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Vanilla Cheesecake with Chilli Chocolate Shards

Ingredients
Preparation
  • 1. Pre-heat the oven to 170?C, 325?F, Gas Mark 3. Place the digestive biscuits and almonds into a food processor and blend into fine crumbs. Add the melted butter and pulse until it evenly coats the crumbs. Tip the mixture into a 23cm (9”) round non stick springform cake tin then press down with the back of a spoon to form an even layer. Bake in the oven for 10–15 minutes until golden.

  • 2. Reduce the oven temperature to 140?C, 275?F, Gas Mark 1. In a large mixing bowl beat together the sugar, sour cream, cream cheese, eggs and the seeds from the vanilla pod (these can be removed by splitting the pod in half length ways and running a knife down the centre of the pod to scrape out the seeds). When the mixture is smooth pour into the cake tin.

  • 3. Bake for around 35-40 minutes, the filling should be just set around the sides but wobbly in the centre when the tin is gently shaken. Turn the heat off and allow the cake to cool in the oven for at least 2 hours. This will help to prevent it from cracking.

  • 4. Meanwhile to make the decorative chocolate shards break up the dark chocolate into pieces and place into a heat proof bowl. Set the bowl over a pan of hot, but not boiling water (the bowl should not come into contact with the water, but be gently heated by the steam created), allow the chocolate to gradually melt. Once the chocolate has melted, remove the bowl from the heat and allow to cool and thicken slightly for a few minutes. Thinly spread the chocolate out over a sheet of non-stick greaseproof paper, sprinkle evenly with a pinch of crushed chillies then repeat the process with the milk chocolate. Finally repeat the melting process with the white chocolate and flick with the back of a spoon over the dark and milk chocolate sheets to decorate.

  • 5. Allow the chocolate to cool naturally, do not place in the refrigerator as this will cause the chocolate to “bloom” and discolour. When the chocolate has nearly set use a sharp knife to cut out rectangles approximately 2cm by 5cm. Allow them to completely set before removing from the greaseproof paper. Cut the rectangles at rough angles to form a point at various heights.

  • 6. When the cake has cooled to room temperature refrigerate overnight, before carefully removing from the springform tin and transfer to a serving plate. Arrange the chocolate shards randomly around the edge of the cake pressing firmly and using a small amount of golden syrup on each one to help them stick. Garnish and serve with fresh blueberries.

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