Every year I whinge about Summer coming and how much I hate the heat. Every year I relish in the joyousness that is Winter. Then every year like clockwork, I get the hell over it! There is only so many cold, rainy and dreary days a girl can take, am I right? So when those first few rays of sunshine beat down on my skin, I rejoice. It’s on days like this that make me wish for Summer days, sunshine, salty air and of course, long cold cocktails. To me, nothing encapsulates Summer more than the classic Gin and Tonic. That’s why I HAD to turn it into a dessert. Because what’s better than enjoying a cocktail whilst eating dessert? Why, it’s having a cocktail IN my dessert of course! Enter my Gluten Free Gin and Tonic Cheesecake!
Every year I rejoice in those first few rays of sunshine…. then all of a sudden it’s north of 45 degrees (Celsius) and I find myself wishing for Winter once again. It’s always the way. But for a few moments, in say late September, early October, I actually think “Hey I could get into this Summer thing!”. Then it’s too dry, too hot and you end up doing very little of anything. Sadly that’s one of the draw backs of living in the country, no sea breeze! So on the days when it’s not hotter than the Sahara you’ll find me on my (not quite built) deck, a tall gin and tonic in hand.
Summer BBQ’s = Gin and Tonic Cheesecake
Now if everything goes to plan I will have some kind of decking this year. If you’ve seen my house, then you’ll know things have been moving slowly on that front. I had planned of course to have this big beautiful deck, with a built in outdoor kitchen and wide steps down to my fire pit. (You know, the one we can’t use in Summer here in Oz thanks to fire restrictions haha). I can see us having so many friends over though, watching the sun set over the sun burnt countryside whilst enjoying a BBQ. And of course, if you know me at all, you know that I’ll grab every chance to entertain friends! And this naturally means = DESSERT!
I think meal planning, I think dinner parties, I think dessert. It’s just the way I’m hardwired. Do I really need an excuse though? Haha, No I didn’t think so. This Summer though, I wanted to take dessert to the next level and create the ultimate of all flavour combos.
Cocktail + Dessert = Awesomeness in every bite!
That was quite simply, my inspiration for my gin and tonic cheesecake. It had to of course be a chilled dessert. Because who on earth wants to stand in a hot kitchen for hours on an already stinking hot day. So I took my classic Lemon Berry Cheesecake as a template and started adding those extra flavours. I will admit, I did almost take this dessert to a whole other level with a gin and tonic, juniper berry and lemon infused sugar syrup. But who wants the extra work! I want simple. I want to simply pull a cheesecake out of the fridge and serve. No muss, no fuss.
It was once I tasted the plain Gin and Tonic Cheesecake on it’s own though, that I realized it needed something more. Not much more, but just a little extra kick! My husband (who hates Gin by the way) did not agree. But meh, this isn’t about him is it!! So I decided to add a simple and gorgeous Gin and Tonic Jelly on top! And by golly and I happy that I did! It really adds that extra kick and I swear it tastes exactly like a gin and tonic!
So if you’re looking for the perfect chilled, relaxed and seriously Summery dessert, then you have to give my Gluten Free Gin and Tonic Cheesecake a try!
P.S. If you’re not a Gin drinker… this is not the dessert for you! Just saying.
Gluten Free Gin and Tonic Cheesecake
- 1 1/2 packets Gluten Free Arrowroot Biscuits crushed
- 80 grams Unsalted Butter melted
- 500 grams Philadelphia Cream Cheese cubed, room temperature
- 1/2 cup Caster Sugar
- 2 tbsp Lemon Zest
- 1/4 cup Gin
- 1/4 cup Fresh Lemon Juice
- 1/2 cup Sour Cream
- 3 tsp Gelatin Crystals dissolved in
- 1/4 cup Boiling Water
Gin & Tonic Jelly
- 100 ml Gin
- 300 ml Tonic Water
- 1 tbsp Fresh Lemon Juice
- 1 tsp Lemon Zest
- 1 tiny drop Yellow Food Dye not gel!
- 3 tsp Gelatin Crystals
- Grease and line a 20cm spring form tin. A piece of baking paper over the base with the edges hanging out will make removal a cinch.
- In the bowl of a food processor place the biscuits, blitz until they resemble a fine crumb. Remove the blade from the bowl and add the melted butter and stir together by hand until they start to clump and look wet.
- Turn your wet crumbs out into your prepared tin and press down to form a base. Place into the fridge for 30 minutes to set.
- Clean out the bowl of your food processor and set it up again. Pop the cream cheese in and blitz until fairly smooth. Add the lemon rind, caster sugar, gin and lemon juice in. Blitz on high until it forms a smooth, lump-free mixture.
- Mix the gelatin crystals into the hot water and give a good stir. Add the sour cream and gelatin mixture to the cream cheese and blitz again for a good minute or so. You want to make sure the gelatin gets incorporated fully.
- Remove the prepared base from the fridge and pour your cream cheese gin mixture into it. Place back into the fridge for a minimum of 2 hours or overnight to set.
- Once the cheesecake is fully set you can prepare the delicious gin and tonic jelly to go on top.
- Pour half of the tonic water into a bowl and sprinkle the gelatin crystals over top. Leave this to "bloom", you'll see what I mean! Don't stir it together, just let it sit for a moment.
- Pour the other half of the tonic water into a small saucepan and warm over a gentle flame. You only just want to heat up the tonic, so don't let it come to a boil, just a low simmer.
- Once warmed through, remove from the heat and whisk it slowly into the gelatin crystal mixture (which will be fluffy now!). Add the gin, lemon juice and lemon rind and whisk briefly to combine.
- Add a tiny drop of yellow food dye (like a teeny tiny drop! you don't need much) to the jelly mix and stir. Now test the temperature of your jelly, it shouldn't be too hot due to the cold tonic water. If it is a little warm still, simply let it drop in temperature before using (don't chill it!)
- Once your gin and tonic jelly has cooled slightly, pour it gently over the top of your chilled cheesecake. Place a full slice of lemon on top for a little decoration and place back into the fridge for another 2+ hours.
- This gorgeous concoction simply needs to be pulled out of the fridge, cut and served. Garnish with a little thickened cream if you like! The cheesecake will keep for a few days covered in the fridge, however the gin flavour will dissipate slowly after a couple of days.
- You can use any type of gin you like for this recipe! However I must say I am partial to Bombay Sapphire Gin!
- When it comes to colouring the jelly, please do not use gel food dyes, they are far too pigmented and won't mix well. Simply use a drop of basic liquid dye like Queen Yellow Food Colouring instead!