So this is a recipe I came up with a while ago, that I’m proud to finally publish on my blog (sorry for the absence). It marries the beautiful flavours of figs, mascarpone and honey into one of my favourite desserts – cheesecake! The mascarpone adds a really rich creaminess to the filling, while the sweetness of the figs is with the reinforced with the honey and spiced with a bit of cinnamon. Dried figs work well here if you are unable to get hold of fresh figs.
Honeyed Fig Cheesecake
for the base
- 200g shortbread biscuits, crushed in a food processor
- 60g unsalted butter, melted
for the filling
- 2 teaspoon powdered gelatine
- 250g soft cheese
- 250g mascarpone
- 125g caster sugar
- 300ml double cream
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
for the topping
- 10 fresh baby figs, quartered (or dried figs)
- 80g honey
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
For the base: combine the crushed biscuits and melted butter then press into the base of a deep 20cm round loose-bottomed or spring-form tin. Place in the fridge whilst preparing the filling.
For the filling: measure 75ml of freshly boiled water in a heatproof jug and sprinkle the gelatine over. Mix the gelatine into the water until dissolved (the mixture will become clear, if the gelatine fails to dissolve stand the jug in a pan of hot water stirring the mixture until the gelatine dissolves) then set to one side. Using an electric mixer (handheld or freestanding) beat the soft cheese, mascarpone and sugar together in a bowl until just combined (don’t overbeat as the cheese will lose its body). Pour in the cream and vanilla and beat until the mixture thickens and holds its shape (again take care not to overbeat). Quickly mix in the dissolved gelatine then transfer to the tin, spreading evenly over the biscuit base. Chill in the fridge to set for at least 4 hours, or preferably overnight.
For the topping: heat the honey with 50ml water in a wide-based pan over a medium heat. Once the mixture is bubbling add the figs and cinnamon and cook for a few minutes until softened. Remove the pan from the heat and leave the figs until completely cool.
To serve: remove the set cheesecake from the tin (this is easiest to do by heating the outside with a blowtorch or tea-towel soaked in boiling water – in this case wear rubber gloves!), set on a serving plate and decorate with the honeyed figs.