Living in Bodrum, a once small Aegean town in Turkey, which is growing rapidly each year, you cannot miss the abundance of orange and mandarin trees. With not only the Christmas season upon us, but with it being the season to harvest all those sweet fruits, I thought it would be the perfect time to make a chocolate orange cheesecake, to remind me of my favourite Christmas treat, Terry’s Chocolate Orange which I can’t get here.
The recipe is quite simple to follow so you do not need to be a master chef to bake this cake.
250 g digestive biscuits
100 g melted butter
200 g labne (mascarpone)
200 g soft white cheese (Philadelphia)
200 g suzme peynir (a type of soft white cheese in Turkey)
150 g thick cream
3 whole eggs and 1 yolk
75 g sugar
3-4 tablespoons orange flavouring
Zest of one large orange
100 g chocolate chips
200 ml bitter chocolate
300 ml thick whipping cream
2 tsps sugar
2-3 tblsps orange flavouring
Sliced baby oranges and a star anise for decoration
First of all prepare your baking tray. Line a spring release cake tin (approx. 20 cm) with baking paper. Cover the underneath with aluminium foil to seal it. If you have a release tin with a lipped tray that holds the water you don’t need to use the foil or submerge in another dish of water.
For the base
Break the biscuits in a bag, then using a rolling pin roll over them until finely crushed. Alternatively you can use a blender.
Mix into the melted butter and mix well until all combined.
Place into the cake tin and spread out pressing down firmly with the back of a spoon. If you have too many you can press against the sides too. (This may be the case if your tin is a little smaller) Place the cake tin in the refrigerator to chill for around 30 minutes.
Now pre-heat your oven to 180°c.
For the filling
Place the eggs in a bowl and whisk. Then add the sugar and the cream and whisk together.
Place the labne (mascarpone), soft white cheese (Philadelphia) and the suzme peynir (a type of soft white cheese in Turkey) into a separate bowl and mash together until smooth.
Now add this to the first bowl containing the eggs, cream and sugar along with the orange zest and then add the orange flavouring and whisk together until smooth. Finally, add the chocolate chips and stir gently to spread evenly.
Pour onto the cheesecake base and level out with the back of a spoon. Make sure to get into the corners if not a round tin. Place the tin into another larger bowl or tray with water about one third of the way up the sides in order to stop the cake from cracking.
Place in the oven for 55-60 minutes. Remove and allow to cool then cover with stretch film and place in the fridge over night for best results.
Break the bitter chocolate into small pieces and place in a bowl. In a small saucepan, heat the whipping cream until it almost comes to a boil. Pour the hot cream over the broken chocolate and stir continuously until all the chocolate has dissolved and you have a smooth chocolate topping. Add the orange flavouring and decorate with the sliced oranges and star anise.