Orange, Honey & Cardamom Cheesecake
If you’ve noticed my absence over the past few months you may have been wondering what I’ve been up to…
Or not… but I’m going to go ahead and tell you about it anyway!
So… I’ve been baking, a lot (as always!), and I’ve been writing… a lot!
What have I been writing?
Oh, you know… just my first novel.
It is still in the draft stages, and it has been in the works much longer than my apparent absence, but the past few months of editing have been all consuming. And I say that with affection, I’ve enjoyed every minute of the ‘nurturing’ process.
But I know there is a far more pressing question on your minds… what, exactly, have I been baking?
To answer that, well, it’s pretty simple…
Cakes, cakes and more cakes. That pretty much sums it up. Aside from the novel they have pretty much taken over my life! Birthdays, dinner parties, other parties of various descriptions… there was even a First Communion in there a few months ago.
I love a new challenge, so it has certainly been a lot of fun. Buzz Lightyear, Batman, a two tiered cake with buttercream roses and some pipework that almost got the better of me!
I was pretty pleased with the results in the end.
So with all of those birthday parties, dinner parties and, well, just parties… we’ve gone way past over indulging in our household.
We’re pretty healthy day-to-day so we don’t mind going a little overboard on occasion, but when you’ve been doing it as much as we have, well, you start to crave the bad (but oh so good!) stuff all the time!
So that is where this recipe comes in. Bad, but also good, it is the perfect compromise. It’s cake, so when you see it your mind automatically tells your mouth to start salivating, but it’s made using unrefined sugars so you won’t get the same sugar cravings you get after devouring a slice of chocolate cake. Granted, you may not get the same satisfaction if chocolate cake is what you are looking for, but go in with an open mind and I’m sure you will love it! It’s cheesecake… how could you not?
My favourites for this bake…
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Cardamom, Orange & Honey Cheesecake
Yield: 2 mini (4″) cheesecakes
For the base
Tip: if you don’t want to make the biscuits from scratch, use any other sweet, crisp biscuits instead.
For the filling
100g raw honey
1/2 an orange, zest and juice
150g cream cheese
50g strained greek yoghurt
6 green cardamom pods
For the topping
pinch of ground cardamom
75g cream cheese
60g greek strained yoghurt
50g pistachios, chopped
1 – 2 tsp of orange syrup (from recipe below)
For the base
Preheat oven to 180°C/350° F/Gas Mark 4.
Place the biscuits, almond meal and spelt flour into a food processor and pulse until you have a fine crumb.
Melt the butter and honey, then combine with the dry ingredients so that the mixture comes together. Press into your 4″ (10 cm) loose bottom cake tins and bake for 10 minutes.
Set aside to cool, then place in the refrigerator until ready to use.
For the filling
Combine the honey and orange juice in a saucepan and place over a low heat. Allow to simmer until the mixture has thickened to a syrup-like consistency, then set aside to cool.
Set aside 2 tsp of the syrup, then add the cream cheese and whisk until combined.
Add the ricotta, yoghurt and and eggs and whisk again to combine.
Grind the seeds from the cardamom pods, then add to the cream cheese mixture.
Pour the mixture onto the cooled base, then place in the preheated oven and reduce the temperature to 165°C/325° F/Gas Mark 3 and bake for 35 – 40 minutes. The cheesecake should be slightly wobbly in the middle. Leave in the oven to cool with the door ajar.
For the topping
Squeeze the juice from half an orange into a bowl, then add the honey and ground cardamom and whisk until the honey has dissolved. Take the remaining one and a half oranges and peel the skin off carefully.
Separate the orange segments, then carefully cut away the membranes so that you are left with just orange.
Pour the orange juice and honey mixture over the segmented oranges and set aside.
Whisk together the cream cheese and yoghurt, then add the reserved syrup to taste. Cover the cheesecakes with a thin layer of the cream cheese yoghurt mixture, then top with orange segments and chopped pistachios, then pour over the orange and honey syrup.