WHEN I was younger I had borrowed hundreds of thousands to invest into my first restaurant (The Pink Geranium).
I was concerned about how to make it a viable project financially but almost immediately employed a top quality pastry chef (dessert chef) because desserts are not my strongest point!
A few months later my pastry chef fell seriously ill and I had to take over that section as well as running the whole kitchen.
I had to literally learn how to make high level desserts and I searched high and low for recipes and ideas and I taught myself how to pull sugar, how to make honeycomb for crispy decoration, how to use dried ice and how to make gels to create glossy, shiny finishes which are very much on trend even nowadays.
The Pink Geranium was a hit pretty quickly and very soon we started to see the food guides hovering around us and the celebrities poured in. I have served this dessert to many of my clients over the years, including Pierce Brosnan who reluctantly ordered it saying… bang goes my diet!
He was about to take on the role as the new James Bond and in his soft Irish accent he asked me if I have ever seen a fat James Bond. I assured him that he wasn’t fat, in fact he looked great and that the calories for this dessert were worth it and he actually agreed! Would you like another slice Pierce? Lol.
All year around I try my best to avoid unnecessary calories. I love chocolate though and so its nearly impossible especially at this time of year, we should eat what we want at Christmas …right?
I created this special cheesecake after spending hours of playing around with white chocolate to create something amazing. It encapsulates everything that a chocolate lover needs and wants and has a Christmas theme so it’s a great alternative to the traditional Christmas pudding.
That doesn’t mean that you make this instead but you should consider making it as well as the traditional pudding, its better to have some choices. My mother who was a great cook always made three desserts for Christmas Day and we always finished them off on Boxing Day, just as it should be! (One of them was always a Christmas trifle and I will share that recipe with you soon)
I promise that this is the best cheesecake you will ever eat and one of the easiest desserts to make. When you make it you should take full credit for it, saying, ‘well I played around with white chocolate and this is what I came up with!’
However I am also happy for you to say that I’ve shown you this recipe personally because it feels as though I have! I am going to be sharing lots more Christmas recipes in the coming weeks so watch this space. I am happy to be your online chef, so if you need me, just email me.
Dreamy White Chocolate Christmas cheesecake
- 200 grams digestive biscuits
- 75 grams butter (melted)
- 300 grams white chocolate
- 280 millilitres double cream
- 500 grams soft cheese (full-fat, such as Philadelphia)
- 200 grams of mixed dried fruits (cranberries, apricots ( cut into small pieces) sultanas, glace cherries)
- 100g of glace sweet cherries (in jar)
- 100g of cooked chestnuts ( you can find these in most supermarkets)
- 100g of dark choc broken into small pieces
- 100g of white chocolate pieces
- 2 tablespoons of icing sugar
- 3 leaves of gelatine softened in a little cold water
- Mix the crushed biscuits with the melted butter and tip the mixture into a lined 20cm springform cake tin and smooth down with the back of a metal spoon.
- Pop it in the fridge to keep cool while you make the topping.
- Melt the white chocolate in a bowl over some gently simmering water being careful not to overheat it otherwise it will be ruined.
- Beat the cream and Philadelphia cheese in a bowl until smooth
- Heat a little cream ( About1 tablespoon) and add the 3 leaves of gelatine (softened in cold water for a few minutes first) Now pass it through a sieve into the melted white chocolate and whisk quickly in.
- Stir the melted white choc mix into the creamy, cheese mix.
- Scatter dried cranberries, glace cherries, apricots cherries and sultanas into the mix
- Add the choc pieces and stir in well with a spatula
- Add the chestnuts and stir well in
- Pour the mix into the springform tin which is lined with digestive biscuit base
- Chill for at least 6 hours or preferably overnight before cutting
Cut it with a warm knife for best results. You could serve it with a dark chocolate sauce or a toffee sauce. I love it with the toffee sauce see below.
Quick homemade toffee sauce
110 g butter
250 g light brown sugar
225 ml double cream
1/2 tsp vanilla extract or fresh vanilla seeds
- Put the butter in a saucepan set over a high heat and melt
- Add the sugar and stir well for approximately 4-5 minutes, stirring regularly
- Add the cream (or you can use condensed milk) and whisk in the vanilla.
- Whisk the sauce until it has thickened. Pass if lumpy. Serve warm.
You can email Steven any queries or questions on [email protected]
Steven Saunders FMCGB
The Little Geranium
La Cala De Mijas
Behind the Town Hall in central La Cala