A dense, creamy cheesecake that is not too sweet served with a cherry compote on top. A perfect partner with a mid morning cup of coffee. Buy the best almond extract that you can find.
- 175g (6oz) Hobnobs, finely crushed
- 75g (3oz) butter, melted
- 500g (1lb2oz) cream cheese, at room temperature
- 50g (2oz) ground almonds
- 100g (4oz) caster sugar
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 2 eggs plus 1 egg yolk
- 150ml (1/4 pt) sour cream
- 480g (1lb 1oz) bag frozen dark sweet cherries, defrosted and drained, juice reserved
- 25g (1oz) flaked almonds
- Icing sugar to decorate
- The remaining cherries approx 250g (9oz), defrosted
- 1 tbsp caster sugar
- Juice of ½ lemon
- a 20cm (8in) spring form tin, base lined with baking parchment and the sides lightly buttered
For the cherry compote you can replace the water with port or red wine for a boozy finish
Heat oven to 170C, 150C fan, 325F, gas 3. Place the biscuits and butter in a bowl, stir well then press into the base of the prepared tin. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes, then remove and leave to cool.
Place the cream cheese in a large mixing bowl, add the ground almonds, sugar, almond extract, eggs and egg yolk and beat until smooth. Add the sour cream and beat again. Pour over the biscuit base and give a couple of sharp taps on the worktop to remove any air bubbles.
Take half the cherries and scatter them over the cheesecake. They will sink just below the surface. Finally scatter the flaked almonds over the top. Place the tin on a baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes -50 minutes. The top should be golden brown and firm around the outside but with a good wobble in the centre. Remove from the oven, run a round bladed knife around the outside of the cheesecake and leave to cool. When cold, transfer to the fridge for several hours or overnight.
For the cherry compote, place all the ingredients in a saucepan with 2 tbsp water and any reserved juices and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved and the cherries are soft but still retain their shape. Leave to cool
To serve the cheesecake, dust the top with icing sugar, slice and serve with a spoonful of cherry compote on top.