Late last year, I went to the launch of Tipplesworth Cocktail Cases, where (in between munching my way through an entire cake stand of finger sandwiches) I met founder Frankie Snobel. What she doesn’t know about cocktails would fit on the head of a swizzle stick, and she has a particular soft spot for old-school ones. This morning, on Twitter, she happened to mention the Grasshopper – a neon 1950s number beloved of Southern Belles and Raj from The Big Bang Theory.
Now, I’m going to lay my cards on the table: I’m not wild about actual Grasshoppers. They make my fillings hurt. But a minty, chocolatey, Grasshopper-inspired dessert – now that’s something I can get on board with. Especially on a drizzly February afternoon when I’m meant to be doing a month’s worth of ironing.
La Nigella, of course, has a recipe for a very indulgent Grasshopper Pie, with a bourbon biscuit base and a filling made from melted marshmallows. But I fancied something a little speedier. So I’ve adapted her prescription and turned it into a sort of deconstructed cheesecake. You know, I think it might just be the most kitsch thing I’ve ever made…
No-Bake Grasshopper Pie
5 bourbon biscuits
75ml double cream, plus 50ml more
75g half-fat cream cheese
1 tablespoon icing sugar
A good shot of Crème de Menthe (if you don’t fancy splashing out on a whole bottle, a capful of natural green food colouring and a few drops of peppermint essence will do just fine)
A tablespoon of grated chocolate
1. Whizz the bourbon biscuits up in a food processor – or, if you don’t have one, decant them into a plastic food bag, fasten securely, wrap in a tea towel and bash with a rolling pin. Set to one side.
2. Whip the 75ml of double cream until it forms soft peaks, then fold in the half-fat cream cheese and icing sugar. Add the Crème de Menthe and give everything a good stir.
3. Take two martini glasses, and spoon crushed bourbons into them. Press down firmly to ‘set’ your biscuit base.
4. Top with the Grasshopper mixture, smoothing the surface as you go.
5. Whip the remaining 50ml of double cream until it forms stiff peaks. Pipe (or dollop) it onto your Grasshopper mixture. Sprinkle each one with grated chocolate, and pop in the fridge for at least two hours before serving.
Next time: Key Lime cheesecake