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Redcurrant and vanilla cheesecake

Baked cheesecakes can be delicious but they can disappoint. They can be dry and cracked and not the soft creamy deliciousness that you are expecting. How much wobble really should there be when you take it out of the oven? Unbaked cheesecakes on the other hand… Unbaked cheesecakes are always delicious, always moist and always creamy.

Don’t get me wrong, I definitely won’t be turning down a slice of New York cheesecake any time soon. But when it’s up to me to make simplicity wins every time.

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And this is simple. Simple to make, simple to dish up and simple to devour far too quickly.

It’s the perfect pudding for a large gathering- no extra work- plenty of extra cheesecake.

It keeps well too so they’ll be a slice for tomorrow and they next day- just in case you forget quite how scrummy it is.

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The recipe below is for a base vanilla cheesecake, which is delicious on its own, served with fruit or topped with a fruit jelly like mine. The fruit is up to you. Here I used redcurrants as there was a couple of punnets from the farmers market in the fridge and the sharpness works particularly well with the rich base. Blackcurrants or other tart fruit would be equally good but feel free to use strawberries, raspberries or anything else you like. Even try folding the fruit into the vanilla base but bare in mind it won’t last as long. Although I doubt that will be too much of a problem…

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Recipe

Serves 16

Adapted from Great British Chefs

Fills a 6″ x 8″ tin

Cheesecake base

100g butter
12 digestive biscuits (180g)

  • Melt the butter and allow to cool for about 10mins
  • Line the tin leaving at least 10cm of paper up each side to help lift it out
  • Crush the biscuits to as fine a powder as you can and stir in the melted butter. Press this into the tin and pop into the fridge for at least an hour to set

Cheesecake

4 gelatine leaves
210g cream cheese
500g mascarpone
130ml double cream
40g caster sugar
2 tsp vanilla paste (1tsp vanilla extract)

  • Soften the gelatine in cold water for five mins
  • Beat the cream cheese and mascarpone together until soft and combined
  • Heat the cream and sugar in a pan to dissolve the sugar. Do not boil. Add the drained gelatine leaves to the warm cream one at a one making sure each has dissolved an is fully stirred in before adding the next. Add the vanilla
  • Pour the cream over the cheeses, a little at a time, and beat to thoroughly combine. Taste and add more vanilla if you would like. Pour this over your cheesecake base and refrigerate to set

Redcurrant jelly

1 large punnet of red currants (approx 400g)
1tbsp sugar + extra to taste
2 gelatine leaves

  • Heat the redcurrants, sugar and water in a pan over a low heat until the currants start to release their juices
  • Turn the heat up to medium and allow the fruit to bubble away for 10mins
  • Remove from the heat and taste for sugar. If more is needed put the pan back on the heat and dissolve in a little more (I added an extra tablespoon)
  • Soften the gelatine in cold water for 5mins
  • Drain the fruit in a sieve, reserving 150ml of the juice for the jelly. Discard the pulp of keep to serve alongside as a compote (if you are using berries with large seeds like redcurrants pushing the pulp through a sieve and discarding the left over seeds is a good idea here)
  • Drain the gelatine and stir into the fruit juice, making sure it is well mixed in. Pour the newly made jelly over the cheesecake and return to the fridge to set for a couple of hours
  • Serve in rectangles approximately 1 x 2 inches

Assuming all ingredients were fresh this will keep well in the fridge for a few days

Allergen advice: this can be made gluten free by using gluten free biscuits in the base

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