Green lemon white chocolate cheesecake
 
 
Mediterranean autumn ingredients - first of the lemons, last of the berries - for a tangy, zesty cheesecake laced with white chocolate too. 20cm spring-form cake tin, lined on the sides with baking parchment (butter tin so it sticks).
Cuisine: Chilled Dessert
Serves: 10
Ingredients
  • 250g digestive biscuitsprint button transparent
  • 300g butter, melted
  • 450g Ricotta
  • 150g Marscapone
  • 250ml double / whipping cream
  • 2 tbsp Limoncello (optional)
  • zest & juice of 3 green lemons (or ripe yellow) – 250ml juice required
  • 1 sprig of fresh basil (around 8 leaves)
  • 200g white chocolate
  • 100g caster sugar for filling; plus 2 tbsps for berry sauce
  • 20g powdered gelatin (around 1.5 x 11g sachets)
  • 2 x large egg yolks
  • 2 large egg whites, whipped to soft peaks
  • 250g fresh or frozen berries (blueberries, raspberries, blackcurrants etc)
  • 2 tbsps Balsamic vinegar
Method
  1. Pre-heat oven to 190°C.
  2. Place biscuits in a clean plastic bag (freezer bag ideal) and using a rolling pin, crush up to very fine breadcrumb size. Melt butter gently, remove from the heat and add the biscuit crumbs, stirring well to coat them. Press the crumbs gently and evenly into the lined spring-form tin. Bake the base for around 15-20 minutes til golden but do ensure they don’t burn or darken too much around the tin edges. Leave to cool completely.
  3. While the base is cooking, make the filling. Place one third of the ricotta in food processor (or blender) along with the basil leaves. Whizz up on high speed until the leaves are chopped into the ricotta well. Remove mixture and strain through a sieve to remove the larger bits of basil leaf. Return the mixture to the food processor and add the remaining ricotta, along with the marscapone, 2 egg yolks, 100gm finely-grated white chocolate, caster sugar and the finely-grated lemon zest. Blend for around 2 minutes until all are combined well and the mixture is smooth. Leave the mixture in the processor for now.
  4. Squeeze the lemons; you should have around 250ml juice. Take 3 tbsps of the juice and place in a small bowl along with the gelatin. Place this over a small pan of simmering water (bain marie) and stir until the gelatin has dissolved and is more or less transparent. Remove and stir in the remaining lemon juice along with 2 tsbps Limoncello or similar lemon digestivo/liquer. Add this lemon liquid and the 2 egg yolks to the ricotta in the processor and blend for a minute to combine. Check for sweetness and add more sugar if desired. The cheesecake should be slightly tart to taste.
  5. Take a medium bowl and whisk up the cream til thickened to soft peaks. In a separate, clean bowl and with scrupulously clean beaters, whisk up the egg whites to soft peaks.
  6. Scrape the ricotta mix in the processor into the bowl of whipped cream and fold in gently but thoroughly until combined well. Then, scrape the whisked egg whites into the ricotta-cream mix, folding in carefully so as not to deflate the puff the whites give, but enough to ensure they are combined well (no obvious white bits showing).
  7. Scrape the ricotta mixture over the cheesecake biscuit base (ensure it’s cool). Give the tin a little shake to even out the mixture. Cover with foil and chill in the fridge for a minimum of 3 hours, but preferably longer.
  8. Berry Serving Sauce: Pace the fruit in a small pan and sprinkle over around 1-2 tbsps of caster sugar. Add one tbsp of water and 2 tbsps balsamic vinegar and bring to a simmer. Stirring now and then, reduce the fruit pulp to a thick sauce. If you find the fruit sauce too runny, just stir in a little arrowroot or cornflour making sure you dissolve it first in some cool water before adding to the hot mixture; then cook a couple of minutes more to incorporate the thickening agent. Once cooked, cool and then cover and refrigerate.
  9. To Serve: Loosen the spring form and carefully remove the sides and the paper. Serve the cheesecake chilled with extra lemon zest and shavings of white chocolate, and the berry sauce to pour over. If the sauce is very thick, you can spread it over the cheesecake to serve, or allow diners to just add their own.
Recipe by The Red Bistro at http://theredbistro.com/2013/10/17/green-lemon-white-chocolate-cheesecake/