Easter lunch

For Easter lunch with my family back in Sweden I served a roast leg of lamb,  sticky garlic roast potatoes, bean gratin and some of my grandmother’s home-made bread.  And plenty of red wine, of course.   The leg of lamb was a bit tricky to track down, but I managed to find one in Östermalms Hallen.  Pierced with garlic and rosemary and then slow-cooked, the meat goes really tender and releases plenty of juices for gravy. 

I haven’t made cheesecake in ages and had developed a bit of a craving.  There are very few things that go with a cup of coffee as well as a really decadent cheesecake.  And although there is a time and a place for the baked variety, I prefer the unbaked New York version.  It also works particularly well if you are entertaining for a large crowd as it doesn’t need to go in the oven, which may well be overloaded already.  

This one has a little bit of what you fancy for one and all- soft, sweet fruit, bitter chocolate and a great crunchy, buttery biscuit base (old news by now, but I couldn’t resist).  Because we are nowhere even remotely close to raspberry season in Sweden, I used the frozen variety.  This means that once they are added, the cream cheese mixture goes quite cold, so when you pour in the melted chocolate, it solidifies.  Keep stirring and you’ll get little flecks of chocolate.  I like this Stracciatella-effect and decided to make it a bit of a feature.  You could, of course, exercise a bit more patience and wait for your raspberries to defrost a bit (or, if making this in the summer, use the fresh kind- although, beware, this will make for a much pinker cake).  However, I think this version is a delight and would heartily recommend it.

Think about the kind of chocolate you want to use- the higher the cocoa content, the more intense, even slightly bitter, the flavour.  Adjust accordingly with the sugar content or, if you have a really sweet tooth, use milk chocolate (and about half the sugar content). 

Raspberry Stracciatella Cheesecake 

You will need:
180 g digestive biscuits
75 g melted butter
150 g chocolate (min. 60% cocoa solids)
300 g cream cheese
200 ml double cream
100 g sugar 
150 g frozen raspberries 
chocolate melted, to serve (optional)

Method:

1.  Start with the biscuit base.   Crumble the biscuits using your favourite method- either bashing in a bag with a rolling pin or using a food processor.  Add the melted butter and mix to distribute evenly, until all of the crumbs have absorbed the fat and changed colour slightly.

2.  Line a spring form tin with the crumbs and use your knuckles to push into place.  Put in the fridge while you carry on with the rest of the cake.  

3.  If you have a microwave, pop 100g of the chocolate into a bowl and blast it until melted.  Otherwise, melt in a glass bowl over simmering water.

4.  In a medium sized bowl, whip the cream cheese, cream and sugar together until combined and smooth. 

5.  Add the frozen raspberries and gently stir to evenly distribute.  Swirl the chocolate through the mixture, some of it will harden slightly when it comes into contact with the frozen raspberries, but this is what you want, keep mixing.

6.  Scoop the chocolate-raspberry-cream-cheese-mixture into the cake tin, over the biscuit base.  Use a knife to evenly distribute and then put back into the fridge for at least 4 hours.

7.  To serve, melt the remainder of the chocolate and smooth over the cake and leave to set for a few minutes to set.  Alternatively, grate chocolate over the cake and decorate with some fresh raspberries.

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