Friday, 24 December 2010

Raspberry-Lychee Cheesecake, Merry Christmas!!

My two beautiful boys


Christmas is my most favourite time of the year...I love everything about Christmas, I love Christmas tree, Christmas lights, the holiday, the decorations, the food, the songs, the shopping, the gifts, all of the Christmasy stuffs... but most of all I love the gathering of families and friends.

One of my favourite dessert for Christmas is Raspberry and Lychee Cheesecake.
It's a very easy dessert to make and can be made in advance.
Christmas in New Zealand is summer, so for me this is a perfect chilled dessert that embodies the flavours of summer and Christmas :)



Raspberry and Lychee Cheesecake

To make this cake you need:

23cm sponge, recipe follows, or use bought sponge.

Basic sponge:
3 eggs
3/4 cup caster sugar
1 cup self-raising flour
1 Tbsp boiling water
1 Tbsp melted butter
1 Tsp vanilla essence

Filling:
1 1/2 Tbsp gelatin
1/4 cup water
500g raspberries (fresh or frozen)
500g fresh lychees or 550g can lychees, well drained
1/2 cup caster sugar
250g mascarpone
250g creme fraiche
1/2 cup cream, whipped
2-3 Tbsp Cointreau

Method:

Basic Sponge:
  • Whisk the egg and caster sugar together until thick and creamy.
  • Drizzle the hot water, melted butter and vanilla essence around the edge of the bowl and sift the flour on top.
  • Fold together gently.
  • Spoon mixture into 23cm greased and lined springform tin.
  • Cook at 180C for about 40 min or until risen and cooked through. The sponge will have shrunk from the sides and the centre will be firm to touch.
Filling:

  • Sprinkle the gelatin over the water and allow to swell. Then dissolve by standing over hot water until melted. 
  • Sieve 3/4 of raspberries to make a smooth puree. Sweeten with 2 Tbsp of the sugar. Peel half lychees and remove the stones. Chop half the fruit finely and place in a bowl with any juice from the lychees along with the mascarpone, creme fraiche, whipped cream and remaining caster sugar and orange liqueur. Stir together well.
  • Gently stir in the dissolved gelatin and carefully fold through the raspberry puree.
  • Cut the sponge cake in half horizontally and place one half into the base of a baking paper-lined 23cm cake tin. Pour raspberries cheesecake mixture into the tin and level off. Sit the remaining sponge half on top and press down firmly. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or preferably overnight.
  • Remove the sides of the cake tin and peel away paper. Transfer to a serving plate and decorate with icing sugar, remaining raspberries, lychees and toffee shards.

Toffee shards:

Place 1/2 cup sugar in a heavy-based saucepan with 2-3 Tbsp water and stir gently over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to a boil, stop stirring and boil rapidly until the sugar syrup begins to turn a golden colour. Pour out onto a baking paper-lined tray and leave to set. Break into pieces and store in an airtight container.


Happy baking and Merry Christmas everyone!

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