Tuesday, 8 May 2012

White Chocolate and Ginger Cheesecake with Ginger Butterscotch Sauce

I had my first bite of white chocolate and ginger together at Wagamama - it was their cheesecake dessert, which is drizzled with a ginger and chilli toffee sauce. The combination was mind-blowing - and, despite the differences in the two flavours - it was really refreshing and light. The tingly warmth of the ginger works with the vanilla-sweet white chocolate in the wobbly cheesecake so well, that I decided that I hadn't seen the last of it yet. So I took on the task of creating one myself.

I wanted the base to have a stronger ginger flavour, so made it with gingernut biscuits. If you wanted it to be more subtle, you could use half gingernuts and half digestives, I suppose. The cheesecake filling is based on a standard recipe: mascarpone, double cream and cream cheese - but it has 400g of melted white chocolate whisked into it. The white chocolate doesn't hit you straight away - there's a hint of its milky, vanilla flavour as you eat. And I love the gingery topping - drizzled over the cheesecake at the last minute - sweet, buttery and full of flavour. Enjoy!

White Chocolate and Ginger Cheesecake with Ginger Butterscotch Sauce
Serves 8-10

For the base:
  • 300g gingernut biscuits
  • 100 unsalted butter
For the filling:
  • 300g Philadelphia soft cheese
  • 250g mascarpone
  • 150ml double cream
  • 400g white chocolate, melted
For the ginger butterscotch sauce:
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 120ml double cream
  • half a piece (about 10g) stem ginger from a jar, chopped finely + a drizzle of syrup (about 1 tablespoon)

  1. Cut a strip of greaseproof paper and lay across the base and up the sides of a 20cm circular cake tin. This will make it easier to lift the cheesecake out when its finished. Line the tin and the sides with a double layer of cling film, pressing it gently into the corners to create a defined shape.
  2. Blitz the biscuits in a processor until they resemble sandy crumbs. Melt the butter in a medium-sized frying pan and add the biscuits, stirring to coat. Cool slightly, and then press the biscuit base into the lined cake tin. Leave in the fridge for 30 minutes to set.
  3. To make the filling, mix together the Philadelphia, mascarpone, and double cream until smooth and all combined. Pour in the melted white chocolate and whisk together. Pour this over the biscuit base and smooth down with the back of a spoon of palette knife. Return to the fridge for a few hours - until set - or, even better, overnight.
  4. Once your cheesecake is set, make the sauce. Heat the sugar in a pan - not too hot or it will burn and taste bitter - until it just starts to form a golden caramel. Take off the heat and swirl in the butter. Pour in the cream, whisking all the time and finally add the chopped stem ginger and a tablespoon of the syrup from the jar. Stir, until it's all combined and smooth and drizzle over the finished cheesecake. This will keep for a couple of days in the fridge.
What do you think? Have you tried white chocolate and ginger together? What are your favourite white chocolate combinations?