About Chocolate Mascarpone Cheesecake with Fruit and Nuts
This is quite simply a chocolate cheesecake to die for. If you like chocolate, if you like dark chocolate with fruit and nuts, and if you like luscious, velvet-textured mascarpone.
For the filling
95 gm / 3½ oz dark chocolate with 70-75% cocoa solids
250 gm / 9 oz mascarpone, at room temperature
50 gm / 2 oz raisins
110 gm / 4 oz whole hazelnuts
200 gm / 7 oz 8% fat fromage frais, at room temperature
2 large eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
40gm / 1½ oz golden caster sugar
For the base
50 gm / 2 oz whole hazelnuts
110 gm / 4 oz sweet oat biscuits
25 gm / 1 oz butter, melted
95 gm / 3½ oz dark chocolate with 70-75% cocoa solids for chocolate curls
1 teaspoon cocoa powder
crème fraîche / pouring cream
1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC / 400ºF.
2. Place all of the hazelnuts for the base and the filling into the oven and toast to a golden brown; use a timer and have a look after 5 minutes, giving them extra if they need it.
3. Remove the nuts from the hot tray to cool. Set aside 110 gm / 4 oz for the filling.
4. Meanwhile, make the base of the cheesecake by crushing the biscuits in a polythene bag with a rolling pin – not too finely, though, as it’s nice to have a fairly uneven texture, then chop the remaining 50 gm / 2 oz toasted hazelnuts.
5. Tip all the crushed biscuit crumbs into a bowl.
6. Add the chopped nuts and melted butter and mix everything very thoroughly before packing into the base of the cake tin, pressing it very firmly all over.
7. Place a 18 cm / 1 inch cake tin, preferably springform, 7.5 icm / 3 inches deep (if shallower than this, line the sides with baking parchment) in the oven and pre-bake the crust for 20 minutes.
8. Remove the cake tin and let it cool while you make the filling.
9. Reduce the oven temperature to 150 ºC / 300ºF.
10. To make the filling, break the chocolate into small squares.
11. Place the chocolate squares in a small, heatproof bowl, which should be sitting over a saucepan of barely simmering water, making sure the base of the bowl doesn’t touch the water.
12. Keeping the heat at its lowest, allow the chocolate to melt slowly – it should take about 3 minutes to melt and become smooth and glossy.
13. Remove from the heat.
14. Spoon the mascarpone and fromage frais into a large bowl and whisk them together until smooth, preferably with an electric hand whisk.
15. Add the eggs and sugar and give it another good whisking before adding the melted chocolate – use a rubber spatula so that you get every last bit of chocolate from the basin.
16. Lightly fold the chocolate into the egg mixture.
17. Add the raisins and toasted hazelnuts.
18. Pour the mixture into the tin, smoothing it out with the back of a spoon.
19. Place the tin on the centre shelf of the oven and bake for 1¼ hours.
20. Turn the oven off but leave the cheesecake inside until it’s completely cold.
21. Meanwhile, prepare the chocolate curls, melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, make sure the base of the bowl doesn’t touch the water.
22. When the chocolate has melted, pour it on to a flat, smooth surface. It should be about 5 mm / ¼ inch thick.
23. Leave the chocolate to set.
24. Use a cheese slicer to make the chocolate curls, or a knife will do if you hold the blade in both hands. Just pull it all along the chocolate towards you and it should curl up. If it doesn’t curl and you end up with a pile of chocolate shaving they’ll look just as nice – either way, place them in a rigid plastic container and then put this in the fridge until you need them.
25. Before serving, sprinkle the surface of the cheesecake with chocolate curls, dust with a sprinkling of cocoa powder.
26. Serve in slices, with crème fraîche or pouring cream handed round separately.
To prevent a baked cheesecake cracking, it’s best cooled slowly in a switched-off oven.
**From “The Delia Collection Chocolate” and “Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia”**