Serves 6 Ingredients For the base: 125g (4oz) chocolate digestives, finely crushed 30g (1oz) butter, melted For the filling: 3 leaves of gelatine 200g carton full-fat soft cheese 100g (3 ½ oz.) caster sugar ½ x 200ml carton crème fraiche Finely zested rind of 1 lemon 1 medium egg white For the topping: 250g (8oz) cherries, stoned 4 tbsp. caster sugar 1 level tbsp. arrowroot 2 tbsp. kirsch Mint sprigs for garnish 4 cooking rings or plain cutters about 6cm (2 ½ in) diameter buttered Baking tray lined with baking parchment 1. To make the base: Mix together the crushed biscuits and butter. Place the cooking rings or cutters on the baking tray and divide the biscuit mix between them, press down firmly. Chill until set. 2. To make filling: Place the gelatine leaves in a bowl of cold water and leave them to sponge. Beat together the soft cheese, sugar, crème fraiche and lemon zest. Squeeze out the excess water from the gelatine and melt it, either in a microwave oven or in a bowl over a pan of hot water, and beat it into the cheese mixture. Whisk the egg white until stiff and fold into mixture. Divide the mixture between the rings then chill in the fridge for a few hours or overnight, until set. 3. To make the topping: Pour 100 ml (3 ½ fl oz) water into a saucepan and add the cherries and sugar. Bring to the boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Simmer for 2 – 3 mins, until cherries are tender. Blend the arrowroot with 2 tbsp. water and pour into the pan, stirring well so that the juices thicken. Simmer for a further minute, then remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the kirsch, and then leave mixture to cool. 4. Remove the cheesecakes from the rings by putting a palette knife under them to lift them from the baking parchment, and then heating the sides, either using a gas flame or by wrapping a hot cloth around them – take care not to melt them too much. Place them on serving plates and spoon the cherry mixture on top and garnish with a mint sprig.
Tip: If you don’t have cooking rings or cutters, make and serve the cheesecakes in ramekin dishes.
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