Hannah Miles’ Champagne Rhubarb Cheesecake

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The rhubarb season is short so you need to make the most of this delicious fruit whilst it is around. This cheesecake is topped with kitsch crispy cornflakes – a perfect contrast to the sharp rhubarb.

The filling is delicately flavoured with hints of ginger, which really bring out the flavour of the rhubarb. If you are not able to find pink rhubarb, add a few drops of pink food colouring if you wish.

Serves 10

For the fruit:
850g pink Champagne rhubarb
80ml ginger syrup
50g caster sugar

For the crumb case
300g ginger biscuits:
150g butter, melted

For the filling:
4 sheets leaf gelatine
200g cream cheese
250g quark
30g caster sugar
180ml double cream

For the topping:
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp golden syrup
30g cornflakes

1 Preheat the oven to 180°C.
2 Peel the rhubarb, cut it into 7-cm lengths and place in a roasting pan. Drizzle over the ginger syrup and sprinkle with the sugar. (You do not need to add any water as a lot of juice will be released from the rhubarb.)
3 Bake for 15–20 minutes until the fruit is soft but still holds its shape. Remove from the oven and leave to cool. Purée half of the fruit in a food processor and reserve the remainder for the topping.
4 For the crumb case, crush the biscuits to fine crumbs in a food processor or place in a clean plastic bag and bash with a rolling pin. Transfer the crumbs to a mixing bowl and stir in the melted butter. Press the buttery crumbs into the base and sides of the prepared cake pan firmly using the back of a spoon. You need the crumbs to come up about 3–4 cm high on the side of the pan so that they make a case for the filling.
5 For the filling, soak the gelatine leaves in water until they are soft. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the cream cheese, quark and sugar until light and creamy, then add the puréed rhubarb and fold it through.
6 Put the double cream in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water and heat gently. Squeeze the water out of the gelatine leaves and add them to the warmed cream, stirring until dissolved. Pass the cream through a sieve to remove any undissolved gelatine pieces, then whisk into the cheese mixture. Pour the mixture into the crumb case and leave to set in the refrigerator for 3 hours or overnight.
7 For the topping, melt the butter and syrup together in a large saucepan, then stir in the cornflakes, making sure that each flake is well coated. Spread the flakes out on a silicone mat or sheet of non-stick baking paper and leave to set.
8 To serve, remove the cheesecake from the pan and place on a serving plate. Arrange the rhubarb pieces on top of the cheesecake and sprinkle with the cornflakes (don’t be tempted to do this in advance, or the cornflakes will become soggy).

Recipe from ‘Cheesecake’ by Hannah Miles with photography by Steve Painter, published by Ryland Peters & Small RRP £16.99

PLUS: For more rhubarb recipes, pick up the Feb/March issue of Good Things. 

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