50g caster sugar
1/4 vanilla bean, split lengthways, seeds scraped
100g cream cheese
2 teaspoons plain flour
2 fresh black plums, cut in half, then quarters
1 tablespoon caster sugar
15 ml orange juice
10 ml Brandy*optional
½ cup Malt biscuits*crumbed (store bought)
20g butter, melted
1 teaspoon cocoa
1 egg white
1/4 cup caster sugar
Serves 2 (This recipe can be made up to step 5, the day before)
- For the biscuit base, in a food processor blitz biscuits to a fine crumb. Add melted butter and cocoa, mix well. Place 2 lightly greased (8 x 5cm) metal round molds on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Press biscuits crumb inside each one to form a base, then place in the fridge to chill.
- In a pan over medium heat, add sugar, orange juice, brandy and plum quarters. Cook plums turning regularly until just tender about 3-5 minutes, remove from heat and place in a dish to cool.
- Preheat, the oven to 220°C (425°F), fan forced. In a bowl add sugar, vanilla bean, mascarpone, and cream cheese and using an electric mixer beat until smooth. Add egg, mix until combined then fold in plain flour. Spoon some of the mixture into ring pans, place 2 plum quarters on top in each, then top with a little more mixture and add 2 more plum quarters, cover with remaining mixture and smooth tops.
- Place in the oven and bake for 8 minutes then reduce heat to 100°C (210°F) and bake for a further 20-25 minutes or until tops are set. (If the top is slightly cracked don’t worry this is natural). Cool to room temperature, then run a knife around the molds and carefully remove, cover cheesecakes with plastic wrap and place in the fridge to chill for 3 hours or overnight.
- For the Swiss meringue, in a heatproof bowl add egg white and sugar and mix well. Place over a pot of simmering water and continually stir until you no longer feel any graininess when rubbed between your fingers and the whites are hot, about 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat. Using an electric mixer beat on high speed until the meringue is smooth, thick and glossy. Spoon or pipe meringue on top of each cheesecake and using a blow torch, toast the meringue. Or place in the oven at 180°C (350°F) fan-forced for 5 minutes or until meringue is brown. The meringue will hold for a couple of hours so this step can be prepared earlier.
Place cheesecakes onto 2 serving plates, place a viola flower and mint sprig near the base of each one and serve.
*You can substitute the malt biscuits with any plain biscuits.