Christmassy Cheesecake

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So today is Monday, but today I’m going for slightly different. I have stuck to the usual format in that this recipe is completely meat free, but to be honest, I’m not sure it really counts as a meat free Monday contribution. But it is Christmas after all, so I’m sticking it in anyway.

Everybody loves a good cheesecake, right? Even people that don’t like cheese seem to like them, and my family is no different. In fact, my husband (or not as he was at the time) once said after eating a piece of one of my cheesecakes that he would marry anyone that could make him cakes like that. He never tires of reminding me that we have had that particular cheesecake about 3 times since in our (so far at least) 14 year marriage. Trouble is, I got bored. Of that cheesecake, I might add, not (again so far at least) our marriage.  I like to mix things up a bit, and this is what this is. My Christmas cheesecake mix up. This isn’t in your face with its Christmas flavours, rather it is subtler and more delicate. But is is Christmassy with its figs, cinnamon and vanilla and is a perfect alternative dessert to Christmas pudding or whatever other heavy options you may have on the menu. Try it and you’ll be raving about it too, but I can’t promise it’ll get you any proposals.

Christmas Cheesecake Recipe

Serves 10:

For the base:

200g digestive biscuits or similar

125g butter, melted

1 tsp cinnamon

For the filling:

1 x 400g tin of figs

6 tbsp honey

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp cinnamon

600g cream cheese

5 eggs

For the topping:

100g cream cheese

250 ml mascapone

2 tbsp icing sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla extract

6 figs

4 tbsp orange juice

1 tbsp runny honey

Firstly, line a 23 cmd spring form cake tin.

Crush the biscuits and mix with the melted butter, then press into the base of the tin.

Leave to set in the fridge, whilst you make the filling.

Preheat the oven to 170 deg. C.

Puree the figs in a food processor, with enough of their liquid so that you get a smooth puree. If you can’t get tinned figs, use fresh and poach them, I don’t think I’d try dried, you wouldn’t get the right texture.

Mix together all the other filling ingredients in the food processor, then pour into the prepared base.

Wrap the tin in a double layer of foil, then bake, in a bain marie (a roasting tin filled with enough boiling water to come two thirds of the way up the tin)

Bake for between 1 hour and 1 hour 10 minutes, until the filling is set, but still wobbling in the centre enticingly.

When it is done, take it out of the oven and leave to cool completely on a metal rack.

Then make your topping. Preheat the oven to 200 deg. C and beat together all of the topping ingredients and smooth over the cake using a palette knife. Return to the oven for around 10 minutes until the tip is just coloured.

To decorate, roast the figs in the orange juice and honey for around 15 minutes. Leave them to cool and use to artistically decorate the top, then reduce down the juice slightly so that it becomes a little more syrupy, and drizzle appetisingly over the top.

Enjoy!

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