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White Chocolate and Cherry Cheesecake

18 JULY 2012
Dish type: Dessert

An all American favourite and a great summer pudding to take to a barbecue party. Make the day before as it improves with chilling.

Serves 10-12
Preparation time: 35 minutes
Cooking time: 40-45 minutes
Chilling time: overnight or 6 hours

Ingredients

Biscuit base
50 g (2 oz) butter, plus a little extra for greasing
250 g (9 oz) digestive biscuits
2 tablespoons golden syrup

Cheesecake
200 g (7 oz) white chocolate, broken into pieces
675 g (1½ lb) Philadelphia full fat cream cheese
75 g (3 oz) caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
200 ml (7 fl oz) double cream
4 medium eggs
225 g (8 oz) British cherries, stalks and stones removed

Topping
250 ml (8 fl oz) carton full fat crème fraiche
175 g (6 oz) British cherries

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/Gas Mark 4. Lightly butter a 23 cm (9 inch) springform tin. Put the biscuits into a plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin or blitz in a food processor. Melt the measured butter in a saucepan with the golden syrup, stir in the biscuit crumbs, mix well then press over the base and two thirds of the way up the tin sides.

2. Bake the biscuit crust for 5 minutes then take out of the oven and lower the oven temperature to 150ºF/300ºC/Gas Mark 2.

3. Melt the chocolate in a bowl set over a saucepan of gently simmering water, making sure that the water does not touch the base of the bowl. Take off the heat, stir briefly and leave to cool for 5 minutes.

4. Beat the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla together in a bowl with an electric whisk or in a food processor. Gradually beat in the cream until thick once more then beat in the eggs one at a time, beating until smooth before adding the next one. Stir in the melted chocolate.

5. Scatter the stoned cherries over the biscuit lined tin then spoon the cheesecake mixture over the top. Bake for 35-45 minutes until the cheesecake is firm around the edge and just beginning to colour while still slightly soft in the centre. Turn off the oven, open the door slightly and leave to cool completely. Chill in the fridge overnight or for at least 6 hours.

6 When ready to serve, loosen the edge of the cheesecake with a knife, remove the tin and transfer to a serving plate. Spread the crème fraiche on top then decorate with the cherries on stalks. Cut into wedges to serve.

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