White Chocolate Cheesecake

For the BASE:
150g/5oz digestive biscuits
50g/2oz whole almonds, lightly toasted
50g/2oz butter, melted
½ tsp almond essence

For the FILLING:
350g/12oz good quality white chocolate, chopped
125ml/4fl oz double cream
700g/1½lb cream cheese, softened
50g/2oz caster sugar
4 large eggs
3 tbsp Amaretto, almond flavoured liqueur

For the TOPPING:
450ml/¾ pint soured cream
50g/2oz caster sugar
½ tsp almond or vanilla essence
White chocolate curls to decorate

Preheat oven to 180℃/350℉/Gas Mark 4, 10 minutes before baking. Lightly oil a 9x3 inch springform tin.

Crush the biscuits and almonds in a food processor to form fine crumbs [ed. I just broke the biscuits up in a big bowl and smooched them, but a food processor would have been MUCH easier!]. Pour in the butter and almond essence and blend. Pour this mixture into the tin and use the back of a spoon to press on the bottom and up the sides to with in 1cm/½ inch of the top of the tin. Bake in the preheated oven for 5 minutes to set. Remove and transfer to a wire rack.

Reduce oven temperature to 150℃/300℉/Gas Mark 2.

Heat the white chocolate and cream in a saucepan over a low heat, stirring until melted, then cool [ed. Make sure the chocolate is chopped rather than just broken into pieces to make sure it melts before it burns…]. Beat the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each one. Slowly add and beat in the cooled white chocolate and the Amaretto then pour into the baked crust. Place on a baking tray and bake for 45-55 minutes until the edge of the cake is firm, but the centre is slightly soft. Reduce the oven temperature if the top starts to brown. Remove to the wire rack.

Increase temperature to 200℃/400℉/ Gas Mark 6.

To make the topping, beat the soured cream, sugar and almond or vanilla essence until smooth and pour evenly over the cheesecake. Bake for another 5 minutes to set. Turn off the oven and leave the door halfway open for about 1 hour. Transfer to a wire rack and run a knife around edge to separate from the tin. Refrigerate until chilled. Remove to decorate with white chocolate curls and serve.

Reference; "Chocolate and Baking: Quick and Easy, Proven Recipes"

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