In a world of complicated dessert options, we’ve always loved the humble, not-too-difficult-to-make-but mind-bendingly-delicious cheesecake. This Rose, Mint and White Chocolate Cheesecake taken from The Cardamom Trail by GBBO finalist Chetna Makan (Mitchell Beazley, £20) is genuinely the prettiest cheesecake we’ve ever seen and just made for special occasions (even if that occasion is “Because I want some cheesecake; GIMME”). With rosewater and mint for a fresh, floral flavour, as well as glorious white chocolate *gurgles*, this is a cheesecake with a difference.
225g (8oz) digestive biscuits
100g (3 ½oz) unsalted butter, melted, plus extra for greasing
150g (5 ½oz) white chocolate
600g (1lb 5oz) cream cheese
250g (9oz) mascarpone cheese
175g (6oz) caster sugar
2 large eggs
2 egg yolks
4 tablespoons plain flour
3 teaspoons rosewater
2 tablespoons mint leaves, finely chopped
For the topping and decoration:
A few rose petals
A few mint sprigs
1 egg white, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons caster sugar
100g (3 ½oz) soured cream
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350ºF), Gas Mark 4. Grease a 23cm (9in) springform cake tin and line it with nonstick baking paper.
Put the digestive biscuits in a plastic bag and bash with a rolling pin to crush them to fine crumbs. Mix with the melted butter and press the mixture into the prepared tin, using the back of a spoon to compress it into an even base layer. Bake for 10 minutes, then set aside to cool for 15 minutes.
Break the white chocolate into a heatproof bowl and set it over a pan of steaming water until melted, ensuring that the base of the bowl doesn’t touch the water beneath it. Leave to cool slightly.
Put the cream cheese, mascarpone, sugar, whole eggs and yolks, flour, rosewater and mint in a large bowl and whisk until well combined. Add the melted chocolate and whisk well until smooth.
Pour this mixture over the biscuit base and bake for 35–40 minutes until the surface of the cheesecake has a uniform wobble. Turn off the oven and leave the cake inside it until completely cool.
Meanwhile, brush the rose petals and mint sprigs with a thin layer of egg white and dip them in the caster sugar. Leave them to dry for a couple of hours.
Remove the cheesecake from the tin, spread the soured cream on top and decorate with the rose petals and crystallized mint sprigs. This cake will keep, refrigerated, in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Imagine if the gluten-free idea kicked in earlier, and had m ...