Unleash Your Wild Side With This Spotted Leopard Cheesecake

Animal motifs are great for children's birthday parties, especially when it comes to the birthday cake. But instead of doing the usual butterfly or teddy bear cake, why not try something a bit more exotic? After all, the cakes with animal prints are experiencing an evolution of their own. Parents and pastry chefs alike are getting more and more creative with their animal themes, and there are so many great ways to decorate the desserts, from creams and glazes to fondants and sugar decorations. This leopard cake, for example, is a whole new kind of eye candy, not to mention a real culinary delight.

You'll need:

For the batter:

  • light-colored cookie dough or sponge cake batter
  • 1 tsp dark cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp light cocoa powder
  • 1 finished cookie dough or sponge cake base

For the cream cheese filling:

  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 2½ oz sugar
  • 1 fl oz orange syrup
  • 4 sheets gelatin, soaked in cold water
  • 1⅔ fl oz warm milk
  • 4 oz whipped cream
  • 1¾ oz candied oranges

For the decoration:

  • melted milk chocolate
  • melted dark chocolate

Here's how:

1. Prepare the batter of your choice and set aside. Put light cocoa powder in one bowl and dark cocoa powder in another bowl. Scoop about 2 tablespoons of the batter into each bowl and stir it together. Then fill a piping bag with the light mixture, and another piping bag with the dark mixture. 

2. Squeeze thick drops of the light cocoa mixture onto a sheet pan lined with a piece of parchment paper, making sure to leave plenty of space between the drops. Now line the light drops with the dark cocoa mixture and make squeeze small drops into the spaces between the light drops.

3. Put the pan in a preheated oven set to 350°F and cook for 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and pour the rest of the batter over the drops and smooth it out. Bake for another 18 minutes at the same temperature, and allow the cake to cool after removing it from the oven.

4. Flip the cake upside down, remove the parchment paper, and cut into 3 wide strips.

5. Now make the filling for the cheesecake: first stir the cream cheese, sugar, and orange syrup together with a hand mixer. Dissolve the gelatin sheets in warm milk, and then add the mixture to the cream. Stir in the whipped cream and then mix in the candied oranges.

6. Fit a 7 inch springform pan with your cake base and line the walls with the leopard strips. Pour the cream cheese mixture over the cake base and smooth it out.

7. Now for the icing on the cake: create the same leopard spot patterns on the surface of the cake, like you did on the parchment paper. This time, however, do it with melted milk and dark chocolate, rather than cocoa powder. Refrigerate the cake overnight to allow it to set.

Everyone will go wild for this delicious leopard spotted cheesecake, and it makes for a great centerpiece at any party or buffet. Thanks to its creamy inside, doughy outside, and fine notes of orange and chocolate, it's a hit with all age groups.


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