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Friday, 23 July 2021

Mini No-Bake Kit Kat Cheesecakes

These Mini cheesecakes are extremely easy to make and are VEGAN!
A chocolate digestive base, a chocolate cheesecake filling with Vegan Kit Kats, topped with a chocolate swirl and more Kit Kats.
Mini-kit-kat-cheesecakes

'Have a break, have a Vegan Kit Kat cheesecake'- haha! 

This is officially my first Kit Kat recipe on The Little Blog of Vegan!
Kit Kats were one of my favourite chocolates before turning vegan / growing up. I was so upset at the thought that I would never be able to have Kit Kats again, until the people over at Nestle read my mind. In 2020, the first vegan 'plant based' Kit Kit was born! HURRAH!

These vegan Kit Kats taste exactly as I remembered.  A delicious sweet chocolate with crispy wafer inside. The Chocolate isn't too sweet and compliments the wafer perfectly! They are identical to the 'classic / original' Kit Kats.

I've started to make these mini cheesecakes and since debuting them, they have exploded over social media, gaining my 60,000+ views on my TikTok, almost 200,000+ views on my Instagram, and other places such as Pinterest, Facebook + Twitter

Safe to say, adding another to the collection seemed like a great idea- haha!
The cheesecakes all have a similar cheesecake filling, using dairy-free whipping cream and dairy-free cream cheese. 
It's great for a summery, no bake dessert which can be whipped up (literally whipped up) in minutes! 

Check out my previous No-Bake Mini cheesecakes here: 
kit-kat-cheesecake
Mini-kit-kat-cheesecakes

There are 3 layers to these cheesecakes:

1- Lets start off with the base. The base is extremely easy, I could probably make it with my eyes closed- haha! It contains 3 easy ingredients, dairy-free butter / margarine, digestive biscuits and cocoa powder.
You'll want to add the biscuits into a food processor and whizz them up until fine. Melt the butter, and combine the two. 
I couldn't find any vegan chocolate biscuits at my local supermarket so decided to add some cocoa powder into digestives biscuits and it worked a dream!


2- The filling contains 4 ingredients- dairy-free whipping cream, dairy-free cream cheese, dairy-free dark chocolate and vegan Kit Kats.
The best dairy-free whipping cream to use in these no-bake cheesecakes is Elmlea Plant Based Double Alternative Cream.
It's thick, whips up to stiff peaks and holds it shape when chilled. I have tried with lots of different dairy-free whipping / double cream, and coconut cream, it just doesn't seem to set right. Hunt down Elmlea, it's incredible! This is a light chocolate filling as I wanted the chunks of Kit Kat to be the star of the show!
Speaking of Kit Kats being the star of the show, I have seen large cheesecakes use Kit Kats all around the edges of the cheesecake and really wanted to try that effect with these mini ones. It looks FAB! I used 5 Kit Kat halves around the edges and piped in the cheesecake filling, giving it this fun and extremely unique effect! 


3- For the topping, I whipped up some Swiss meringue buttercream, which isn't like buttercream at all, its more like a chocolate whip. It's silky smooth and as I used 70% chocolate, the bitterness takes down the sweetness of the over all cheesecakes.

Topped each cheesecake off with lots of Kit Kats of course! 

Notes*
What tin to use?
I use Paul Hollywoods 6 Deep Cupcake / cookie cup tin. It has a push up base, for easily sliding out the cheesecakes.
Size: 27 x 18.5 cm (10.5" x 7"). 
Alternative: If you're using a cupcake tin, remove the cheesecakes when fully frozen. Use a knife to cut around the edge of the tin. Be very careful. It might be useful to use cupcake liners, and remove the liners when the cheesecake is frozen. If you try to remove the cheesecakes when they have defrosted, they will be too soft and might fall apart. 

What vegan double cream to use?
My favourite dairy-free double cream / whipping cream is Elmlea Plant Based Double Cream Alternative. It makes the cheesecake filling thick and ultra creamy. Something like Coconut Cream or a Vegan Single Cream will be too runny and won't set, even if its in the fridge overnight. 

What cream cheese to use?
I use 1 tub of Sainsbury's own 'Free From Dairy-free coconut based cream cheese'. Other great vegan cream cheeses- 'Violife Dairy-free Cream Cheese', 'Nush Dairy-free Almond Cream cheese'.

