Dark Chocolate Cheesecake
You will need: Cheesecake filling
300g Good Quality Dark Chocolate
400g Double Cream
100g Icing Sugar
4 x Tbsp Cocoa Powder
1 x Tbsp Treacle
250g Gingernut Biscuits
75g Butter (Melted)
White Wine Poached Pears
8 x Conference Pears
1 x 75cl Bottle of quality white wine (we used Sauvignon Blanc)
200 ml water
4 x Cloves
2 x Star Anise
1 x Vanilla Pod (Split)
1 x Pinch Pink Peppercorns
1 x Cinnamon Stick
300g Demerara Sugar (Plus 200g for syrup)
200g Caster Sugar
5 x Tablespoons Golden Syrup
2 x Teaspoons Bicarbonate of Soda
Start off by crumbling your gingernuts until they resemble breadcrumbs, melt your butter and incorporate with the gingernuts. Mix well and line the base of your mould making sure you have an even spread and everything is well pressed. If making individual ones, use a glass to press down. Place into your fridge for 30 mins approx to set.
Now you need to melt your chocolate by placing into a heat proof mixing bowl over a pan containing simmering water allow the chocolate to slowly melt. Meanwhile in another mixing bowl, add 350g of your double cream the icing sugar & cocoa powder and whisk until the cream forms soft peaks. Now incorporate the mascarpone & treacle then mix thoroughly.
Once your chocolate has melted take it off the heat and add the remaining 50ml of your double cream, this will cool the chocolate slightly, and remove the risk of the chocolate setting before you can fully mix with the cheesecake mix. Fold the chocolate into the mascarpone mixture and spoon the mix into the mould that contains the biscuit base.
Chill for 3-4 hours before serving.
First of all you need to peel the pears, starting off at the stalk and carefully peel long strokes down towards the bottom trying to keep pears shape. Now place the wine, water, spices and sugar into a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Add the pears and poach for roughly 20 minutes or until soft. Take off the heat and allow to cool before placing into a bowl or container and chilling for 24 hours.
After 24 hours, remove the pears from the wine and place into a container until needed. Add the wine mix back into a saucepan adding the extra 200g of sugar. Reduce by 2/3 until it reaches a syrupy consistency. Take off the heat and allow to cool.
Firstly, line a deep baking or roasting tin (20cm squared if possible) with greaseproof paper.
Now add the sugar & syrup into a heavy based saucepan melt on a low heat, once melted increase the heat to a light simmer keeping an eye on the colour. Once the sugar syrup has reached an amber colour take of the heat and quickly add the bicarbonate of soda mixing quickly pour into the grease proofed tin and allow to set for up to an hour. Crush up the honeycomb and store in a container in a dry place.
To serve an individual portion, spoon some of your syrup on the plate and place the cheesecake on top. Alongside the cheesecake place your poached pear – whole, sliced or diced – and top with a scoop of ice cream (optional) and decorate top of cheesecake with honeycomb