James Martin's Melon and Honeycomb Cheesecake
James Martin's melon and honeycomb cheesecake is a beautiful balance of flavours and the perfect dessert to round off a dinner party
- 200g caster sugar
- 50ml runny honey
- 1tbsp liquid glucose
- 50ml water
- ¾tsp bicarbonate of soda
- oil, for greasing
- butter, for greasing
- 60g caster sugar
- 1 level tbsp cornflour
- 280g cream cheese
- 1 egg
- ½tsp vanilla bean paste
- 125ml double cream
- ¼ watermelon, peeled, juices reserved and cut into balls with a melon baller
- ¼ each of honeydew, cantaloupe and galia melons, peeled and cut into balls with a melon baller
- 1tbsp baby basil cress (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 150C, gas 2 and butter 6 x 5cm metal rings. Line the open bases with proper cling film (not food wrap) and place in a deep-sided oven tray.
- For the honeycomb: Place the sugar, honey, glucose and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Continue to cook until the temperature reaches 160C on a sugar thermometer. Remove from the heat and quickly beat in the bicarbonate of soda, stirring constantly.
- Grease a baking sheet with a little oil, then line with silicone paper. Pour the honeycomb mixture onto the paper. Set aside until hard, then break into 1cm pieces.
- For the cheesecakes: Stir the sugar and cornflour together in a food mixer or large bowl, then beat in the cream cheese. Continue until the mixture is smooth, then add the egg. Add the vanilla bean paste and cream and whisk until smooth, then spoon into the rings, filling them right to the top.
- Fill the tray with enough hot water to come 1cm up the side of the rings and place in the oven. Bake for 25 minutes until just set.
- Remove the cheesecakes from the oven and cool on a wire rack completely. Once cool, transfer to the fridge for about 30 minutes, or until ready to serve.
- While the cheesecakes cool, blitz 50g honeycomb in a food processor to fine crumbs and place on a plate.
- When you are ready to serve, remove the cheesecakes from the rings. To help you do this cleanly, warm each ring very quickly with a blow torch, or dip a cloth into hot water and run it around the ring. Dip the top side of the cheesecake in the crushed honeycomb to cover it then place, honeycomb-side up, onto the serving plate.
- Arrange the balls of melon around each plate. Drizzle with some of the watermelon juices and garnish with pieces of honeycomb and some basil cress, if you like.
Sweet by James Martin (Quadrille £20)
Photography: Peter Cassidy