PINEAPPLE WITH DARK CHOC CHEESECAKE


SERVES 10 / PREPARATION 30 MINUTES / COOKING 110 MINUTES PLUS COOLING TIME

Pineapple lumps are right up there with jandals, gumboots and L&P when it comes to Kiwi classics – and they’re the inspiration for this chocolate-covered, no-bake pineapple cheesecake.

200g chocolate biscuits (I used Chocolate Thins)
80g plain biscuits
85g butter, melted
5 leaves Equagold gold-grade gelatine
2 x 227g tins crushed pineapple, drained (reserve ¼ cup juice)
625g cream cheese, softened
125g sour cream
¾ cup caster sugar

Line the base and sides of a 21cm springform cake pan with baking paper. Combine the biscuits and butter in a food processor and whiz to form crumbs then press into the base of the prepared tin. Use the back of a tablespoon to smooth out the base on the bottom, and take it a little way up the sides. Chill the base for 30 minutes.

Soak the gelatine leaves in cold water for 5 minutes. Heat the reserved pineapple juice in a pan or the microwave until simmering, then squeeze the excess water from the gelatine leaves and add them to the hot juice, stirring until completely dissolved. Set aside. Whiz the cream cheese, sour cream and sugar in a food processor until smooth. Add the crushed pineapple and whiz briefly. Add the dissolved gelatine in juice and whiz again to combine. Pour the filling over the biscuit base and chill for 6 hours or overnight.

FOR THE TOPPING
½ pineapple
140g dark chocolate
⅓ cup cream
2 tablespoons butter

Preheat the oven to 110˚C and line a tray with baking paper. Slice 6 thin (5mm) rounds from the pineapple and place on the baking paper. Bake for 40 minutes then turn very gently using a fish slice, and bake for a further 40 minutes. Turn the oven off and cool in the oven for 30 minutes then poke each pineapple gently in muffin tray holes and put back in the cooling oven until cold. Use within 2 days. (In humid weather I find the flowers flatten very quickly, but in dry cooler weather they will hold a slightly cupped shape).

For the chocolate topping, heat the chocolate, cream and butter together in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, whisk until smooth then cool in the fridge for 20 minutes. Remove the cheesecake from the tin, drizzle with chocolate and top with pineapple flowers to serve.

WINE A sparkling rosé with a touch of sweetness, such as the Daniel Le Brun Rosé NV.

CREDITS: Recipe & food styling Sarah Tuck, Photography & styling Greta van der Star

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