This could possibly be the best summery, exotic cheesecake in the world. No wait, let me rephrase that: this is the best summery, exotic cheesecake in the world! I mean, a cream cheese and Greek yoghurt filling flavoured with fresh passion fruit juice on a crunchy base of coconut, cashew and cardamom… I am literally on the verge of fainting merely by describing its wonderfulness, so you can only imagine the state of sheer oblivion I was in when I actually tasted the cheesecake! (Although I must confess that “tasting” is a rather euphemistic term for “scoffing the whole lot” 😉 )
This will be the cheesecake by which all other cheesecakes will forever be judged. It is The Cheesecake. With a capital T and a capital L. The King of cheesecakes.
I have always had a huge soft spot for cheesecake. It’s by far the most indulgent and comforting dessert there is. It’s that velvety smoothness that seems to get to me every single time. I used to believe that I would eventually grow accustomed to that soothing clinginess but until this very day I still haven’t. Yes, I now realize that it is impossible to get tired of cheesecake. It is “The Notebook” of desserts: no matter how many times you eat it, you will never ever get bored of it!
This doesn’t mean, however, that you can’t shake things up a bit and bring some sexy back into your long-term relationship with cheesecake. And this is where the passion fruit comes in. I find it rather impossible not to be passionate about passion fruit: it is incredibly good for you, it has the most wonderful tangy, exotic flavour and the name sounds –you have to admit- at least a tiny bit dirty. If cheesecake is The Notebook of desserts, than passion fruit is definitely the Ryan Gosling of fruit. Just imagine Ryan Gosling standing in front of you –with or without his shirt on, that’s up to you 😉 – saying “passion fruit” in a very husky voice, speaking slowly as if to emphasize the sluttiness of those S’s…
Like I said, it’s impossible not to get passionate about passion fruit.
So If you want to do some seduction in the kitchen, I suggest making The Cheesecake!
Passion fruit cheesecake with a coconut-cashew-cardamom crust
For the base:
• 50gr cashew nuts, finely chopped
• 50gr desiccated coconut
• 5 cardamom pods, seeds removed and finely chopped
• 75gr plain flour
• 65gr soy spread or butter
• 1tbsp water
• ½ tsp salt
For the filling:
• 4 eggs
• 150gr caster sugar
• 125ml Greek Yoghurt
• 400gr cream cheese (I used Philadelphia Light)
• 6 passion fruit, sieved to collect pulp and juice only
1. For the base, mix all the ingredients except the water together until you get a sandy consistency. Add the water and mix well until you get soft dough. Cover in cling film and put in the fridge for 30 minutes to firm up.
2. Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a springform tin with baking parchment. Take your dough out of the fridge and press the mixture into the bottom of your tin, using the back of a spoon to create an even surface.
3. Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes. The pastry should be slightly golden but still raw in the middle.
4. Turn the heat of your oven down to 150°C.
5. Combine the Greek yoghurt and cream cheese together in a bowl with a pinch of salt.
6. Whisk together the eggs and sugar until you get a frothy consistency.
7. Stir the passion fruit juice in the cream cheese mixture. Then add the egg mixture and stir well until everything is well incorporated.
8. Bake in the oven for 1 hour. The cheesecake is cooked when springy to the touch and just set in the middle. I always put a large bowl of hot water at the bottom of the oven, this will keep the cheesecake moist and will prevent the top from crackling.
9. Once out of the oven, let the cheesecake cool slightly in its tin, then unclip the springform and put into the fridge for at least one hour.