Passion Fruit Cheese Cake with White Chocolate and Basil
This cake has participated in a grand cheesecakes competition in my workplace last year, reaching the final and receiving lots of feedback from tens/hundreds of people. It took me about a week to come up with a complete recipe, deciding on with the basis quite quickly, but spending lots of time on decoration. In fact, the final variant got “materialized” only when baking the cake.
Special thanks to Maria Selyanina for the excellent idea of using aromatic herbs. The cake itself is very simple to make and doesn’t even require a mixer.
150 gr. flour
40 gr. sugar powder
100 gr. cold butter cut into cubes
30 gr. cold milk
1/2 tsp. passion fruit extract
500 gr. soft cheese
100 gr. passion fruit puree (*)
100 gr. sugar
160 gr. white chocolate
Passion Fruit Jelly:
70 gr. passion fruit puree (*)
1 whole passion fruit
3 large basil leaves
2 tsp. sugar
3 gr. gelatin sheets
50 gr. white chocolate
Small basil leaves
Round detachable baking form 22 cms in diameter.
*for the puree you’ll need about 8 whole passion fruits. Cut them into halves and remove the fruit “flesh” with a tea spoon. Beat in a blender and strain, stirring with a spoon.
Lets start with the base:
Either manually with a knife, or using a food processor, cut/mix the butter with the floor and the sugar powder into small crumbs. Add the milk and the extract and knead the dough quickly. If using a food processor, just turn it on for additional couple of seconds (literally). Cover the baking form with a baking paper, fill with the dough and flatten it by hand. Bake for 10-15 minutes at 170C.
Now to the filling:
1. Melt the chocolate in a microwave using 2-3 rounds of 20 seconds each and mixing thoroughly between the rounds.
2. Mix a couple of spoons of the soft cheese with the melted chocolate and then mix all the ingredients (in a bowl) using a whisk until they become a uniform mass.
3. Pour the uniform filling mass into the form (with the baked base in the bottom).
4. Bake for 1.5 hours at 150C on a “water bath”. The desired result is that the cake is completely baked on the sides, but the middle part is still a bit liquid (it should tremble when being baked/moved).
5. Remove from the oven. In order to prevent the cake from cracking while cooling, take a knife and pass it between the cake and the form boundary (complete the full circle, of course).
6. Cool the cake to room temperature without removing it from a baking form.
And now the Jelly:
1. With a spoon, remove the soft flesh from the whole passion fruit and mix it with the puree and the sugar.
2. Add the basil and leave for an hour to allow the flavor to soak it.
3. Soak the gelatin in water, and then wring it out.
4. Heat the puree in a microwave oven.
5. Remove the basil leaves from the mixture and add the gelatin. Mix until it dissolves completely.
6. Pour the jelly on top of the baked cake and leave it in refrigerator for a couple of hours.
1. Melt the chocolate in a microwave oven. 2-3 rounds of 20 seconds each and mix thoroughly after each round.
2. Spread a sheet of baking paper on a working surface and pour the liquid/melted chocolate on it.
3. Flatten the chocolate into a thin layer (using a spatula), not thicker than 1mm.
4. On your flattened “sheet” of chocolate, imagine 10-15 rectangles. Put a small basil leaf in a middle of each such rectangle.
5. Let the sheet cool and harden, and then cut into rectangles and put them in a refrigerator for final hardening.
Remove the cake from the baking form, decorate with firm chocolate rectangles and serve!