White chocolate and ginger cheesecake, ginger brittle and rhubarb, by Madalene Bonvini-Hamel

02 March 2012
White chocolate and ginger cheesecake, ginger brittle and rhubarb, by Madalene Bonvini-Hamel

(Serves eight)

For the white chocolate and ginger cheesecake
300g cream cheese
180ml whipping cream
200g white chocolate, melted
125g caster sugar
4 large eggs, separated
50ml cold water
1tbs finely diced stem ginger

For the ginger brittle biscuits (several batches)
225g caster sugar
120g unsalted butter
120g glucose
120g plain flour
1tsp ground ginger

For the poached rhubarb
150ml water
150g caster sugar
1 vanilla pod
350g rhubarb

For the rhubarb pearls
500ml peanut oil
2 gelatine leaves, soaked
150g poached rhubarb


For the cheesecake Place 8 small metal rings in the fridge to chill. Soften the cream cheese and set aside. Semi-whip the cream and set aside. Make an Italian meringue with 4 egg whites, 85g caster sugar and 50ml cold water - whip until glossy and shiny. In a bowl over boiling water whip 40g of caster sugar and 4 yolks to a thick sabayon, then stir in the melted chocolate and diced stem ginger. Blend the sabayon and cream cheese then carefully fold the Italian meringue into the sabayon followed by the semi-whipped cream. Transfer the mix to the chilled metal rings and chill until set, about 4 hours.

For the ginger brittle biscuits In a small saucepan over a low heat melt the butter, sugar and glucose, stirring until dissolved - do not boil. Once melted and dissolved, remove from the heat and stir in the flour and ginger, leave to cool and refrigerate for 2 hours. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Roll small balls, place them on a baking tray lined with silpat leaving 5cm gaps between. Bake for 5-7 minutes until crisp, golden brown and cooked. Leave to cool. Keep in an airtight container for up to two days.

For the poached rhubarb In a small saucepan dissolve the sugar in the water with the seeds from the vanilla pod over a low heat, stirring until dissolved, then increase the heat and boil the syrup for 4 minutes. Leave to cool. Wash and cut the rhubarb into the desired size, place in a vacuum bag and add 200ml cold stock syrup. Seal the bag and place in a preheated water bath at 80°C for 10 minutes. Transfer the bag to ice water to cool completely. Keep refrigerated until needed.

For the rhubarb pearls Place the oil in the freezer for two hours before needed. Bloom the gelatine. Blend the poached rhubarb until smooth, gently heat and dissolve the gelatine in the warm rhubarb purée. Pass the purée through a fine sieve. Use a syringe or a pipette and drop small droplets of the purée in the ice-cold oil, leave them to set, use a slotted spoon to carefully remove them from the oil, rinse under chilled running water and leave to drain. Keep the pearls chilled until serving. Use on the same day.

To serve Remove the cheesecake from the moulds. Drain the poached rhubarb and arrange on the plate with the cheesecake, garnish with the biscuits and rhubarb pearls.

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