At a glance this recipe might seem long and complicated but it really isn’t. There are three elements to this no-bake cheesecake: the base which is a classic biscuit base, so no big deal; the white chocolate cheesecake layer is straightforward, but requires a little careful handling when melting the chocolate as white chocolate can be temperamental. Finally there is the apricot purée which is set with a little gelatine-but even that is not difficult to achieve.
Cardamom is the perfect partner for both white chocolate and apricot. If you are worried about the strangeness of the flavour I urge you to try the cheesecake nonetheless as it is subtle and intriguing rather than strange. We in the west are used to cardamom in savoury dishes but the spice is widely used in sweet dishes all over the Middle East.
- For the base
- 185g Hobnobs
- 55g unsalted butter, melted
- For the apricot purée
- 2 gelatine leaves
- 550g apricots, halved and stoned
- Juice of ½ lemon
- 60g caster sugar
- For the cheesecake layer
- 6 cardamom pods
- 275g white chocolate, roughly chopped
- 3 tablespoons milk
- 550g full fat cream cheese
- 80g caster sugar
- 150g sour cream
- 2 egg whites
- Line a 22cm spring-form cake tin with a disc of non-stick baking parchment. Put the Hobnobs in a food processor and blend to fine crumbs. Pour in the melted butter and blend again to mix. Tip the buttery crumbs into the tin and spread to the edges, pressing down. Chill in the fridge.
- For the apricot purée, soak the gelatine leaves in cold water for 5 minutes. Roughly chop the apricots and put in a saucepan with the lemon juice and sugar. Stir over a low heat for 6-8 minutes until the apricots are soft. Take off the heat. Lift the softened gelatine leaves out of the water and add to the apricots. Stir to dissolve. Pass the apricots through a sieve to remove any lumps of skin or stringy bits. Set aside to cool completely.
- For the cheesecake layer, split the cardamom pods and crush the black seeds in a mortar. Put the white chocolate and milk in a suitable bowl and microwave on high in short 30 second bursts until melted. Stir and leave to cool to room temperature.
- Put the cream cheese and 30g caster sugar in a mixing bowl and beat until thoroughly combined. Fold in the cooled white chocolate followed by the sour cream and crushed cardamom seeds.
- Beat the egg whites to stiff peaks then beat in the remaining 50g sugar until very stiff and glossy. Fold into the cream cheese and chocolate mixture. Spoon into the biscuit base and level out the surface. Chill for 30 minutes.
- Carefully pour the apricot purée over the top of the cheesecake-if you pour too fast it might sink into the cheesecake layer. Chill for at least 4-6 hours or overnight.