Preparation time overnight
Cooking time less than 10 mins
Serves Makes 8 slices
The shades of my ancestors are, no doubt, horrified that 1) this is an unbaked cheesecake and 2) white chocolate finds its way into it. So be it. Besides, I have no need to be defensive about this: the white chocolate is only a delicate presence here; nothing to offend a white-chocolate-hater. And, moreover, it helps the cheesecake set in the fridge overnight to a perfect, tenderly firm consistency.
Equipment: You will need a 20cm/8in springform cake tin.
For the filling
- 200g/7oz cooking white chocolate, roughly chopped
- 300g/10½oz full-fat cream cheese, at room temperature, liquid drained
- 300ml/10fl oz double cream
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
For the base
- 175g/6oz gingernut biscuits
- 50g/1¾oz unsalted butter, softened
To make the filling, gently melt the white chocolate in a heatproof bowl sat over a saucepan filled with 4cm/2in just boiled water on a low heat. Make sure the base of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Once there are only a few small lumps of unmelted chocolate left, give it another stir then remove the bowl and sit it somewhere for about 10 minutes, until the chocolate remains liquid but is cooled to room temperature.
To make the base, break the biscuits into a food processor and blend until you have almost all crumbs. Add the butter and process again until the mixture starts to clump and cleave to the blade. If doing this by hand, put the biscuits into a bag, crush to crumbs, then melt the butter and stir into the biscuit crumbs until well mixed.
Press the biscuit mixture into the cake tin, letting some come a little way up the sides. The back of a spoon is the easiest tool for the job here. Stash the tin in the fridge while you get on with the cheesecake filling.
Beat the cream cheese with a wooden spoon in a large bowl, until it is soft. Gently fold in the slightly cooled, melted white chocolate.
Softly whip the cream so it is thickened but the peaks don’t hold their shape, then fold it into the white chocolate mixture in two batches. Add the lemon juice and vanilla extract and fold these in, then pour and scrape the pale, almost-moussy mixture into the biscuit-lined tin. Smooth the top, cover the tin with cling film and refrigerate overnight before serving.
When ready to serve, remove from the fridge for 10 minutes before unclipping from the tin and cutting it into slices.
While I love this pale, plain and unadorned, it can be beautifully partyfied by a sprinkling of chopped pistachios and a jewel-bright scattering of pomegranate seeds.