vanilla Cheesecake

There is a wonderful lady called Fiona Dillon who runs Hunters Lodge in Co. Carlow who is all about growing and doing it yourself, and she puts me to shame.  She gives classes on keeping chickens, growing your own veg and self sufficiency, and I have been the very grateful recipient of a basket of her "fresh from the hen's bum" eggs on many an occasion.  She's even interviewed me for a radio programme she's making (more to come on that...) and now I'm leaving work in Carlow, I shall miss her dreadfully.

Last week, she gave me a bundle of her rhubarb, freshly picked from the garden that morning and I wanted to make something pink and pretty to bring out the delicate flavour of the rhubarb.  I've already made a lovely cake which was a huge success but I didn't want to bake today, so I thought a lovely no-bake cheesecake with a chocolate crumb base would make the rhubarb shine.  I roasted the rhubarb with some sugar and vanilla pods first, to infuse it with lots of flavour and then mixed it with cream cheese and Jersey double cream to make a luscious cheesecake.  Make sure you drain the rhubarb well otherwise the filling will be too runny.  I saved the drained rhubarb juice & strained it to make a rhubarb syrup which I'll use for cocktails or as a cordial with sparkling water

Rhubarb & Vanilla Cheesecake

4 large stalks of Rhubarb, cut into 2cm pieces
50g Sugar
2 Vanilla Pods
2 tbsp Apple Juice
200g Plain Chocolate Digestive Biscuits, crushed
80g Butter
300ml Jersey Double Cream
200g Cream Cheese
1 tsp Vanilla Extract

Preheat your oven to 200c/Gas Mark 6 & get an 8-inch springform cake tin ready.

Place the rhubarb in an ovenproof dish with the sugar, vanilla pods & apple juice. Cover with foil & roast for 30 minutes.  Remove the foil and roast for another 10 minutes.  Remove the most intact pieces and set aside to decorate the cheesecake later.  Allow the rhubarb to cool.

Melt the butter in a medium pot & add the crushed biscuits.  Mix well and press into the bottom of the cake tin.  Chill in the fridge for at least 15 minutes (you can be lazy & throw it into the freezer...)

Whip the cream until thick and set aside.  Mix the rhubarb & cream cheese together until smooth and fold in the whipped cream.  Pour onto the biscuit base, smooth out the top and chill for at least 2 hours.  Top with the reserved rhubarb pieces and serve.


  1. This looks scrumptious Aoife - reminds me I have't done much with Rhubarb lately - pefect for some weekend baking!

  2. Lisa, it's worth making it for the syrup alone!

  3. Congratulations on the new job, Aoife :)

    That cheesecake looks delicious, and I love the idea of roasting the rhubarb and then saving the juice for syrup - think I'll have to try that one myself!


  4. What lovely words Aoife - and you might be leaving your job in Carlow but friendship travels great distances so I'm sure we'll see each other again and again (and again!) xx

  5. Oh wow - looks great. I think I'll be looking for rhubarb in the shops this week

  6. Gorgeous! And you're right, rhubarb cordial is the business. Especially with gin... :)

  7. Looks & sounds fantastic, will be trying here in Australia!

  8. Your vanilla rhubarb and cheesecake looks very lovely and yummy. Also, it sounds easy to make! :) thanks for sharing.