Baked vanilla halva cheesecake with bilberry compote

  • Dessert
  • medium
  • 8
  • 2 hours, plus cooling time

PT2H

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Ingredients

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Pastry base

  • 100g of unsalted butter
  • 65g of caster sugar
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 9 medium eggs
  • 45g of icing sugar
  • 45g of ground almonds
  • 170g of plain flour
  • 1g of baking powder

Cheesecake filling

  • 100g of unsalted butter
  • 100g of caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 10g of potato flour
  • 10g of plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 500g of twaróg, full-fat (this is a Polish curd cheese available from Polish delis), or quark
  • 20g of vanilla essence
  • 150g of vanilla halva, cut into 0.5cm dice

Halva coating

Bilberry compote

1
Begin by making the lemony cheesecake base – you can use a stand mixer or a wooden spoon, but a stand mixer will of course make this easier. Place the butter, sugar and lemon zest in a bowl and cream together. Slowly add the eggs, ensuring each addition is fully incorporated before adding more
2
Sift in the icing sugar, then add the ground almonds, flour and baking powder. Mix slowly until combined and a pastry dough forms, but be careful not to overwork the mixture. Shape into a ball, wrap in cling film and leave to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes
  • 45g of icing sugar
  • 45g of ground almonds
  • 170g of plain flour
  • 1g of baking powder
3
While the pastry rests, make the bilberry compote. Place 100g of the bilberries in a blender and blitz with the sugar until a smooth purée forms. Transfer this to a pan and bring to the boil, then add the rest of the bilberries and stir to combine. Set aside to cool
  • 250g of bilberries, fresh or frozen
  • 20g of caster sugar
4
Preheat an oven to 170°C/gas mark 3½. Unwrap the rested pastry and dust a work surface with flour. Roll the pastry out until 2mm thick, then use it to line a 20.5x3.5cm loose-bottomed cake tin. Cover the pastry with foil, then fill with baking beans or grains of rice. Place the tin in the oven and blind-bake for 15 minutes, until the pastry begins to turn a light golden colour. Remove the beans and foil, return to the oven for a further 5 minutes, then set aside to cool. Turn the oven down to 160°C/gas mark 3
5
While the pastry cools, prepare the filling. Place the twaróg (or quark) in a blender and blitz until smooth. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and half of the sugar together until pale and fluffy
  • 500g of twaróg, full-fat (this is a Polish curd cheese available from Polish delis), or quark
  • 100g of unsalted butter
  • 100g of caster sugar
6
Mix in the egg yolks, one by one, then add the cheese and stir to incorporate. Add the potato flour, plain flour, vanilla essence and chopped halva and mix to combine
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 10g of potato flour
  • 10g of plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 20g of vanilla essence
  • 150g of vanilla halva, cut into 0.5cm dice
7
In a separate bowl, whip the egg whites with the remaining 50g of caster sugar to the soft peak stage. Fold the egg whites carefully into the cheesecake mixture, trying to maintain the aerated texture as much as possible
8
Pour this mixture into the cooled pastry case, leaving a little room at the top as the filling will expand slightly during cooking. Place the cheesecake in the oven and cook for 45 minutes until set, then set aside to cool completely
9
While the cheesecake cools, prepare the halva coating. Combine the halva and cream together in a saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring constantly to melt the halva and create a smooth texture. Once the halva has dissolved into the cream, leave to cool slightly, then pour over the cooled cheesecake and leave to set
10
Once cool, serve slices of the cheesecake with a spoonful of bilberry compote, garnished with celery cress (if using)
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