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What's Cookin'?

A recipe for June

Black forest chocolate cherry cheesecake

Serves 8
Prepare: 25 minutes
Cook: 35-40 minutes

        This may just be the best cheesecake recipe ever! I created it for a menu for Waitrose last year to fund raise for Marie Curie. And with English cherries in season it seems the ideal time to bring it out again. Itís perfect for summer parties and celebrations as it can be made ahead.

        You will need:
          • 175g dark chocolate digestives, crushed
          • 50g unsalted butter, melted
          • 400g fresh cherries, stoned
          • 400g full fat soft fresh cheese
          • 100g caster sugar
          • 2 large eggs
          • 2 large egg yolks
          • 100g good quality dark chocolate, broken into chunks
          • 150ml double cream
          • 1 tbsp cocoa
          • 100ml soured cream
          • dark chocolate curls to decorate

          1 Preheat the oven to 170C Gas mark 3. Mix the crushed biscuits with the melted butter and press into the base of a 20cm greased and base lined spring-release tin. Arrange two thirds of the stoned cherries over the base. 

          2 In a large mixing bowl, beat together the soft cheese and sugar until smooth, then gradually beat in the eggs and egg yolks. Melt the chocolate with the cream and cocoa in a small pan over a very low heat and stir until smooth. Cool then fold into the cheese ingredients. Spoon into the tin and level the surface then bake for 35 - 40 minutes until only just set. The top should still wobble a bit when you shake the tin. Turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake to cool in the oven for a couple of hours then remove from the oven and chill for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.

          3 To serve, carefully remove the cheesecake from the tin and place on a serving plate. Spread the soured cream over the surface and top with the reserved cherries. Scatter with dark chocolate curls.

          Busy mumís lifesaver: To get ahead use the chefís tip for risotto and cook up to the stage of adding the rice and first amount of liquid. Then just remove from the heat and set aside. Then when you are ready to serve the risotto reheat the base and complete.

          Mary Gwynn
          Author, food writer and editor