This is a no-bake cheesecake-so can be made and eaten on the same day (baked cheesecakes are best eaten 24 hours after cooking). It is very easy to make as long as you remember to remove the mascarpone cheese from the fridge a good couple of hours in advance and to cool the melted chocolate to room temperature before mixing into the mascarpone. If one is too hot –or the other too cold- the chocolate will “seize”, that is harden up, and be impossible to stir into the cheese. About the chocolate- my cooking chocolate of choice is the Green and Black’s Dark Cooking Chocolate- it behaves very well unlike some dark chocolates which are very sensitive to temperature changes. Cherries, more than any other soft fruit, have a great affinity with dark chocolate and the little kick of kirsch completes the cheesecake perfectly.
- For the cherry compote
- 450g cherries, stalks removed
- 70g caster sugar
- 1 tablespoon kirsch
- For the cheesecake
- 125g amaretti biscuits, crushed
- 40g unsalted butter, melted
- 300g plain chocolate (70% cocoa solids), broken up
- 360g mascarpone cheese at room temperature (see intro)
- 75g caster sugar
- 3 tablespoons kirsch
- 300ml double cream
- Pit the cherries and place in a saucepan with the sugar and kirsch. Place over a low heat for about 10-12 minutes until the cherries are starting to soften. Turn up the heat and boil for 2 minutes so the juice reduces and becomes a sticky syrup. Take off the heat and leave to cool completely.
- Base-line a 22cm spring-form cake tin with a disc of non-stick baking parchment. Place the crushed amaretti biscuits in a bowl and stir in the melted butter. Spoon into the base of the tin and spread to the edges, patting down firmly. Chill for 30 minutes.
- Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl in the microwave for 1 minute, stir and microwave for a further 40-60 seconds. Leave to cool for about 30 minutes (see intro). If you haven’t got a microwave place the chocolate in a pudding basin and place over a pan of gently simmering water, making sure the base doesn’t come into contact with the water.
- Place the mascarpone cheese in a bowl and beat in the caster sugar and kirsch. Carefully mix in the cooled chocolate. Whip the cream to very soft peaks and fold into the chocolate mascarpone. Spoon over the biscuit base and spread out evenly. Spoon over the cherry compote and chill until ready to serve.