- 100 g digestive biscuits
- 50 g unsalted butter, melted
- 125 ml (½ cup) pouring cream
- 60 ml (¼ cup) milk
- 3 egg yolks
- 180 g white chocolate, broken into pieces
- 1 leaf titanium-strength gelatine (see Note)
- 250 g cream cheese, at room temperature
- 50 g dark chocolate, melted
Poached pears and pear sorbet
- 1.2 kg (about 8) packham pears, peeled
- 250 ml (1 cup) white wine
- 165 g (¾ cup) white sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cinnamon quill
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Chilling time 6 hours or overnight
Process biscuits in a food processor to fine crumbs. Add butter and process until combined. Place 6 greased baking rings (6 cm x 4 cm) on a lined baking tray. Press biscuit mixture into rings, then refrigerate to firm.
Bring cream and milk to the boil over medium heat. Place egg yolks in a bowl and slowly whisk cream mixture into egg yolks until combined. Return to the pan over low heat. Cook, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon, for 4 minutes or until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon. Place white chocolate in a bowl. Pour over cream mixture and stir until chocolate has melted. Stir in gelatine, strain mixture into a clean bowl, then cool.
Process cream cheese in a food processor until smooth. Add chocolate mixture. Process until combined. Divide among baking rings. Refrigerate for 6 hours, or overnight, to set.
To make poached pears and sorbet, place pears, wine, 1 litre water, sugar, vanilla and cinnamon in a pan. Cover with a cartouche, bring to the boil, then simmer for 5 minutes or until pears are tender. Cool. Drain, reserving 250 ml syrup. Cut cheeks from 3 pears and reserve. Cut flesh from remaining pears and purée with reserved syrup in a food processor. Churn in an ice-cream maker until frozen.
To make chocolate curls, spread melted dark chocolate over the back of an oven tray. Freeze for 10 minutes. Run a metal pastry scraper against chocolate so it curls up on itself. Place in a container and return to freezer to set.
Remove cheesecakes from rings and top with chocolate curls. Serve with poached pears and pear sorbet.
• Gelatine leaves are available from delis.