I’m not one to hold on to so-called ‘secret’ recipes but this one, I keep close. Well, until now. In fact I’ve been prolonging the day I’d share this recipe with anyone because it is just that good. It also required a lot of hard work to get it which is why I’m so precious about it. And we all know anything worth having is worth waiting for! I first made this recipe as a student chef in the restaurant I used to work for. The recipe was kept under lock and key and your grimy commis chef hands were only allowed to touch it after 6 months of working in the kitchen! So you can only imagine the skip in my step when I was finally permitted to make it – I promptly memorised the recipe, of course, just incase the honour was revoked!
In it’s original form, it’s a luscious, rich, silky, velvety baked cheesecake laced with white chocolate and a pinch of cardamom but without the spice, it can be whatever you want it to be. And for the Spring issue of Food & Home Entertaining Magazine, I wanted it to have bursts of blueberry and a gentle lingering of lavender. Holy moly is this a good combination! So now that I’ve shared the most secret recipe I have, you NEED to make this. Don’t make me revoke the honour 😉
Blueberry, White Chocolate and Lavender Cheesecake
Serves 10-12 A LITTLE EFFORT 90 minutes
400g digestive biscuits
100g salted butter, melted
pinch of fresh lavender flowers
800g full cream cream cheese, room temperature
300g crème fraîche, room temperature
180g Natura Sugars Golden Caster Sugar
40g cake flour
4 large eggs
200g white chocolate, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
zest of 2 lemons
pinch of lavender flowers, finely chopped, plus extra to decorate
250g frozen blueberries, plus extra for decorating
Preheat the oven to 120°C (or 100°C fan-forced) . Line the bottom of a 30cm springform cake tin with baking paper then grease the sides. Wrap the outside of the tin in foil to make it waterproof. Combine the biscuits, butter and lavender in a food processor and process until fine crumbs then press into the bottom of the lined tin. Place the cream cheese, crème friach, sugar, flour, eggs, white chocolate, vanilla, lemon zest, lavender and half the bluberries in a food processor and process until smooth then pour over the crust in the cake tin and sprinkle with the remaining blueberries. Place the cake tin on a folded tea towel (to stop it slipping) in a large roasting dish and fill with enough hot water until the water reaches halfway up the sides of the cake tin. Bake for about 1 hour or until the cheesecake is just set with a slight wobble in the middle (like set jelly). Allow to cool completely at room temperature in the bain marie then remove from the waterbath and refrigerate until set. To serve, unmould the cheesecake by running a knife dipped in hot water around the edges. Top with extra blueberries and lavender flowers.
TIP Lavender can be very powerful so use it sparingly for a gentle fragrance.