Thursday 24 June 2010

Rum & Raisin Cheesecake

Rum and raisin ice cream is my dad’s favourite ice cream flavour. You can’t buy it very easily in the supermarkets here, but whenever we come across a special ice cream shop on holiday rum & raisins is usually his flavour of choice. This year for Fathers Day I decided I wanted to incorporate rum & raisin into a dessert especially for him. My first thought was cake, but we’ve been eating a lot of cake recently and I wanted to do something a bit different. I soon came around to the idea of incorporating the flavours into a cheesecake, which seemed particularly fitting as the creaminess of the cheesecake would represent the creaminess of his favourite ice cream.

I searched the internet for recipes but found a lack of rum & raisin cheesecake recipes and so instead I decided to adapt a divine looking cheesecake recipe I spied a few weeks ago on Smitten Kitchen with my own flavours. First off was soaking the raisins in lots of rum. I used amber rum, mainly because it was all we had in the cupboard, but I think it was a good choice. Not too sweet nor too sharp or bitter. I left the raisins seeping in the rum for two days, by which time they became wonderfully plump and glossy.

The biscuit base consisted of crushed chocolate bourbon biscuits, crème filling and all. I thought their dark colour would add a nice contrast to the pale creamy cheesecake filling. To create a two toned effect decided to add some melted dark chocolate to the sour cream topping, sandwiching the rum raisin filling inside the dark top and base layers. I love the finished look this created and I think it helped keep the sweetness and strength of the raisins and rum in check.

How did it taste? A-maze-ing!! You have to try it to believe it. The cheesecake was silky smooth and incredibly creamy and the fruity stickiness of the raisins seemed to have permeated the whole cheesecake, being quite subtle in the cheesecake on its own but when eaten with a plump boozy raisin the flavour just exploded in your mouth. I added a little date syrup to the mix to enhance the treacle-iness of the raisins which I think helped. The rum was very strong and apparent on first bite, flooding your mouth with flavour; then the creaminess from the cheesecake swooped in and left you with a smooth luxurious aftertaste with the cocoa bitterness of the biscuits and topping helping to tone it down. The flavours really came in layers, it was addictive and more importantly my dad loved it.

The rest of the family don’t like rum so they weren’t so keen, but as I made it for my dad I didn’t mind – plus it means all the more for us!! (I can’t work out if that’s a good thing or a bad thing!?!) If you don’ like rum I’m sure it would taste equally wonderful with an orange liqueur such as Grand Marnier.

(Apologies for the photos, they don’t do it justice. The sun was going down and making everything come out orange with funny shadows – grrr)

Rum & Raisin Cheesecake
For the rum soaked raisins
70g raisins
4 tbsp (60ml) Amber rum

For the cheesecake filling
200g Chocolate bourbon biscuits
50g butter
600g cream cheese
180g caster sugar
1½ tbsp plain flour
3 eggs
1 tbsp date syrup (or ½ tbsp molasses)
The rum soaked raisins

