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Recipe of the week: burnt cheesecake with spiced mandarins

This dessert is vegetarian, gluten-free and perfect for cosy autumnal evenings

Serves 10-12

Prep time: 30 minutes. Cook time: one hour, plus overnight chilling

Ingredients:
For the cheesecake
  • 680g full-fat cream cheese
  • 250g caster sugar
  • good pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 25g cornflour
  • four medium eggs
  • 300ml double cream
For the mandarins
  • 2 cans (298g) Del Monte Mandarin Segments in Juice
  • 4 tbsp soft light brown sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 star anise
  • 5-6 cardamom pods, slightly squashed
Method:
  • Make the cheesecake the day before you want to serve it. Preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6 and find a 20cm round springform tin. Take a large piece of baking parchment, more than big enough to line the tin, and scrunch it up in your hands – this makes the paper easier to manipulate. Unscrunch the paper and put it in the tin, using a smaller cake tin to help mould it to the sides. Don’t worry about the creases and wrinkles – these are all part of the look of the cheesecake!
  • If you have a mixer, put the cream cheese, sugar, salt, vanilla and cornflour into it and beat them thoroughly together. Otherwise, do this in a large mixing bowl, beating until smooth.
  • Add the eggs and start beating them into the cream cheese mixture, gradually pouring in the cream as you go. If you’re using a mixing bowl, beat in the eggs one at a time before beating in the cream. You want a nice, smooth mixture.
  • Pour the mixture carefully into the lined tin and transfer to the oven. Bake for 50-60 minutes until the cheesecake is puffed up, very brown at the edges and a rich golden brown in the centre. It should have a slight wobble in the middle still. Take out of the oven and leave to cool completely in the tin – it will sink as it cools. Transfer to the fridge and refrigerate overnight.
  • While the cheesecake is baking, make the spiced mandarins. Drain the juice from both cans into a saucepan. Add the brown sugar and whole spices and put over a medium heat. Stir until the sugar is dissolved, then let the juice come to a brisk simmer and cook for about 10 minutes until the liquid is reduced and syrupy.
  • Take off the heat, add the mandarin segments and stir gently. Leave to cool then refrigerate.
  • When you’re ready to serve, carefully remove the paper and transfer the cheesecake to a serving plate. Serve in slices, with a generous spoonful of the mandarins and their syrup.

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