Few desserts entertain better than a decadent cheesecake bursting with colour and natural fragrances. They may look tricky but we’ll let you in on a secret… they’re a cinch! Here’s how to whip your own delectable dream cheesecake into shape.
New York Cheesecake with vanilla-poached rhubarb and lavender honey syrup
1 x Cheesecake Biscuit Crumb Base (see recipe below)
Note: For the New York Cheesecake, add one small knob of grated ginger to the biscuit crumb base while blitzing.
750g cream cheese, warmed to room temperature
115g caster sugar
2 large free-range eggs
115ml thickened cream
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
3 tbsp cornflour
Zest of one large lemon
3 tbsp crystallised ginger, finely chopped
White chocolate and edible viola flowers for garnish
Preheat oven to 180C
1. Prepare biscuit crumb base recipe, taking note of the additional grated ginger.
2. Combine cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and mix until smooth and sugar has dissolved.
3. Add eggs and beat well.
4. Gradually add the thickened cream, a little at a time, and continue to beat until smooth and well combined.
5. Add remaining ingredients to the mixing bowl and mix until well combined.
6. Pour the cheesecake filling on top of your prepared biscuit crumb base.
7. Bake for 35-40 minutes until the top of the cheesecake has browned slightly and the filling around the edged has begun setting. The centre of the cheesecake will have a slight wobble.
8. Switch off oven and allow the cheesecake to cool inside the oven with the door ajar (approximately 2 hours).
9. Transfer the cheesecake to the refrigerator and allow to cool and set for a further 3 hours.
Cheesecake Biscuit Crumb Base
Makes enough to line the base of a 20cm springform cake pan
200g buttersnap biscuits
125g unsalted butter, melted
1. Add biscuits to a food processor and blitz until a fine crumb.
2. While continuing to blitz slowly pour in the melted butter. Mix until well combined.
3. Remove from food processor and press into a lined springform cake pan (for New York and Turkish Delight Cheesecakes), rectangular flan tart tin (for Sesame Ricotta Cheesecake Tart) or lined muffin tins (for Individual Brûlée Cheesecakes).
2 cups water
2 cups sugar
2 tbsp crystallised ginger, finely chopped
2 tbsp topaque, port, muscat or other dessert wine (optional)
1 vanilla pod, halved and seeds scraped
500g rhubarb, sliced into 1cm cubes
1. In a large saucepan add water, sugar, crystallised ginger, dessert wine, vanilla seeds and pod and slowly bring to the boil.
2. Reduce the heat and allow to simmer until the infused liquid has reduced by one third.
3. Add the rhubarb cubes and stir in well.
4. Cook for 3-4 minutes and remove pan from the heat.
5. Cool completely prior to serving.
Lavender Honey Syrup
1 cup single varietal Australian bush honey (we used Beechworth Honey’s clover honey)
2 tbsp Barkly Lavender Farm culinary lavender (purchased online from Farmhouse)
1. Add the honey to a small saucepan, add lavender and infuse by gently cooking for a few minutes. Allow to cool completely before serving.
Remove the cheesecake from the spring pan and transfer to your desired cake stand or plate. Top generously with poached rhubarb and drizzle with lavender infused honey syrup. Garnish with shavings of white chocolate and viola flowers.