This has to be my ultimate dessert. A rich, creamy cheesecake ticks all the boxes for me. Indulgent, mildly sweet and really satisfying whether it’s after a meal, for a celebratory occasion or just a cheeky afternoon pick-me-up. This is my seasonal take on what can be quite a summertime dessert – and just in time for Valentines Day!
I also champion this recipe because it looks a lot more challenging than it actually is (trust me!). With a hint of warming ginger in the base, and a juicy forest fruit medley on top, it’s a winner all round for this time of year. So, it’s time to organise that dinner party you’ve been talking about…
Serves 8-10 | Prep: 20 mins | Cooking: 50 minutes
For the biscuit base:
- 250g pack of McVities ginger nuts (substitute if desired, but these are the best)
- 50g butter or sunflower spread
- 1 tsp raw cacao powder
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
For the cheesecake:
- 280g full fat cream cheese (Philadelphia Original is great)
- 200g mascarpone cheese (Galbani or similar)
- 100g good quality white chocolate (I use Green & Black’s 30% cocoa with vanilla)
- 150g frozen berries (blackberries, cherries, currents, blueberries)
- 3 medium eggs
- 1 tbsp honey
- Zest of a whole lemon
- A pinch of sea salt
Step one: Pre-heat your oven to 150 degrees (fan assisted). Grease and line a 20cm round tin. Set aside.
Step two: Crush the biscuits with a rolling pin in a sandwich bag or plastic bag. You want a semi-smooth texture with a few chunky bits.
Step three: Melt the butter in a saucepan on a low heat. Add the crushed biscuits, ginger and cacao and stir until well coated and softened. Remove from the heat and transfer to the tin. Press evenly and refrigerate for approx. 15 minutes.
Step four: In a heatproof bowl, gradually melt the broken white chocolate over a bain-marie (a pot of simmering water) until completely smooth. This should take around 8 minutes. Set aside.
Step five: In a large mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese and mascarpone until smooth. Add the salt, grated lemon zest and eggs one at a time, mixing well.
Step six: Once cooled, stir the white chocolate into the mixture along with the honey. At this point the mixture will be silky smooth and thick enough to cover the back of a spoon.
Step seven: Remove the base from the fridge. Pour in the wet mixture allowing a gradual dip in the centre for an even rise. Bake for approx. 50 minutes. The edges should be light brown and pulling away from the tin slightly but firm to touch (don’t worry about minor cracks). The centre should still have a little give.
Step eight: On a low heat, thaw the frozen berries until softened and oozing natural juices. Set aside and cool before topping the cheesecake to serve.