What is aquafaba?
Aquafaba is the water from a can/tin of Chickpeas.The Chickpea water or brine as its called, acts as an amazing egg substitute for cakes, meringue buttercreams etc. You can also buy it in a carton. Check it out here

What vegan block butter to use?
As Swiss meringue uses liquid from the aquafaba, having a stiffer butter is key. I like the Naturli Vegan Block or Flora Plant Based Block Butter Alternative.


Preparation: 5 minutes
Chilling time: 4 hours / overnight
Serves: 6-8
Level: Easy
____________________________________________________________

Ingredients for the base
  • 150g of digestive biscuits
  • 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder
  • 50g of dairy-free butter / margarine
 
Ingredients for the cheesecake filling
  • 260ml of dairy-free whipping cream (1 pot of Elmlea Plant Based Alternative Double cream)
  • 160g of dairy-free cream cheese (see notes*)
  • 50g of dairy-free dark chocolate (I use 70%)
  • 2 Vegan Kit Kats (roughly chopped)
  • A few packs of Vegan Kit Kats (for the sides)

Ingredients for the chocolate swirl
  • 100g of dairy-free block butter (see notes*)
  • 200g of icing sugar
  • 100g of dairy-free dark chocolate (melted)
  • 50ml of aquafaba (chickpea brine) see notes*

+
  • Vegan Kit Kats for decoration
____________________________________________________________

Method (base)
1. Add the dairy-free butter / margarine into a small saucepan, place on the hob and heat over low until fully melted. Remove from the heat and add into a medium sized, heat proof mixing bowl.

2. Add the biscuits into a blender / food processor along with the cocoa powder and blend until fine. Pour the chocolate biscuit crumbs into the melted butter and stir together using a wooden spoon or spatula. It should resemble wet sand, and when you press it between your fingers, should hold its shape. Press approximately 50g of mixture into each cookie cup tin (see notes*), making sure to compact it in using clean hands. The more compact it is, the less likely it will crumble.
Place into the freezer whilst you make the filling.

Method (cheesecake filling)
1. In a medium sized bowl, add in the dairy-free whipping cream and cream cheese. Whip on low speed first to prevent it splashing out the bowl, then turn to high speed. Whip until thick. This will take around 5 minutes. I use a stand mixer with a balloon whisk attachment, but a hand whisk will work great too! The mixture should be thick and creamy. See notes for details on which products work best!

2. Melt the dark chocolate using a bain-marie, allow it to cool slightly and add it into the cream mixture. Whip to combine. 

3. Fold in the roughly chopped Kit Kats until evenly distributed thought out the cheesecake filling mixture.

4. Transfer the cheesecake filling into a piping bag fitted with a large round tip nozzle (or snip off the tip of a piping bag).

5. Cut the Kit Kats in half and place 5 half around the edge of the tin (as seen in the photo below).
Pipe the cheesecake filling into the middle of the tin. Tap the tin on the worktop a few times. This will help the mixture settle into the spaces between the Kit Kats. (watch me make these cheesecakes here).

6. Place into the freezer for 4 hours or until firm to the touch. If you have push up tins, push up the bases of the cookie cup tin to release the cheesecakes. If the cheesecakes haven't set firm, they won't come out the tin neatly. 
Tip: I leave my cheesecakes in the freezer overnight then place them in the fridge an 1 / 2 before serving for them to defrost. 
 
Method (chocolate swirl)
1. In a large mixing bowl, add in the dairy-free butter, whip until creamy. I use a stand mixer with a balloon whisk attachment, a hand mixer will work great too.

2. Sift in the icing sugar, whip on high speed for a couple of minutes to incorporate it.

3. Pour in the aquafaba and melted dark chocolate and whip for 5 minutes until it turns light and creamy. Don't over whip it or it can become too soft. If it does, just add in more icing sugar until it's thick and creamy. The buttercream should be airy and light. You might need to add in some more butter to get it to the right consistency. 

4. Transfer the Swiss meringue buttercream into a piping bag fitted with an open star tip nozzle. Pipe a swirl of cream on top of each cheesecake.

Decorate each cheesecake with a some roughly chopped Vegan Kit Kats biscuit and a half Kit Kat.
Enjoy! 

To store:
Keep these cheesecakes in the fridge. Best enjoyed within 3 days of making. Keep cool in the fridge until ready to serve. 


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