Bake of the Week: Treat yourself with MasterChef winner Gary Maclean’s chocolate and hazelnut cheesecake

MASTERCHEF winner Gary Maclean began his cooking career over 30 years ago and now he’s sharing his secrets and skills in a new book, Kitchen Essentials.

This recipe for a rich and decadent no-bake cheesecake is guaranteed to wow your guests.

You can use classic digestives to make the base, but Gary says there are plenty who swear by caramel-tasting Lotus Biscoff biscuits as an alternative.

You’ll need

150g cream cheese

175g Mascarpone cheese

350ml double cream

200g dark chocolate

250g biscuits (digestives are a classic for this)

100g butter, melted

100g hazelnuts

Seasonal berries to serve

Method

Preheat your oven to 180°C.

Your first job is to make the hazelnut and chocolate ganache. Pop the hazelnuts on to a tray and put in the oven to roast. Roasting the hazelnuts helps skin them and brings out the most amazing flavour.

Roast until golden brown. Then pour the nuts into a clean tea towel, pull up the sides to create a pouch and then rub the hazelnuts until the skins fall off.

Crush the nuts in a food processor or with a rolling pin. Don’t break them down too much as having a little crunch in the cheesecake is brilliant.

Break the chocolate into small pieces and pop into a bowl.

Bring 200ml of the double cream to the boil and pour it over the chocolate, add the crushed nuts and mix. Put to one side.

Crush the biscuits, either in a food processor or in a bag with a rolling pin. Again, leave a little texture – stop when you get a nice crumbly consistency.

Mix the melted butter into the biscuit crumb.

Add the biscuit and butter mixture to a cake tin or mousse rings. Push the mix down with the back of a spoon until it has compressed together.

Leave to set in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Mix the cream cheese and the Mascarpone cheese together with a whisk, add the remaining double cream and whisk some more.

Fold through the melted chocolate and nuts mixture. The plan is to try not to mix too much, but Gary favours the great-looking marbled effect.

Spoon the mixture over the cooled biscuit base and leave in the fridge to set for a couple of hours.

Try serving with fresh, seasonal berries. It’s sure to taste amazing.

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