Friday, May 15, 2009

Passion fruit cheesecake


Serves 8

There is a little comprimise here in that this uncooked version of cheesecake might have the tradionalists muttering, but the ultimate in creamy cheesecakes has to be this 'refrigerator' rather than 'oven' version. Despite sounding like something from the back of a packet this is actually a gorgeous, deep and infinitely sexy recipe. Though the appearance of passion fruit is unusual, it is necessary, so that the sharp fruit prevents the cake from cloying.

For the crumb base
120g butter
400g ginger biscuits
For the filling
250g mascarpone
75g icing sugar
a vanilla pod
400ml crème fraîche
300ml double cream
4 ripe, wrinkled passion fruits
8 sprigs white currants

Melt the butter in a small pan. Crush the biscuits to fine crumbs and stir them into the melted butter. Tip them into a 22cm, loose-bottomed cake tin and smooth them flat. Refrigerate for an hour or so until firm. You can speed the process by putting them in the freezer if you wish.

Put the mascarpone and icing sugar in the bowl of a food mixer and beat smooth. Scrape out the seeds from the vanilla pod with the point of a knife and stir them into the mascarpone with crème fraîche.

Whip the cream until it will stand in soft folds, and then stir it gently into the mascarpone mixture.

Scrape the mixture into the cake tin and cover with kitchen film. Leave to chill for a good hour. To serve, remove the cake from the tin, cut the passion fruits in half and squeeze the seeds and juice over the cheesecake. Add a few sprigs of white currants, if you wish.