Blue Cheese Cheesecake

After the absolute delight that was Yotam’s aubergine cheesecake, I was extremely keen to try his blue cheese cake from his book ‘Nopi’. It did not disappoint. I recommend it best of all warm from the oven but it’s also delicious chilled from the fridge. The base isn’t baked in this recipe before the cheese mixture goes on but I probably would give it a pre-bake when I make it next. The recipe has pumpkin seeds in the base but I used pistachios. Gotta say, the savoury digestive mix is a treat just on its own here – McVities are missing a trick. I would buy savoury digestives for sure. I’ll give the proper ramekin sizes below though I just used what I had in the house which were a bit smaller. I also doubled the amount of base mixture as I like a higher base:cheese ratio. I used low fat cheese too – I honestly prefer the tang of lower fat cream cheese. Serve with a drizzle of honey and a side of pickled beetroot (there is a recipe for the pickled beetroot in ‘Nopi’ but I just used jarred).

Serves 8

Ingredients

  • 80g unsalted butter
  • 80g pistachios
  • 10 digestive biscuits
  • 60g parmesan
  • 1 leek
  • 360g cream cheese
  • 170g crème fraiche
  • 80g double cream
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 20g chives
  • 20g basil
  • 100g stilton (or another blue cheese)
  • 4 eggs
  • olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Method

1.) Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C on a fan setting

2.) Wash and trim the leek. Slice thinly.

3.) Heat some oil in a frying pan and add the slices of leek. Cook on a low heat until the leek is softened. Set aside to cool.

4.) Add the butter, pistachios, biscuits and parmesan and salt to a blender and blend into crumbs

5.) Press the crumbs into 8 ramekins of 12cm diameter to form a base (a buttery biscuit base as Greg Wallace would say)

6.) Into a mixing bowl, add the cream cheese, crème fraiche, the eggs and the double cream. Whisk up until smooth. Crumble in the blue cheese.

7.) Peel and finely chop the garlic and add to the cheese mixture.

8.) Finely chop the basil and chives and add to the cream cheese. Give it a stir.

9.) Divide the mixture between the ramekins.

10.) Bake for 25 – 30 minutes until set.

Aubergine Cheesecake

January was finally over last week and I had a celebratory gin (or two) as opening a bottle of wine on a Monday night seemed far too dangerous. Probably the reduced boozing has done wonders for my reading challenge (30 books this time) as I would normally fall asleep within 5 minutes of reading after a couple of drinks. At the moment, I’m reading The Silk Roads – covering the lesser known (at least for me) history of the Eastern part of the world. It seems particularly apt as I’m being such a fangirl of the Israeli chef Ottonlenghi this week!

This is the first time I made this aubergine cheesecake from ‘Plenty More’ though it had been on my to-do list for a while. It was worth the wait and is probably one I’ll roll out to impress guests. It’s really delicious cooled down to room temperature straight from the oven, or cold from the fridge.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 60ml olive oil + 1 tbsp
  • 2 aubergines
  • 150g feta
  • 150g cream cheese (I used light Philadelphia)
  • 3 eggs
  • 60ml double cream
  • 150g plum tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano (or fresh if you have it, I can never find this)
  • 1.5 tsp za’atar
  • salt and pepper

Method

1.) Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C

2.) Line a large baking tray

3.) Slice up the aubergine (about 5 slices per aubergine)

4.) Measure out the 60 ml oil and brush onto the aubergine. I turned the pieces round to try and get it all absorbed.

5.) Sprinkle with salt and pepper

6.) Bake for 40 minutes.

7.) In the meantime, start preparing the cheesecake filling.

8.) Measure out 60ml double cream into a container and add the 150g cream cheese and break in the eggs.

9.) Crumble up the 150g feta and stir this in. Grind in a bit of black pepper.

10.) When the aubergine is done, turn the oven down to 170 degrees C.

11.) Line an oven proof baking tray with the aubergines, careful as they’ll be very hot, my tray had about a 15cm radius.

12.) Sprinkle half the oregano onto the aubergine and dot with the plum tomatoes

13.) Pour over the cream cheese filling and top with the remaining oregano.

14.) Bake for 35 – 40 minutes until set (per recipe). In fact, mine took over 50 minutes as I had quite a deep tray.

15.) Once the cheesecake has cooled down, brush with the remaining one tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle over the za’atar

16.) Leave to cool to room temperature and serve.