Rosewater maple cheesecake

Have you ever eaten a hot cheesecake? Sounds dubious I know but trust me on this.

Dusted with chopped pistachios

Dusted with chopped pistachios

I’ve been making this rosewater and maple cheesecake for about seven years now and it’s good both hot and cold. Hot cheesecake you’re thinking? How do you even eat that?! I once made the cheesecake filling without a base and poured it straight into a large pudding ramekin. Baked until toasty brown on top, I served it with a few loose raspberries on the side. Imagine a creamy egg custard and you’d get close to what it was like. Scented with rosewater, the maple sweetness comes through even more so when warm and the fresh raspberries cut through with their tartness. I scooped out servings of the hot, quivering filling and it was a total hit, albeit an unusual afternoon tea offering. The leftovers were placed into the fridge once cool and once settled, firmed to a normal cheesecake consistency.

Most of the time however, I eat this like a normal person as a cooled, baked cheesecake. A smattering of chopped pistachio goes well with the vaguely Middle Eastern flavouring and raspberry coulis is delicious but not mandatory on the side. Long time readers would know what I’m completely in love with floral scents and use rosewater, orange blossom water, elderflower and lavender etc at any chance I get.

My 19 year old cousin requested this cheesecake for Christmas lunch dessert this year, having never forgotten when I baked a version into cupcake cases (yes, I’ve made it almost every way you can imagine!) more than four years ago. She came over to learn how to make it and I was pretty chuffed since my cousins are not keen on cooking and avoid helping with Christmas lunch for the extended family.

Rosewater raspberry sauce - I left it chunky this time.

Rosewater raspberry sauce – I left it chunky this time.

Use your favourite plain biscuits for the base. I like to use a mix of butternut snaps and gingersnaps as I think the respective caramel and ginger flavours go well with the rosewater. If you’re not flower mad like I am, add in the zest of a lemon and you’ll still have a wonderfully smooth cheesecake since it’s made with marscapone as the cream cheese base. Another option is to throw a handful of raspberries onto the biscuit base before you pour in the filling. This gives your guests a berry surprise but don’t put too many (2/3 of a cup should do it) otherwise the base can become soggy. I started adding the berries on the base trick years ago when I felt too lazy to create a raspberry sauce. For Christmas I threw over a green handful of chopped pistachios and with the blushing raspberry sauce, it was a fittingly festive dessert.

A completely adaptable and forgiving cheesecake, I’m asked for the recipe every single time I make it.

Rosewater maple cheesecake
Adapted from the Vermont marscapone cheesecake

Ingredients:

  • 250 grams x crushed plain biscuits
  • 50 grams x melted butter
  • 500 grams x mascarpone
  • 100 ml x cream
  • 200 grams x caster sugar
  • 4 x large eggs
  • 50ml x maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon x rosewater
  • 50 grams x pistachios, roughly chopped – optional

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 C / 390 F.
  2. Line a 23cm springform tin with baking paper on the base and sides, letting the paper on the sides exceed the top of the tin by about an inch.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix the melted butter and crushed biscuits. Pour the biscuit crumb mixture into the prepared tin and press down, keeping the biscuit base even.
  4. Bake the biscuit crumb base for 10 minutes to firm up. Let cool for about 15 minutes. Decrease the oven temperature to 180 C / 360 F.
  5. Mix the mascarpone, cream, sugar, eggs, maple syrup and rosewater in a large mixing bowl.
  6. Pour filling over the cooled biscuit base.
  7. Bake for 50-60 minutes, It will be firm at the edges but still wobbly in the middle. Remove and allow to cool at room temperature before placing in the fridge for at least 3 hours or overnight.
  8. Just before serving, scatter the chopped pistachios (if using) over the cheesecake and cut with a knife warmed in hot water for a cleaner slice. Serve with rosewater raspberry coulis if desired or fresh raspberries on the side.
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