Christmas MasterClass: Make a Christmas cheesecake

A Christmas cheesecake is a surefire hit this holiday season, both at the family table and on your Instagram feed. In this Christmas Masterclass, Julia Busuttil Nishimura, author of Ostro available from QBD The Bookshop shares her recipe for a delicious cheesecake dessert, topped with seasonal raspberries and pistachios for that extra festive touch.

Watch the video to hear more from Julia. 

 
Serves: 8-10
Difficulty: Medium

Ingredients

Base
250g shredded wheat biscuits 
1 tbsp caster sugar
pinch of salt
1 tsp ground cardamom
110g unsalted butter, melted

Filling
500g cream cheese, softened
250g sour cream
150g thickened cream
100g caster sugar
1 tbsp plain flour
200g white chocolate, melted 
2 limes, juice and zest 
1 tsp of vanilla extract
4 eggs, gently whisked

Topping
375g raspberries
1 tbsp caster sugar
1 tsp rosewater
300g thickened cream
200g crème fraîche
1 tbsp slivered pistachios

Method:
1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease and line a 23cm round springform tin.
2. For the base, blitz the biscuits in a food processor to a fine crumb. Transfer to a bowl and mix with the sugar, salt and ground cardamom. Pour in the melted butter and stir until everything is combined. 
3. Tip into the prepared tin and use your hands to evenly press the crumb firmly into the base of the tin. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes or until a shade darker. Remove and set aside. Reduce the oven to 150°C. 
4. To prepare the filling, whisk the cream cheese, sour cream and thickened cream together in a large bowl until smooth (you can use a stand mixer if it’s too difficult by hand). Now stir in the sugar, plain flour and the cooled, melted white chocolate along with the lime zest, juice and vanilla and mix until well combined. 
5. Gently stir through the eggs and pour the filling into the tin, on top of the biscuit base. Bang the tin on the bench two or three times to remove any air bubbles. 
6. Bake in the preheated oven for 50-60 minutes or until the cheesecake is just set. It should still be a little wobbly in the centre as it will continue to cook as it cools. 
7. When completely cool, run a knife around the edge of the cheesecake and remove from the tin. Transfer to a serving plate, lightly cover with cling film and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. 
8. To decorate the cheesecake, whip the cream and crème fraîche together until they form stiff peaks. 
9. Place half the raspberries in a small bowl with the sugar and rosewater and gently crush with the back of a fork. Allow to stand for 5 minutes. 
10. Stir the crushed raspberries through the topping and pile onto the cheesecake. Scatter over the remaining raspberries and pistachios and serve.  

Julia’s tips:
• “You could also use ginger snap biscuits instead of the wheat biscuits. Or replace half of the biscuits with a ground nut, like hazelnut or almond meal.”
• “One of the problems with cheesecakes is they often crack in the centre after they’ve come out of the oven. To avoid this, you can cook it really slow in a water bath – putting a cake tin in a tray larger than the tin, and filling it with water. But you don’t have to worry too much, as we’re going to cover it with the raspberries and the whipped cream.”
• “If you can’t get your hands on raspberries, there are lots of other options around Christmas – fresh cherries, peaches, blueberries or even strawberries would be really amazing on top of the cheesecake.”
• “You can even serve the cheesecake plain, with the whipped cream and berries on the side, or you could mix all the berries into the cream together.”