Cheesecake with a Chin-Chin Twist...

Funke Koleosho's Cheesecake with a Chin-Chin Twist

Nigerian cuisine is often flawed with not having a variety of dishes that can be served as dessert....this may be true but no one needs to apologise for this. Its just that our fore-mothers prepared their food with the ingredients they had at the time, the way they preferred and the they way they knew.

I personally think we have them to thank for our wonderful genes (which would have been impacted somehow by what they ate), and our somewhat conservative yet nutritionally beneficial values for eating more organic and less processed food.......I think.....

Fast forward to now, the twentieth century, those of us born into the industrial age where so much has happened to food as they knew it, to having so much variety to tantalise and excite the taste buds...and ultimately contributing to the enjoyment of food and life, so to speak....

Yes, some of us have now imbibed new food concepts and are quite happy to partake in them, albeit in moderation.

Eating desserts is not a concept ingrained in Nigerian culinary culture, and perhaps many more African cultures for that matter. But for those who were born or have lived in communities where this is common, there suddenly arises the need to create something that can become an equivalent to or substitute for desserts; just so that we do not appear to be lagging behind...hehehe. That cannot be the only reason though why Nigerian cuisine should feature more dishes that can be served for dessert.

There are so many possibilities given the wide range of prospective food ingredients that can be incorporated into dessert dishes. (check out some of my Nigerian inspired dessert food ideas here). To add to my growing list is my cheesecake with a chin chin twist...

I love cheesecakes, they are my guilty pleasure (well one of them...) and when I see a really good one, I become quite weak to resist. I tend to go for simple ones with simple ingredients, nothing too complicated.

Cheesecake with a Chin-Chin Twist topped with crushed coconut candy

I do not make cheesecakes that often because its so easy to purchase some in the supermarket.....but when I was in Lagos recently and I had a craving, I was forced to make some, but then faced with the challenge of finding the right ingredients.

I am an ace improviser so it was not difficult for me to put this really delicious alternative together...
Simple, no fuss, no baking required...!

Check out recipe below. (note: you can follow your favorite cheesecake recipe and only substitute the digestive biscuit with some good quality extra crunchy chin-chin -(chin-chin is a popular Nigerian, deep fried stiff sugary batter, snack)).

What you need
  • Extra crunchy chin-chin
  • Sugar
  • Condensed milk
  • Philadelphia soft cream cheese
  • Unsalted butter (optional)
  • Some lemon juice for taste

What to do
  1. Put the chin-chin into a food processor and crumble to fine pieces. Alternatively you can place the chin-chin into a food bag and crush with a kitchen mallet. Transfer int a bowl and add some condensed milk a little at a time. Mix to bind the chin-chin together. This will form the base of your cheesecake. Be careful not to add too much as this may stiffen the chin-chin. You may add some melted butter but remember that the chin-chin is already quite high in fat. Use either the condensed milk and/or butter in moderation to create a crumbly but firm base. 
  2. Place chin-chin into your pan/mold and press down firmly to create the base for your cheesecake. 
  3. Place in a fridge to set. 
  4. Then in a separate bowl, mix the cream cheese with some sugar. Add as much or as little sugar as you want. Add a dash of lemon juice and beat with a whisk until smooth. Transfer this onto the cheesecake base and spread evenly. Garnish with some crumbled coconut candy if you have some or some coarsely crumbled left-over chin-chin to add a bit of texture to the dish. 
  5. Return into the fridge or chiller for a couple of hours or overnight to set. 
  6. You would love it.......but watch your portion

Chin-Chin Cheesecake


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