A Tasty Affair: Chocolate Cheesecake

“It is important to experiment and endlessly seek after creating the best possible flavours when preparing foods. That means not being afraid to experiment with various ingredients.” Rocco DiSpirito

Chocolate and cheese surely must be two of the most loved foods around the world…
Who doesn’t love cheese or chocolate? But together? As weird as it sounds, they can actually create the perfect flavour-combination when carefully selected and paired.

Cheese and chocolate are quite different on the palette of taste buds, therefore, the idea of combining them probably seems. Even though, they might appear very different at first, fundamentally, they are quite similar too: rich, buttery, nutty, creamy…can be interchangeably used to describe the eating experience of both chocolate and cheese! It may not be an obvious match. In general, lighter and creamier cheeses pair better with lighter, creamier chocolates. Cheeses and chocolate have flavour components that complement each other well: the sweetness of the chocolate will emphasize the nuttiness of the cheese without being too intense or overpowering. The key to this marriage of ingredients is keeping the recipe simple and choosing high quality ingredients. Both are very rich foods and with these type of foods modest (little in variation and little in amount) goes a long way…

“Modesty is the gentle art of enhancing your charm by pretending not to be aware of it.” Oliver Herford

180 g leftover chocolate biscuits
75 g butter
360 g cream cheese
200 g mascarpone
180 g sugar
2 tbsp plain flour
2 tbsp cocoa powder
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Grease and line the base of a 20 – 22 spring form cake tin. Place the biscuits in a plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin to fine crumbs. Melt the butter and add the biscuit crumbs, stir to combine. Add the zest of a lemon and an orange. Place in the base of the cake tin and spread in an even layer, then flatten tightly. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes until golden. Remove and leave to cool while preparing the filling. Reduce the oven to 160 degrees C. In a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese, mascarpone and sugar until smooth then add flour, vanilla and eggs, beating well between each addition. Act quickly, as beating too much air in adversely affects the surface of cheesecake. Pour the cream cheese mix on to the biscuit base then bake in the oven for 60 minutes. The cheesecake should be just set with a slight wobble and should still be creamy on top with just a slight crispier hint around the edges. Once the cheesecake is cooked, turn off the oven and prop open the door so that it is slightly ajar and leave the cheesecake to cool in the oven for another hour or so. Once the oven is cool you, remove the cheesecake to cool completely before removing from the tin. Decorate with fresh chocolate shards and icing sugar.

“Variety’s the very spice of life, That gives it all its flavour.” William Cowper

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