Everyone – with the possible exception of the dairy intolerant – enjoys cheesecake in at least one of its forms. Baked or set, there is something truly indulgent about cheesecake and I count it among my very favourite desserts. Since the cheese aspect of this dessert is generally very mild and unobtrusive it can be a great vehicle for almost any flavour. This rendition, for instance, brings together two types of ginger in a recipe inspired by the ever popular ginger nut biscuit. I give you the Ginger Nut Cheesecake!
One problem often encountered in recipes like this is finding a way to convey the right flavour throughout the dessert. The finely minced stem ginger provides delicious and regular bursts of flavour, but it isn’t entirely consistent. However, a couple of tablespoons of stem ginger syrup – plenty of which should come with your balls of stem ginger – does the job admirably, instilling a subtle ginger flavour throughout the cheesecake.
To make the most of this dessert I recommend making your own ginger nuts. After all, it takes but an hour to produce a batch of these classic biscuits and the treacle they contain makes them far superior to the shop-bought variety. Don’t slack and you’ll enjoy the decadence of this dessert very much indeed.
Ginger Nut Cheesecake
Makes 1 20cm cheesecake
• 12 ginger nuts (200g)
• 50g salted butter
• 400g cream cheese
• 300ml crème fraîche
• 80g icing sugar
• 2 balls of stem ginger, finely minced
• 2 tbsp stem ginger syrup
1. Break 11 of your ginger nuts (180g) up into coarse crumbs using a food processor or rolling pin. Gently melt your butter in a saucepan, mix in the biscuit crumbs and press firmly into the base of a 20cm springform tin.
2. In a large bowl mix together the cream cheese, crème fraîche, icing sugar, stem ginger and ginger syrup. Pour this on top of the ginger nut base, level and pop in the fridge overnight to set.
3. Once set, gently remove the cheesecake from the tin and serve with a sprinkling of your remaining biscuit.
Cost: Using relatively cheap cream cheese and crème fraîche won’t impact on the quality of this dessert, but it is best to go full fat. As such, this dessert can be made for no more than about £3.50.