A lighter decadent dessert….

Fig & Honey Ricotta Cheesecake
with poached figs and warm caramel sauce

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Please note, I use the term lighter, lightly…

This dessert, with its ginger-nut base and warm caramel sauce,  is as decadent as my other cheesecakes, but it redeems its lighter quality with some lighter touches….

Ricotta and greek yoghurt replace the heavier cream cheese and double cream alternatives, and an unrefined sweetness is born of raw honey and dried figs.

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On the other hand, the warm caramel sauce stands firm in all its deliciously sweet and creamy glory.

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If you wanted to enhance the lightness of this dessert, you could use the sauce straight from the poached figs, without the added caramel invoking ingredients.

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Fig & Honey Ricotta Cheesecake

Yield: One 8″ cheesecake

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Base

Ingredients

250g ginger biscuits
1 orange (zest only)
30g almond meal
100g butter
40g honey

Method

Place the biscuits, orange zest and almond meal in a food processor and pulse until you are left with a fine crumb.

If your honey is quite thick, melt it in the microwave for a few seconds so that it is runny, but not hot.

Add the butter and honey to the food processor and pulse again until the mixture comes together.

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Line the base of an 8 inch springform cake tin with baking paper and grease the sides with butter. Press the mixture into the base of the tin and up the sides, then refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.

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Filling

Ingredients

150g dried figs
175g honey
150ml water
300g cream cheese
3 eggs
40g (4 Tbsp) plain flour
100g greek strained yoghurt
500g ricotta

Method

Preheat oven to 165°C/325° F/Gas Mark 3.

Place the figs, 100g of honey and 150ml of water into a saucepan and bring to boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the liquid has reduced.

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Set aside to cool, then place in a food processor and pulse until you are left with a smooth paste.

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In a mixing bowl, beat the cooled fig and honey paste with 100g cream cheese until combined. Beat in the remaining cream cheese, and then the remaining 75g honey.

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Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition, then sift in the flour.

Stir in the yoghurt, then add the ricotta and beat until mixture is smooth.

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Pour the cheesecake mixture onto the chilled base and bake in your preheated oven for 1 hour, or until the cheesecake is set, but still slightly wobbly in the centre. Turn the oven off, but leave the cheesecake inside to cool for about an hour.

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Remove from the oven and refrigerate once the cheesecake is cool enough.

Topping

Ingredients

90g mascarpone
140g greek strained yoghurt
3 fresh figs

Method

Briefly beat together the mascarpone and strained yoghurt just until combined.

Check that your cheesecake is completely cooled, then spread a thin layer of the yoghurt mascarpone topping over the cake and decorate with fresh figs.

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Tip: If your yoghurt is not very thick, up the ratio of mascarpone to yoghurt.

Poached Figs

Ingredients

14 dried figs
130g honey
1 zestless orange, juice only (from base recipe)
1 cup of water

Method

Place the figs, honey and orange juice into a saucepan and cover with water – I used one cup.

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Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes.

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Remove figs and set aside, leaving the remaining syrup in the saucepan for the caramel sauce.

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Caramel Sauce

Ingredients

Poached fig syrup (above)
130g brown sugar
100g butter
30g mascarpone

Method

To the saucepan containing the poached fig syrup, add the butter and brown sugar. Once melted, simmer for a further five minutes, then remove from heat and whisk in the mascarpone until caramel is smooth.

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Serve your cheesecake with the warm poached figs and caramel sauce.

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Enjoy… x

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