Cheesecake by Hannah Miles (Masterchef 2007 finalist and a lawyer to boot!) arrived through the letterbox at a very opportune time – the eve of Justin’s birthday.
We’ve blogged about cheesecake before – in fact, it’s one of our most visited posts – there are a lot of cheesecake fans out there!
So we’re looking forward to sharing a load more varieties in this post.
Each double page spread presents you with a delicious cheesecake recipe on one side with beautifully styled and photographed image on the other.
The range of recipes in the book (there are 60 in all) spans mini-cakes, cake pops, baked cheesecake, no-bake cheesecakes, even cheesecakes with jelly on top!
They’re divided up into chapters such as fruity cheesecakes, candy bar cheesecakes, party cheesecakes and around the world cheesecakes.
There’s also a useful introduction that includes types of cheese you can use, troubleshooting (I’ve been asked in the past about how to stop cracks appearing – it’s covered here) and information about storing & freezing.
No great amount of equipment is needed for most of the recipes – usually just a 23cm/9-inch spring form cake tin. A few of them call for perhaps a silicone mat, piping bag & nozzle, push pops, chef’s rings, sugar thermometer or blow torch.
Anyway, back to Justin’s birthday – cheesecake is his favourite kind of cake so I told him to choose a recipe from the book and I’d make it for his birthday. He decided on the chocolate ginger option.
Chocolate Ginger Cheesecake
- For the crumb base
- 300g/10½oz ginger biscuits/cookies
- 150g/1¼ sticks butter, melted
- For the filling
- 650g/2¾-3 cups cream cheese
- 600ml/2½ cups crème fraîche
- 4 eggs
- 100g/½ cup caster/white sugar
- 200g/7oz dark chocolate, melted & cooled
- 6 balls preserved stem ginger, finely chopped
- 1 tbs ginger syrup (from the preserved stem ginger jar)
- 150g/5½oz dark chocolate, chopped
- 2tbs plain/all-purpose flour, sifted
- For the topping
- 150g/5½oz white chocolate
- 30g/1oz dark chocolate
- Preheat the oven to 170°C/325°F/Gas mark 3.
- To make the crumb case, crush the biscuits/cookies to fine crumbs in a food processor or place in a clean, plastic bag and bash with a rolling pin. Transfer the crumbs to a mixing bowl and stir in the melted butter. Press the buttery crumbs into the base & sides of the prepared cake pan firmly using the back of a spoon. You need the crumbs to come up about 3-4cm/1½ inches high on the side of the pan so that they make a case for the filling. Wrap the outside of the pan in cling film/plastic wrap and place in a roasting pan half full with water, ensuring that the water is not so high as to spill out. Set aside.
- For the filling, whisk together the cream cheese, crème fraîche, eggs, sugar, melted chocolate, finely chopped ginger, syrup and chopped chocolate in a large mixing bowl. Sift the flour over the mixture and stir in, then pour the mixture into the crumb case. Bake in the preheated oven for 1-1¼ hours until set but still with a slight wobble in the centre. Turn off the heat and leave to cool completely in the oven, then transfer to the refrigerator to chill for at least 3 hours or preferably overnight.
- Once chilled, melt the white and dark chocolate for the decoration in separate, heatproof bowls set over 2 pans of simmering water. Leave to cool slightly, then spread the white chocolate in a thin layer over the top of the cheesecake. Spoon the dark chocolate into the piping bag and pipe swirls over the top of the cheesecake in pretty patterns. If you don't have a piping bag, you can swirl patterns of the chocolate using a spoon. Chill in the refrigerator until the chocolate has set before serving.
I felt a bit of pressure as I knew we’d be photographing the finished product as part of this post. I dreaded it ending up as one of these “Nailed it!” Pinterest pins! Fortunately it turned out well – we’ve just had a slice each with coffee.
Cheesecake is available from Ryland Peters & Small the publishers, Amazon and Hive.
[Many thanks to Ryland Peters & Small for this review copy]