"Simple and delicious, a cheesecake needn’t be overly fancy. The little kick of orange zest in the mix is lovely. Try to buy British cherries as our orchards are disappearing every year and it would be a shame to lose them forever. Use a different alcohol if you prefer, or none at all, but use the sugar as it helps to cut through that rich cheese cake."
Makes one 10” cheesecake
150g digestive biscuits
50g unsalted butter, melted
400g white chocolate
100g caster sugar
Zest of 1 orange
350g cream cheese
100ml double cream
A large handful of Kent cherries, pitted and halved
50g caster sugar for the cherries
Edible flowers for garnishing
Blitz the biscuits to crumb stage in a food processor. Thoroughly mix the biscuit crumbs with the melted butter and half the orange zest in a bowl, then press this mixture into a loose-bottomed 10” spring-form cake tin lined with greaseproof paper.
Next, cream the sugar and cream cheese to a loose consistency then add the remaining orange zest before beating in the eggs one at a time. Then fold in the cream.
Heat the chocolate very gently in a bowl over a pan of hot water. Once melted, combine with the cream cheese mix and spread it over the biscuit base. Tap the cake tin on your work surface to remove any air bubbles.
Place into the oven to bake for 45 minutes at 150°C until set. Remove from the oven and place in the fridge until cold.
To make the cherry topping, put the fruit in a pot and place on a medium heat on the hob. Add the Cointreau and sugar and bring to the boil. Simmer for a couple of minutes then allow to cool before topping the cheesecake. When serving, garnish with edible flowers from the garden. I like calendula and borage just now.