Poached pear and mascarpone cheesecake recipe

Strode: T
Strode: T Photo: Steven Siewert

Fluffy cheesecake rolled in nuts served with refreshing poached pears.

Ingredients

750ml water

300g white sugar

1 cinnamon stick

2 star anise

1 tsp black peppercorns

2 cloves

1 bay leaf

Rind of 1 orange

2 beurre Bosc pears, peeled, halved, core removed

250g cream cheese

250g mascarpone cheese

3 gelatine leaves (gold strength)

100ml pear poaching syrup

1 egg white

50g castor sugar

2 digestive biscuits, chopped

1/2 cup whole almonds, roasted and chopped

150ml cream

150g dark chocolate, chopped

Method

To poach pears, bring water and white sugar to the boil with spices, bay leaf and orange rind. Add pears and cover with baking paper and a plate to keep submerged. Bring to a simmer for 10 minutes. Cover with a lid and remove from the heat. Allow to stand and finish cooking for one hour.

For cheesecakes, blend cream cheese and mascarpone until smooth. Soften gelatine leaves in cold water for one minute, then add to warmed pear syrup. Add syrup to cheese mix and blend until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and place in the fridge for five minutes. Whisk egg white with castor sugar to medium peaks and fold through cheese mixture. Spoon into well-greased moulds. Allow to set in the fridge, about two hours.

Mix chopped biscuits and almonds together. For chocolate sauce, bring cream to the boil and pour over chocolate. Stir until chocolate has melted and sauce is smooth. Remove cheesecakes from moulds and gently roll in crumb mix. Serve with poached pear and warm chocolate sauce.

If you don't have individual moulds, set cheese mixture in a dish or container, turn out onto a board and cut into any shape you want. Serve the pears warm, straight from the cooking liquid, if you can.