Blackberry and White Chocolate Cheesecake with Black Pepper
(Can be done as dairy free with substitute products)
So it was Dessert week on GBBO and…..well, if you’ve been watching, you know that we love cheesecake. With Blackberries still being in season and all around me I thought I’d best put them to good use in a bake I did for my family, as you should know by now I like to keep things ‘seasonal’ as far as possible with the best ingredients I can lay my hands on.
My thoughts when deriving at this idea was that the Blackberries acidity would cut the sweet white chocolate nicely, whilst the cracked and finely milled black pepper would give an earthy undertone that works really well in this bake. The first reaction from people when they hear about ‘pepper’ in a sweet-bake is to usually turn their noses up, but with the correct flavour combinations and balance of ingredients it can truly lift a bake.
My technique for cheesecake involves a lot of whipping of the mix – it is my ‘secret’ to getting a very light/smooth, creamy and fluffy texture throughout the bake (after all the way we perceive ‘food’ is all about textures and flavour!). Using my method you will ensure your cheesecakes texture is as it is meant to be – these is nothing worse that thick, heavy, lumpy cheesecake! Go give this a try – a nice way to spoil your family or impress your friends at a Dinner Party.
For the base
250g digestive biscuits
100g unsalted butter
For the Cheesecake
750g full fat creme cheese (
145g caster sugar
50g corn flour
150g white chocolate(melted)
2tbsp creme fraiche
1stp vanilla extraxt
pinch of fine sea salt
1 heaped tsp finelly ground black pepper
3 medium eggs+ 1 egg yolk
30g blackberries (halved)
140g castor sugar
4 gelatine leaves
For the dairy free version-
vegetable spread like Pure or Trex
900g Creme cheese substitute (VioLife) or equivalent(it does not ‘fluff up’ as much so I use bigger quantities)
70ml almond/soy single cream
1 tsp of Xanathan Gum(to give it a little bit better bind)
Prepare 24cm/ 9in spring form tin by greasing it. Preheat the oven to 180’C
Firstly put the biscuits and melted butter in the food processor and whiz it together until greasy crumb constancy reached. Press it on the bottom and edges(around 1cm) of the tin tightly and pop it in the oven for 10 minutes. Take out and cool down.
Now, in the stand mixer bowl weigh creme cheese and sugar and set to with a whisk attachment until well combined and creamy, add eggs one by one beating well in between additions. Then add corn flour and, pepper and salt and vanilla, creme fraiche, and beat for more- around 5-10 minutes. Lastly- add melted and cooled chocolate, whisk for couple minutes again.
Spread your 30g of halved blackberries and lay them on the bottom of the cooled down biscuit base. pour over the cheesecake mix, even out the top and pop in to the oven for 35-40minutes.
TIP: I tend to cover the bottom of the tin with foil and place it in the other baking tray filled with water, so when cheesecake stands in this water bath when baking, gets moisture and is less likely to crack.
When the cheesecake is done, take it out of the water bath( it still has to have slight wobble when you take it out) leave it to cool completely before topping it up with jellied blackberries.
In the pot place blackberries and sugar and heat on the medium heat until starts to boil and the juices release. In the bowl with cold water place the gelatine leaves to soak for couple minutes. When the berries boiled a bit but still haven’t lost the shape, take off the heat, drain the water from gelatine leaves and stir well in the jam until dissolved. Let it cool completely and just starts to set and thicken- pour on top of the cheesecake and place it in the fridge preferably over night.
When ready to serve, run the sharp knife(or palette knife) under hot water and go around the edges to release the jelly. Undo the spring form and transfer on to serving plate.
Enjoy with nice cuppa 🙂