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Baked cheesecake with strawberry and basil

This indulgent and original recipe is the creation of Will Torrent, who has a reputation as a bit of a Willy Wonka in the exclusive world of high concept sweets, and has worked with many top chefs from Jamie Oliver to Heston Blumenthal. In this recipe he combines fragrant and rich tastes with his extraordinary skills to make something quite wonderful.


Recipe

Ingredients

Base

  • Extra virgin olive oil – 25ml/ 1 1/2  tbsps
  • Handful of ground cacao nibs
  • Butter – 25g/ 0.9oz
  • Amaretti biscuits – 150g/ 5.3oz, crushed

Layering

  • Mascarpone – 500g/ 1.1lb
  • Ricotta cheese – 250g/ 8.8oz
  • Eggs – 3
  • Sugar – 180g/ 2.8oz
  • Oranges – zest of 2
  • Vanilla pod – 1
  • 1 tbsp Cacao Olive Oil
  • Small handful of ground cacao nibs

 For the topping/salad

Extra virgin olive oil – 25ml/ 1 1/2  tbsps Handful of ground cacao nibs Butter – 25g/ 0.9oz Amaretti biscuits – 150g/ 5.3oz, crushed Mascarpone – 500g/ 1.1lb Ricotta cheese – 250g/ 8.8oz Eggs – 3 Sugar – 180g/ 2.8oz Oranges – zest of 2 Vanilla pod – 1 1 tbsp Cacao Olive Oil Small handful of ground cacao nibs Strawberries – 250g/ 8.8oz hulled and cut Basil – 1 bunch torn Extra virgin olive oil – approx. 5 tbsp to bring it together Basil olive oil - to drizzle

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/ 356°F. Grease the sides and base of a 20cm/ 7.8″ diameter spring form/loose-bottomed cake tin and place a disc of greaseproof or silicone paper on the bottom.
  2. Put the amaretti biscuits into a food processor and blend until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Mix the crushed biscuits with the melted butter, olive oil and crushed cacao nibs. Tip into the prepared tin. Press down into the base of the tin to form an even layer using a spatula. Place the mascarpone, ricotta, eggs, sugar, olive oil, remaining crushed nibs, orange zest and vanilla extract into a mixer and blend till smooth.
  3. Pour the mixture onto the biscuit base in the tin and gently shake the tin so that the cheesecake mixture levels itself out. Bake in the centre of the oven for 45-50 minutes or until the cheesecake is golden. It should still have a bit of a wobble in the middle when it comes out of the oven, but the residual heat will set this last bit as it cools.
  4. Cover and leave to cool completely before putting in the fridge overnight.
  5. Run a knife around the edge to loosen the cheesecake and remove it from the tin. Transfer to a serving plate.
  6. Prepare the strawberries by hulling and cutting into quarters and placing into a bowl with the torn basil (always tear basil never cut it with a knife as it will always bruise) and drizzle over the extra virgin olive oil, or basil olive oil. Spoon the strawberry mix over the cheesecake and serve to insane applause.