Vanilla cheesecake with passion-fruit glaze

"The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth comes again." - Robert Jordan 

And so, a new year begins. My wish for you is that there will be peace, joy and hope in your lives.

My year started with an order for a cheesecake. Talk of coincidences - I was just starting on one with ...groan...strawberries again... when this bag of passion-fruits landed up. Yellow and slightly shrivelled, the pulp was the colour of gold and full of black seeds that reminds you of soaked basil seeds. I love the crunchy texture, tart flavour of the fruit and its beautiful exotic fragrance.

Usually, I just juice the fruits, sweeten it and drink it up. At times, it is spooned over ice cream that is spread over a pavlova. But this time, it was going to be used as a glaze for a vanilla cheesecake.

The cheesecake is a pretty standard cold set recipe. For the base, I used wholewheat butter cookies and they tasted quite nice. The cheesecake itself was a flavoured with lime juice and the contents of a vanilla pod. Once set, the glaze was poured over and left to set again. It was a delicious cheesecake, I was told.

Vanilla cheesecake with passion-fruit glaze

Ingredients for base
150 gm wholewheat butter cookies
70 gm melted butter
1 tbsp sugar

Blitz the cookies in a mixer or place them in a zip lock bag and crush them into crumbs with a rolling pin.
Place the crumbs and sugar into a mixing bowl, pour the melted butter over.
Mix to combine, pack it tight into the bottom of a 6" pan with a removable base.
Leave to chill in the fridge while making the cheesecake.

Ingredients for cheesecake
5 gm gelatin
2 tbsp water
400 gm cream cheese at room temperature
150 gm Amul dairy cream
140 gm sugar
Grated zest of 1/2 a lime
1 - 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 vanilla pod, split and seeds scraped out

Ingredients for passion-fruit glaze
3 gm gelatin
1 tbsp water
Pulp from 4 small or 3 large passion-fruits
2 -3 tbsp sugar

Strawberries for decoration

Mix together the gelatin and water, leave to sponge for about 5 minutes.
Mix together the cream cheese, cream, sugar and zest and stir over a double boiler till warm.
Mix in the sponged gelatin, stir and ensure that it dissolves completely.
Stir in the lime juice and vanilla seeds.
Cool the mix to room temperature and pour over the prepared biscuit base.
Leave to set in the fridge for about 6 hours.

Mix together the gelatin and water, leave to sponge for about 5 minutes.
Warm the passion-fruit pulp, mix the sugar and sponged gelatin, stir and ensure that both sugar and gelatin have dissolved completely.
Cool to room temperature and pour over the set cheesecake.
Chill for another 2 hours or even overnight.

To serve, run a thin knife or a sheet of plastic around the edge of the pan and loosen the cheesecake.
Remove it from the pan, release it from the base and place on a serving dish.
Decorate with strawberries.


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