Desserts in the '70s were all about Black Forest cake and cheesecakes. We figured a combination of the two could only be a good thing. Instead of the cornflour thickened fruit topping of earlier eras, we've opted for lush roast cherries. This can be made well in advance, so it's the entertainer's friend.
- 500 gm cream cheese, at room temperature
- 250 gm firm ricotta (11/4 cup)
- 250 gm mascarpone (1 cup)
- 150 gm caster sugar
- 150 gm dark chocolate (53%-58% cocoa solids), melted
- 3 eggs
- Finely grated rind of ½ orange
- Cherries, to serve
- 100 gm caster sugar
- 220 gm softened butter
- 240 gm plain flour
- 75 gm Dutch-process cocoa, sieved
- 300 gm cherries, halved and pitted
- 110 gm caster sugar (1/2 cup)
- Thinly peeled rind and juice of ½ orange and ½ lemon
- 20 ml brandy
- Scraped seeds of 1 vanilla bean
- 1For chocolate crumb, preheat oven to 180C. Butter a 23cm springform cake tin and line the base with baking paper. Beat sugar and 170gm butter in an electric mixer until pale and creamy (1-2 minutes), then scrape down sides of bowl, add flour, cocoa and a pinch of salt and beat to combine. Roll out between 2 sheets of baking paper to 3mm thick, place on a baking tray, remove top piece of baking paper and bake until crisp (8-10 minutes). Cool, then break into rough pieces and process in a food processor to fine crumbs. Melt remaining butter, add to crumbs along with a pinch of salt and process to combine. Press evenly into base of prepared tin and bake until crisp (12-15 minutes). Remove from oven.
- 2Process cream cheese, ricotta, mascarpone, sugar, chocolate, eggs and orange rind in a food processor until smooth, pour onto crumb base and bake until set with a slight wobble in the centre (50 minutes to 1 hour). Allow to cool for 1 hour, then refrigerate until chilled (3-4 hours).
- 3Meanwhile, for roast cherries, preheat oven to 150C, combine ingredients in a roasting pan large enough to hold cherries snugly in a single layer, toss to combine and spread out evenly. Roast until syrupy and cherries are tender (6-8 minutes). Set aside to cool completely.
- 4Serve cheesecake topped with roast cherries, syrup and fresh cherries.