Last week, in order to celebrate London’s ongoing Sud de France Festival, I was challenged to create a recipe inspired by the flavours of the region. I haven’t had too much experience designing my own creations, and for every couple of successful ones (like the Matcha Trifle and Cheesecake Blondie) there tends to be a disaster to balance things out.
This time, however, I’m thrilled to say the Pud-Hog has – miraculously – excelled.
A few mouthfuls of this glorious cheesecake, and you might as well be sunning yourself in the Med, indulging after a trip to the local pâtisserie.
Indeed, although I do say so myself, the goat’s cheese and peaches work like a dream, producing a pudding that’s creamy, fruity, sweet, and surprisingly light.
What’s more, for those of you who are slightly concerned about the presence of goat’s cheese in a dessert, there’s really no need to panic. I promise: the flavour is mild – not at all overwhelming – and marries so well with the fruit and the biscuit base, I wonder if they were all betrothed at birth.
Oh, that crunchy base. Oh, that melty texture…
Goo la la! I wish I was eating a piece right now.
Peach, Almond & Goat’s Cheese Cheesecake
(Serves 10 reasonably, 8 generously, or 1 for a very long time)
Warning: this cake takes a good few hours to set, so make sure you leave enough time for it to chill before you eat
- 200g almond biscuits
- 100g butter
- 1 tbsp honey
- 3 eggs
- 100g golden caster sugar
- 200g goat’s cheese, de-rinded and cubed (ideally Perail, but if you can’t get hold of that, any of the softer, mild varieties will do)
- 200g reduced fat soft cheese
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp peach juice (or apricot juice, if none is at hand)
- 100g white chocolate
- 2 tbsp cornflour
- 2 large peaches, skinned and de-stoned
You will also need a 20cm springform cake tin, lightly greased with butter
- In a large bowl, break the biscuits into fine, even crumbs
- Melt the butter and honey together on a very low heat. Pour into the bowl of crumbs and mix thoroughly, making sure all the biscuit is coated
- Spoon this mixture into the cake tin, pressing down hard to form a dense, smooth surface (one of those flat potato mashers works wonders)
- Pre-heat the oven to 170 degrees (gas mark 3)
- In a second large bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, goat’s cheese, soft cheese, lemon and peach juice until everything is smooth and well incorporated. Add the cornflour and whisk again, until the mixture is lump-free
- Melt the white chocolate and slowly pour into the cheesecake mixture, beating as you go
- Chop one of the peaches into small cubes and stir in
- Pour your mixture on to the biscuit base, and place in the oven for approximately 30 minutes. When ready, the cheesecake will be firm to the touch, but wobbling under the surface. The edges may also have started to turn golden-brown
- Leave to cool at room temperature, then place in the fridge for at least 3 hours (or, ideally, overnight)
- When ready to serve, carefully remove the cheesecake from the tin, and decorate with the remaining peach, cut thinly and arranged into Tarte Tatin-style slices
- Voila, mes Oggleurs: it’s time to get munching…