Mary Berry's Chocolate, Brandy & Ginger Cheesecake

Mary Berry's easy cheesecake is a perfect make-ahead dessert that combines the richness of chocolate with spicy stem ginger and just the right amount of brandy.

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Introduction

A sophisticated cheesecake that serves 8. If you like, you can add a little more brandy to the cheesecake filling. If ginger is a favourite flavour, the quantity used can be increased as well. 

Serves 8
Easy

Ingredients

For the base:
100g (4oz) ginger biscuits
50g (2oz) butter
25g (1oz) demerara sugar
For the cheesecake:
100g (4oz) plain chocolate (39% cocoa solids)
15 g (½ oz) sachet powdered gelatine
3 tbsp cold water
2 large eggs, separated
50 g (2 oz) caster sugar
100 g (4 oz) full-fat soft cheese
150 ml (¼ pint) soured cream
4 tbsp brandy
about 25 g (1 oz) fresh ginger, finely chopped
To decorate:
150 ml (¼ pint) whipping or double cream, whipped (optional)
chocolate caraque or curls
a few slices of stem ginger

Essential kit

You will need: a 20 cm (8 in) loose-bottomed cake tin or springform tin.

Instructions

1. Lightly grease a 20 cm (8 in) loose-bottomed cake tin or springform tin.

2. Put the biscuits into a plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin. Melt the butter in a medium-sized pan. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the biscuit crumbs and sugar. Press into the prepared tin and leave to set.

3. Melt the chocolate gently in a bowl set over a pan of hot water, stirring occasionally. Allow to cool slightly.

4. Sprinkle the gelatine over the measured water in a small bowl and leave for 10 minutes to ‘sponge’. Stand the bowl in a pan of gently simmering water until the gelatine has completely dissolved. Leave to cool slightly.

5. Beat together the egg yolks, sugar and cheese in a large bowl. Add the soured cream and cooled chocolate. Stir in the dissolved gelatine. Whisk the egg whites until frothy and fold into the cheese mixture along with the brandy and chopped stem ginger. Pour on to the biscuit base and chill in the fridge to set.

6. When set, carefully remove the cheesecake from the tin before decorating with whipped cream if you like, chocolate caraque or curls, and slices of stem ginger. 

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