Cherry Ripe Cheesecake


I’m having trouble getting good photos of my desserts… they keep being eaten! Here’s another hard-to-photograph success; Cherry Ripe Cheesecake!

Cherry Ripe Cheesecake

Makes a 25cm dia cheesecake


A: 375g good-quality chocolate biscuits
B: 125g butter, melted
C: 3tbsp cocoa (for chocoholics)

Process biscuits in a food processor until very fine. Mix in cocoa.
Add melted butter and stir together.
Line a spring-form tin with paper and press the mixture into the base and sides of the tin.
TIP: Pour about 2/3rds of the mixture in, and make the sides first! Then pour the rest in and flatten out a base.
Place in the fridge to set.


A: 200g dark chocolate
B: 4 large cherry ripe bars
C: 1 tin black cherries, drained
D: 750g cream cheese, at room temperature
E: 100g caster sugar
F: 3 eggs

Chop up chocolate and cherry ripe bars, place in a double boiler to melt.
Beat cream cheese and sugar together until smooth. Beat in eggs, one at a time.
Once chocolate has melted take it off the heat, and ensure it’s not too hot.
Beat in the chocolate mixture and cherries.
Pour the filling into the springform tin, and smooth out the top.
Bake at 180°C for 50 minutes.
Switch off the heat and prop the door very slightly ajar, let cool for 45 minutes.
Refrigerate for at least 3 hours.


A: 300g cherry jam
B: Cherry ripe bars, to decorate

Microwave jam in a heatproof bowl until liquid.
Pour evenly over cheesecake.
Chop or slice cherry ripe bars as desired, decorate top.
Place back in fridge for at least 5 minutes before serving.


Almost ready to eat!



And almost gone!


Salted Caramel Sauce

Left-over cream, what can I do with this? Cribbed a few recipes together, and improved the technique.


Salted Caramel Sauce

A. 500g caster sugar
B. 150mL water
C. 300ml double cream
D. 250g butter
E. 1 heaped tsp salt

  • Heat cream, butter, and salt in a small saucepan, at low heat.
  • Stir occasionally, continuing on with the recipe, and switch heat off and cover once the butter is dissolved.
  • In a heavy-based medium saucepan, heat sugar & water together until the sugar fully dissolves.
  • Increase the sugar mix’s heat to high, and bring to the boil.
  • When boiling cover the pan for 2 minutes, to allow the buildup of steam to dissolve any grains of sugar on the sides.
  • Uncover the pan, boil without stirring.
  • Watch pot carefully! When mixture reaches >170ºC and becomes golden, remove from heat. (IR thermometers are great)
  • With a long-handled spoon stir the mixture, while very slowly pouring in the cream/butter mix. The mixture will foam up a lot!
  • When all combined, put back onto medium heat, still stirring.
  • Bring mixture back to the boil for a few minutes, lifting the pan off the heat if it threatens to boil over.
  • Let cool for 10 minutes, then taste test. You might need to sample several times.
  • Pour into jars, over ice cream, cakes, whatever you like.

Salted Caramel Peanut Chocolate Tarts

Here’s my new very dangerous tart recipe.
Not for diabetics or those with heart conditions!



A. 250g plain flour, sifted
B. 3tbs cocoa powder, sifted
C. 3tbs pure icing sugar, sifted
D. 165g chilled unsalted butter, chopped
E. 30ml (2 tbsp) chilled water

  • Process all ingredients except the water in a food processor until fine powder.
  • Add the water, process until combined.
  • Turn out onto floured board, knead for 1 minute, roll into a ball, cover with glad-wrap and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
  • Divide the dough into 8 portions, then for each portion;
  • Roll into a 12cm-dia circle, place into an 8cm-dia flan case, trim excess with a knife
  • Place on a tray in the freezer for 30 minutes
  • Preheat oven to 200ºC.
  • Cover the cases with baking paper and pastry weights, bake for 10 minutes.
  • Remove and bake for 5 minutes longer – should be dry to the touch.
  • Let cool completely.

Salted Peanut Caramel

A. 300g caster sugar
B. 180ml water
C. 250ml double cream
D. 120g salted peanuts, finely chopped

  • In a heavy-based saucepan, dissolve sugar & water at low heat until the sugar dissolves.
  • Set heat to high, and boil without stirring. Occasionally remove sugar crystals from the side of the pan with a wet pastry brush.
  • Watch pot carefully! When mixture reaches 160ºC and becomes deep golden, remove from heat. (IR thermometers are great)
  • With a long-handled spoon stir cream quickly into the mixture – it will foam up!
  • Put back onto medium heat. Stir for at least 2 minutes, until mixture is smooth and bubbles up again.
  • Let cool for 30 minutes.
  • Stir in peanuts.


A. 150ml double cream
B. 150g dark chocolate, coarsely chopped

  • Chop, process or grate the chocolate into small pieces, put in a jug.
  • Heat the cream (but do not boil), then tip into the jug.
  • Stir with a spoon until the chocolate is combined, then mix with a stick blender until smooth.

Putting it all together

  • Pour caramel into each case, leaving room for the chocolate layer, tilt cases to spread caramel
  • Put back in freezer for 5-10 minutes
  • Pour ganache into each case, tilting to ensure coverage.
  • Place a few flecks of sea salt in the centre of each tart.
  • Chill until served.

The tarts will be very rich. Serve with cream or ice-cream.