“I discovered cheesecake when I moved to London, in 1988, in one of my first jobs, washing up and cleaning in a bakery run by a lovely Turkish family on the Walworth Road in Elephant and Castle. I hold very fond memories of working there, and I still pop in whenever I’m passing through south London. This cheesecake uses dark chocolate, tahina and pistachios, all marbled together and spooned on top of a classic digestive-biscuit base. It’s a match made in heaven.” – Tony Kitous
For the base
150g digestive biscuits
50g pistachio nuts, toasted
125g butter, plus a little extra for greasing
For the topping
250g dark chocolate
(70% cocoa solids)
250ml double cream
50g runny honey
75g icing sugar
Zest of 1 orange
600g mascarpone cheese
1 tbsp vanilla extract
250g cream cheese
25g pistachio nuts, chopped halva, crumbled toasted sesame seeds
- Grease and line a circular 20–24cm spring form tin with some baking parchment.
- Whizz the biscuits and pistachios in a food processor until the biscuits have become crumbs and the pistachios are finely chopped. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over a low heat. Tip the
- crushed biscuits into the pan, stir together, then tip everything into the prepared tin. Level it with the back of a spoon and chill.
- Now prepare the marbled topping. Break up the chocolate and put in a large, heatproof bowl. Add the butter, 100ml of the cream, the honey and tahina. Place over a pan of just-simmering water and leave for 5–10 minutes until the chocolate and butter have melted. Take a spoon and very gently stir everything together.
- Meanwhile, put the rest of the cream, the icing sugar, orange zest, mascarpone, vanilla extract and cream cheese in a large bowl. Fold them together.
- Take the melted chocolate mixture and drizzle it over the cream mixture, folding everything together until you have a marbled mixture. Spoon into the chilled cake tin, level the top and chill for 4 hours until set.
- Loosen the tin and take off the paper around the edge. Slide a large fish slice under the cheesecake to loosen it and put it on a serving plate. Scatter the pistachio nuts, halva and toasted sesame seeds over the top and serve.
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