Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Mandarin & Ginger Cheesecake

What the hell was I thinking doing an upside-down cheesecake? There's absolutely nothing wrong with a right-way-around cheesecake. That is what I was thinking to myself as I was staring at this. The only motivation I had in the beginning was that I was too lazy to make a full size cheesecake and I wanted more biscuit in my cheesecake without having to stab my fork through a hard brick crust at the bottom of a pan.
I adapted this recipe from a plain mandarin cheesecake recipe. I've been dying to use ginger nut biscuits as a cheesecake base and I thought mandarin and ginger would make a nice combination. The actual cheesecake filling is wonderful and matches really well with the ginger nut biscuit case. I just don't think I'd make it upside down again haha. It did make it easier to get a good amount of biscuit with each mouthful of cheesecake, but boy was it messy to eat! I also tried to turn one out of its mould and that was okaayy, but definitely not as good-looking as it was in its cup. So while it was quite pretty to look at, it all seemed kind of pointless in the end!

Ginger & Mandarin Cheesecake
(adapted from Gordon Ramsay's Mandarin Cheesecake)
I'll describe all the components separately and you can choose how to construct it yourself :)

For the cheesecake:
300g mandarin segments (tinned or fresh, peeled and deseeded)
1 tbsp candied ginger, finely chopped
400g cream cheese
2 vanilla pods
100g icing sugar
1 orange, zest only
300ml heavy cream
Drain the mandarin segments and mix together with candied ginger. Set aside (or place at the bottom of your moulds).
Beat the cream cheese in a large bowl. Split the vanilla pods open, scrape out the seeds and mix them into the cream cheese. Sift in the icing sugar and grate in the orange zest. In a separate bowl, whisk the cream until you reach soft peaks, then fold it into the cream cheese mixture to combine.
Spread the mixture on top of the biscuit base (or in the individual moulds) and use a palette knife, or the back of a spoon, to level it out. Chill in the freezer for a minimum 5 minutes.* When ready to serve arrange the mandarin segments on top and carefully remove the cheesecake from the tin.
*Note: if you don’t wish to eat the cheesecake immediately you can allow the cream mixture to set in the fridge for half an hour rather than using the freezer.

For the crust:
175g ginger nut biscuits (store bought, or you can make them from scratch like I did)
Approx 1 tbsp melted butter
Lightly grease a 20cm/8" spring-form cake tin with butter if you are constructing a traditional single cheesecake. To make the base, place the biscuits into a food processor and blend to form fine crumbs. Add butter 1 tsp at a time and stir to combine. Take care when adding the butter, the ginger nut biscuits (especially the ones you bake yourself) do not need much butter before they become too oily. I only ended up using about 1/2 a tablespoon. Transfer the mixture into the cake tin (or individual moulds) and press over the tin base, to spread evenly. Place in the freezer for 5 minutes to set.
Whether you construct the normal cheesecake or decide to be a nutbag like me and do an upside down one in individual serves, this cake is really yummy. A has always insisted that mandarins are the most perfect cheesecake fruit. I think I've had enough mandarin cheesecakes to agree with him.

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  1. Oohh I think it looks great upside down! And smart to do portioned glasses :) Maybe just need a deeper glass so it isn't as messy?

  2. Beautiful pairing of flavours...delcious. I think I would love to eat it like you brought it together. I love individual desserts!

  3. it seemed like a cool idea -- sorry it didn't turn out quite right. it's taste that counts though, right?

  4. I love the idea of having it upside down because you get to the best part first!

  5. How cute! Yeah, I think it could've worked like FFichiban said, if you put it in a deeper glass? The flavours sound nice though!

  6. It looks great! And this is perfect for people who love the biscuity crumb bit (and yes that includes me! :P )

  7. FFichiban - Doh! Why didn't I think of that? I think I got too caught up in the idea of making it level at the top, but keeping it below the lip would have been a lot smarter. Oh well, maybe next time!

    Deeba - Thank you!! I love individual desserts too, they're so cute and easy to share!

    Justin - It is the taste that counts, at least this was tasty!

    Betty - Yes! You just put into words the reason why I did it in the first place, thanks! :D

    Y - Thank you :) I know I'm kicking myself for not thinking sensibly and doing that. Next time!

    Lorraine - Thanks so much! Hehe includes me too!

  8. That's very clever. And very Zumbo!

  9. Ooh now that's high praise! :D Thanks so much!

  10. I love that it's upside down! It looks fantastic in that glass too. Great meeting you at Zumbo's!

  11. Thanks so much Anita! It was great meeting you too! :)

  12. It looks beautiful either way! I love individual serving options too - trying to convince the bf that although I never make desserts, we need to buy Riedel O range glasses in case I have a dessert epiphany one day.

  13. Thank you :) Ooooh I love Riedel glasses, if you get those I will be hugely jealous.

  14. LOVE that I just found this recipe - i was looking for (almost as im doing lemon and ginger) exactly this!! Thank you - can't wait to try it out tomorrow!


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