No bake deserts, chocolate biscuit slices and cheesecake

Not all desserts or cakes need to be baked in the oven, says Michelle Darmody.

Here are a few that use the coolness of a fridge rather than warmth to transform into a delicious treat.

Chocolate biscuit cake has become very popular as a substitute for fruit cake at weddings and family events. 

The variation included here uses honey instead of the more standard golden syrup. I think it gives a softer textured bar and has a more subtle sweetness. 

The recipe can be doubled and then cooled in a nine inch cake tin for a deeper round cake.

Tiramisu became popular in our home around the same time that prawn cocktail seemed very fancy. The luscious and creamy Italian desert took dinner party tables by storm. 

It had gone completely off my radar until I was at a friend’s house for dinner recently. She had made a light and fluffy version using whipped egg whites and soaked ladyfinger biscuits. 

It was a welcome jolt of nostalgia and all the better for the improvements in Irish coffee. 

Gone are the days when you added warm water to the dark brown jar of instant coffee, making sure to get the last of the grains from the bottom. 

The recipe here uses ameretti biscuits that give a lovely almond back note to the mascarpone and along with the sweetness of the Marsala make for a great end to any meal.

No bake desserts


  • 16 amaretti biscuits
  • 150 mls of espresso, cold
  • 3 tbs of Tia Maria or Kahlua
  • 2 egg whites
  • 250g of mascarpone
  • 2 tbs of Marsala wine
  • 2 tbs of honey
  • coco powder for dusting


Place four amaretti biscuits into each dessert glass, you may need to break them up.

Mix the espresso and coffee liqueur and pour them over the biscuits.

Whip the eggs whites until stiff peaks form.

Whisk the mascarpone, Marsala and honey. 

Fold the egg whites into the mixture.

Spoon the mixture on top of the biscuits and dust with some coco powder.

Chocolate biscuit and nut slices

  • 225g of dark chocolate, broken into small pieces
  • 150g of honey
  • 275g of butter
  • 200g of digestive biscuits, broken
  • 200g of ginger nut biscuits, broken
  • 100g of hazelnuts, roughly chopped
  • 100g of pecan nuts, roughly chopped


Line a 9 inch square loose-base or spring-form tin with baking parchment.

Melt the chocolate, honey and butter in a heavy saucepan over a low heat. 

Stir the mixture and make sure the three ingredients are mixed together well.

Mix in the rest of the nuts and biscuits and pour the mixture into your tin.

Allow it to cool for an hour before placing into the fridge to firm up completely. 

It will take a few hours so perhaps it is best to make the cake the day before.

Gently remove the slab from the tin and slice into bars.

Lime and ginger cheesecake

  • 75g of butter
  • 200g of ginger nut biscuits, crushed into crumbs
  • 300g of mascarpone
  • 400g of cream cheese
  • 160g of icing sugar
  • the zest of 6 limes
  • 1 tsp of vanilla essence


Line the base of a 9 inch round loose-base or spring-form tin with baking parchment.

Melt the butter gently in a saucepan and stir in the biscuit crumbs. 

Press the mixture into the base of the tin, pressing it down well. 

Place in the fridge to harden.

Blend the mascarpone, cheese and icing sugar with a hand whisk until they are completely combined. 

Stir in the zest and vanilla essence.

Spread the cheese mixture over the cold base and cool in the fridge for about three hours. 

Sprinkle with some extra lime zest before serving, if you wish.


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