For the chocolate sour cream topping
300ml sour cream
50g dark chocolate

To serve
100ml double cream

Place the raisins in a small bowl and cover with the rum. Cover the top of the bowl with clingfilm and leave for 24-48 hours to allow the raisins to plump up and absorb most of the rum.
On the day you want to bake the cheesecake, line the base of an 8inch deep springform tin with parchment paper or wrap the base of a ring mould with clingfilm.
Now prepare the biscuit base. Place the bourbon biscuits, crème filling and all, into a food processer. Blitz until the biscuits are broken down and resemble fine crumbs. Warm the butter in the microwave until soft but not melted. Add to the biscuit crumbs and blitz again to incorporate.
Tip the crumbs into the base of the tin and press down firmly to form an even layer. Place in the fridge to chill while you prepare the filling.
Preheat the oven to 175C. Beat the cream cheese and sugar together until no lumps remain and the cream cheese is soft and fluffy.
Add the eggs one at a time, beating well between each addition. Scatter over the flour and date syrup and beat again to incorporate.
Finely fold in the rum soaked raisins and any remaining rum juices, keeping 1 tablespoon of raisins back for later.
Place your tin on a sturdy baking tray. Pour the cream cheese mixture over the biscuit base and smooth out if necessary. Scatter the few reserved raisins over the top and bake for 45-50 minutes. The cheesecake should be puffed up and slightly cracked around the edges, but still wobbly in the centre.
At this point remove the cheesecake form the oven but leave the oven at temperature. Set aside to cool for 15 minutes while you prepare the sour cream topping.
Melt the chocolate in the microwave. Add the sour crème and fold together quickly into a chocolate cream before the chocolate starts to set.
By now the top of your cheesecake should have relaxed and flattened out. Pour the chocolate sour cream mixture over the top of the cheesecake and return it to the oven for a further 12-15 minutes. The topping will still look quite soft, but it will firm up on cooling.
Remove the cheesecake from the oven and leave to cool for 1½-2 hours before refrigerating for at least 4 hours.
When ready to serves, run a hot knife in-between the edge of the cheesecake and the tin and release it from the tin. Use a large flat fish slice spatula to remove the base and transfer the cheesecake to a serving plate.
Whip the double cream until soft peaks form and then pipe around the edge of the cheesecake using a star nozzle, or any other nozzle you fancy.
Serve in generous slices.

Note: This cheesecake is not really suitable for children as the rum flavour seeps into the whole cheesecake and remains quite boozy and evident.


Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

An irresistible cheesecake! I love that flavor.



Monica H said...

What a nice cheesecake flavor to make for your Dad. The fact that he liked it proves it's a winner. It's the chocolate sour cream topping that intrigues me.

Beth (jamandcream) said...

This is going to be a must try. Looks wonderful

Baking Addict said...

This looks A-maze-ing!! I'm sure your dad loved it. What a wonderful idea.

Unknown said...

Utterly wow!
That might just be the best cheesecake I could imagine!

cheesecake said...

That looks really elegant! A little more polishing on the presentation and it's almost perfect! I'm sure your Dad loved it. I would if I were him! lol! I simply love cheesecake. I've been collecting and trying out new cheesecake recipes. I'm loving the different flavors I've tried so far, strawberries, blueberries, chocolate and almonds. I think I'm gonna love this recipe of yours,too. It does look and sound amazing. Thanks for sharing this!

Chele said...

Amazing looking cheesecake Katie. I can imagine your joy was over joyed when this was presented ;0)

Chef Dennis Littley said...

sounds like an amazing combination of flavours!! what a great job coming up with just the right blend to pull it all together!

Caroline said...

That looks stunning Katie - you have a very lucky Dad! I love the way the two dark layers sandwich the creamy pale filling. I can just imagine how delicious it must have been to eat!!!

Caroline said...

WOW, a great-looking and I bet a great-tasting cheesecake. I love raisins and never thought to add them to cheesecake. Something I'd like to try now.

The Caked Crusader said...

What is it with dads and rum and raisin? It's my dad's fave too!
This looks wonderful - I know I'll be making it at some point in the future!

Valérie I♥Cakes said...

My mom also love the "rum & raisins" flavor ! I think I'm going to make this cheesecake for her !

Elle said...

Your lucky Dad! Rum and raisins is a classic combo and the chocolate topping and crust are a brilliant way to balance out the full creaminess of the cheesecake. Bravo!

Unknown said...

This sounds like a great combination of flavors! Yumm!

Kim (Liv Life) said...

Just discovered your blog and this cheesecake looks wonderful! This is my mother's favorite flavor and I think I just may surprise her for 4th of July. Luckily I have a 14 year old math whiz son to help me with my measurement translations!

sarah said...

Just discovered your blog! the recipe looks great and LOVE your layout - also, love the text and photographs. Lastly, what a nice way to honor your Dad - food is love :)