Friday, February 02, 2007

WHITE CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE

I was pleasantly surprised by this cheesecake, which I invented for a dinner party last week. Because I let the food processor whiz and whiz and whiz the cheese mixture (while I mucked about doing something else), the filling turned out exceptionally light and airy. It's not a rich cheesecake, instead divinely light and whipped-creamy, so next time I'll experiment with the topping - perhaps a sharp, puce, raspberry puree, or some dark chocolate drizzled over the top as it cools.

12oz Philadelphia Light (2 packets)
2 eggs
3floz double cream
2tbsp caster sugar
6oz white chocolate
1tsp vanilla extract
2/3 packet digestives
1tbsp cocoa
2tbsp butter

Preheat the oven to 150 deg C / 250 deg F.

Start with the base. Melt the butter in a small pan while you whiz the biscuits in a processor to a fine crumb (or, like my mum does, put them into a plastic bag and attack with a rolling pin). Add the cocoa and whiz/mix to blend. Now pour in the melted butter and stir together. Press this mixture very firmly into an 8" round tin, applying enough pressure to pack it very tightly. Put the tin into the freezer for the crust to firm up.

Next, break up the white chocolate and put it into the pan you used for the butter. Add the double cream and set over a low heat to melt.

Now for the cheese: put the Philly, eggs, sugar and vanilla extract into the food processor and whiz plentifully - let it become smooth and thicken slightly.

The white chocolate should melt fast - stir until it's a smooth, creamy mixture, then scrape the whole lot into the processor. Whiz again until the mixture is quite thick and smooth. Remove the tin from the freezer and pour the cheese mixture on top. Slide carefully into the oven (middle shelf) and leave for 45 minutes. Then turn off the oven and let the cheesecake cool inside the oven.

Top with whipped double cream, coulis, fresh raspberries, dark chocolate, etc (see above).