Roses are red,
Violets are Blue,
Sugar is sweet,
And the California Prune cheesecake is too.
Just in case you’ve been hiding under a very heavy cook book, Valentine’s Day is almost upon us, the 14th of February in fact, and now is the time to plan your romantic meal.
Wining and dining has won over many a heart and who are we to suggest anything different? After the main course has satisfied their hunger, serve up a generous slice of this delectable California Prune and Chocolate cheesecake to share, lean in and enjoy.
There is one slight downside which is this isn’t a low calorie option but no celebration meal should be in our opinion. If you are watching what you eat however, and don’t want to undo the good work you’ve put in through January, there are a few ways to reduce the fat and the sugar.
You can replace 75g of the castor sugar in the cheesecake mix with 75g of prune puree (take 60g of California stoned, ready-to-eat Prunes, add 1 tbsp of water and liquidise until pureed).
You can also substitute the cream with full fat Greek yoghurt and/or replace the cream cheese with a lower fat cream cheese, which will reduce the calorie and fat content of the cheesecake without affecting its seductively sweet flavour.
So no excuses, let us help you bake your way to their heart.
400 g (14 oz) milk chocolate digestive biscuits, crushed finely
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
200 g (7 oz) unsalted butter, melted
175 g (6 oz) California Pitted Prunes, chopped
3 tbsp Tia Maria
1 tsp lemon juice
800 g (1 lb 12 oz) cream cheese
225 g (8 oz) caster sugar
4 tbsp double cream
2 tsp vanilla essence
5 eggs, lightly beaten
25 g (1 oz) plain chocolate, grated
4 tbsp strong coffee (ready-made)
50 g (2 oz) chocolate, grated
Handful of fresh raspberries
Place the biscuits in a large bowl, add the cinnamon and butter and stir until well mixed. Press the crumb base well into a base-lined 23 cm (9 inch) round (or heart shaped) loose-bottomed cake tin, covering the base and sides.
Place tin in a preheated oven at 180 C (350 F) Gas 4 and cook for 5 minutes. Place the prunes, Tia Maria and lemon juice in a small bowl and leave to macerate.
Cool the crumb base on a wire rack. Place cream cheese and sugar in a mixing bowl and beat together until smooth. Add the cream and vanilla and continue to beat until smooth. Reduce oven to 160 C (325 F) Gas 3.
Continue beating while adding the eggs, a little at a time, until all are incorporated. Place the chocolate and made up coffee in a saucepan and melt together over a low heat and cool slightly.
Measure 750 ml (1 1/4 pt) of the cheesecake mixture into a jug and reserve. Beat the remaining batter with the chocolate coffee mixture until well mixed and pour into the crumb base.
Cook in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes until cheesecake is nearly set. Remove prunes from marinade and arrange over the cooked layer. Pour over reserved batter and return to oven and cook for a further 35 minutes until set.
Cool in tin on a wire rack until completely cooled then remove cheesecake from the tin and refrigerate until required. Before serving, decorate with the grated chocolate and a handful of raspberries.
Don’t forget to tweet us with your romantic bakes!