I have noticed that, pleased though people may be to see you when you go visiting, they are always more pleased if you arrive with cheesecake! This was an awesome cheesecake!
Let’s start with a bit about Jersey black butter: It’s not black and it’s not butter but it is from Jersey (one out of three’s not bad!). I brought this jar back from a working trip to the island and wondered what I’d do with it – then I found this recipe from the nice people at the Jersey pottery. Here is some black butter spooned straight from the jar:
So, we’ve said what it isn’t, now time to look at what it is! The label lists the ingredients as follows: apple (44%), cider (3.3%), lemon, treacle, sugar, licorice (0.4%), mixed spice and cinnamon. Tiny though the amount of licorice is, I could taste it – probably because I hate licorice. However, in the finished cheesecake the licorice was lost. Result!
This cheesecake was light and creamy and flavoursome. The black butter worked so well with the cream and cheese – even though it’s sweet, the acidity of the apples cut through the creaminess and created a lovely light, clean taste.
Do you like my scraffito technique?
One part of the method I’d draw your attention to is with regard to the base. I always melt the butter when making a crushed biscuit base and find that, as the butter sets, it oozes a bit of grease out into my fridge. This recipe puts unmelted butter and biscuits into the food processor and the result is as if you’d melted them – it knocks out the whole melting stage without any loss of quality to the base. I’ll be making all my bases like this in future!
300g hobnob biscuits (or any digestive-type biscuit)
100g unsalted butter
4 gelatine leaves
500ml double cream
1 vanilla pod – cut open and scrape out the seeds
300g cream cheese – I used philadelphia
225g (1 jar) Jersey black butter – you can use any high fruit content jam if you don’t have black butter
3 tablespoons water
½ lemon’s juice
- Start by making the base: place the biscuits and butter into a food processor and blitz until you have crumbs.
- Press into the base of a 20cm springform cake tin or, like me, use a 20cm flan ring on a plate. This makes it easier to serve.
- Soak the gelatine leaves in a bowl of cold water until they are soft.
- Whisk the double cream until the soft peak stage then refrigerate until needed later on.
- Place the vanilla, cream cheese and black butter (or jam) into a bowl and beat until you have a smooth mixture.
- Place the water and lemon juice into a saucepan and heat gently until it simmers.
- Squeeze as much water as you can out of the gelatine before whisking it into the hot lemon juice. Whisk until it has completely dissolved – this won’t take long.
- Beat the lemony gelatine into the cream cheese mixture.
- Fold in the whipped cream.
- Spoon the cheesecake onto the biscuit base and level the surface.
- Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, overnight is better.
- Remove the ring by running a hot knife around the inside.
- One final thing – this is a big cheesecake. If you don’t need it all, slice it and wrap the slices individually – it freezes really well. Then, when you want cheesecake, you can defrost it a slice at a time.
- Bask in the glory of the wonderful thing you have made.