When I was a little girl, a Snowball was the alcoholic drink I longed to try first. Seeing the grown ups having tall crystal tumblers full of primrose yellow drinks, with a foamy top and an artfully placed slice of lime on the rim of the glass (not to mention the funky twirly whirly straw!) was my idea of sheer sophistication and all the more special as it only came out of the drinks cabinet at Christmas time.
When I was finally old enough to be given a (very much watered down sip), I was not disappointed. Sweet and creamy, vanillary but cut with the essential squeeze of sharp, sharp lime it’s like an alcoholic cream soda! Made from the Dutch liqueur, Advocaat, which is a sweet custard with brandy as the base, then topped up with lemonade you really could be forgiven for thinking it would be awful to taste but it really isn’t! In fact, I think it’s so great, I’ve turned it into my Instant Pot Snowball Cheesecake.
Although I have never tried it, I have long wondered how a Snowball compares to the drink of the holidays in America – Eggnog. On paper they sound similar but I know the nog is usually made with bourbon so I imagine it to be quite a bit more powerful than a Snowball, especially as the latter is a long drink thanks to the lemonade. I even find it hard to vary my brand of Advocaat from the oh so familiar yellow and red bottle I associate fondly with my childhood Christmases (in the drinks cabinet, not in the glass of 8 year old me I hasten to add lol) let alone try variations like Eggnog!
But Snowballs seem to have really come back into fashion this Christmas; I have been seeing features about them in food magazines for a couple of months now but for me, they have never gone out of style. When it came to turning it into a pressure cooker cheesecake, it rally was an easy job.
I use soured cream to balance the sweetness of the liqueur and extra sugar that I think the alcohol needs. A little custard powder helps with the set, colour and also bumps up the gentle custardy flavour over all. As it is a super rich cheesecake, I leave the whipped cream plain and instead, pipe out little blobs which I top with some icing sugar covered chocolate sweets (like Cadbury’s Snow Bites) to make each slice look like it comes with it’s own little snowman. What could be more Christmassy than that?
- 330 g biscuits - I use either Malted Milk or Shorties for this plain shortbread style biscuits are a good choice here
- 60 g melted butter
- 560 g full fat cream cheese
- 150 g caster sugar
- Zest of a lime and 2 tsp of it's juice
- 2 large eggs
- 75 ml Advocaat liqueur
- 125 g sour cream
- 2 tbsp custard powder
- Zest of another lime
- 75 ml double cream
- 8 Cadbury's Snow Bites - or use any other white chocolates or even white truffles that you like icing sugar covered chocolate balls
Start by blitzing the biscuits in a food processor to a fine crumb, then with the motor still running, pour in the melted butter, pulsing to mix.
Tip into a 7 inch diameter spring form cake tin (I like to line mine with my reusable silicone liners) and press into the base and up the sides to give as even a layer as you can.
Clean out the food processor and then blitz all the filling ingredients together - pour into the tin on top of the base slowly and gently. It should find it's own level.
Now pour 250ml of water into the Instant Pot and place the trivet on top with the arms folded down.
Take a long piece of foil and fold lengthways to make a strip long enough to allow you to lower the cheesecake on to the trivet and retrieve when cooked. Do this now. Then take 4 or 5 pieces of kitchen roll and tuck them over the cheesecake, trying to tent them around the tin before folding the foil very gently over enough to allow you to put the lid on.
When closed, ensure the vent is set to "Sealing" and select Manual, adjusting time to 25 minutes.
Leave for 10 minutes after cooking time finished to give you a Natural Pressure Release then remove the lid, discard the now wet kitchen roll and using the foil sling, carefully remove the cheesecake. It should have a hint of a wibble wobble in the middle still.
Cool on a rack and when at room temp, chill for a minimum of 4 hours if not over night in the fridge.
When ready to serve, unmould the tin and transfer to a serving plate (cheesecakes in the IP are smaller and the bases more sturdy so this is easier than by traditional baking methods).
Whip the double cream and pipe 8 blobs out around the top of the cheesecake and top each other these with a second smaller blob. Top with a Snow Bite to make them look like little snowmen and scatter over the zest of the second lime. Serve with a jug of Snowball cocktails on the side!
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