Earl grey truffle and plum cheesecake bars

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We’ve had a lot of cheesecake in the last two months here, from the raw Cherry Ripe cheesecake I treated my parents to, to the “proper” chocolate and ginger cheesecake put together on the fly in a preposterously large tin up at the bach. It’s not entirely surprising that I escalated experimenting, turning a baked cheesecake into these ridiculously over the top bars. This is kind of a cross between an afternoon treat to have with tea and full on dessert (I actually used up some of the spare components of the recipe to create a mini cheesecake for two).

Earl Grey is such a fun flavour to play with – mainly because it is > English Breakfast any day, and also because infuses everything with a hug of comforting bergamot. I’ve simply used the leaves of a few tea bags in the already delicious buttery shortbread base, and then infused the milk chocolate truffle topping. I’ve used plums in the cheesecake filling simply to celebrate their season, but this would also work well with a puree of frozen raspberries strained of their seeds to give the pretty pale pink to the middle.

Be aware that the recipe yields a very large amount (think 30 or so reasonable dessert serving sizes) and could be easily halved if you don’t have a group of night shift staff to bestow them upon on Valentine’s day! They will keep well in the fridge for 5 days or so once set.

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Earl Grey truffle plum cheesecake bars

Ingredients:

  • 225g butter, softened
  • 225g (2 cups) plain flour (I used gluten free)
  • 125g (1/2 cup) caster sugar
  • 3 Earl Grey tea bags

Plum cheesecake filling

  • 4 plums – I used yellow-flesh, but I would have preferred black Doris
  • 250g cream cheese, room temperature and softened
  • 200g mascarpone cheese, also room temperature (alternatively use sour cream if unavailable)
  • 2 eggs, room temperature and free range
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 200g caster sugar

Milk chocolate truffle topping

  • 100ml double cream
  • 30g (2 tbsp) sour cream
  • 4 Earl Grey tea bags
  • 200g milk chocolate, broken into pieces

For decorating:

  • Walnut praline
  • Meringues
  • Edible flowers
  • Sprinkles

Directions:

  1. Grease and line a 9″ x 13″ deep baking tray. Preheat oven to 350F/175C bake setting.
  2. Make the base: beat the butter in a free-standing mixer or in a large bowl with a hand-mixer with the flour, sugar and loose leaves from the Earl Grey tea bags until crumbly but combined. Press evenly into the bottom of the baking tray. Bake for 20 minutes, until the top is just turning golden.
  3. While the base is baking, prepare the filling. Quarter the plums and stir through 50g of the caster sugar to coat them evenly. Heat in a saucepan on medium, stirring frequently, until the plums are soft and falling apart. Set aside to cool while preparing the rest of the cheesecake. 
  4. Beat together the cream cheese and mascarpone until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, followed by the vanilla essence and sugar, beating thoroughly after each addition.
  5. In a food processor or blender, pulse the cooled poached plums until they form a smooth puree. Beat into the cheesecake mixture.
  6. Once the base is golden, drop the oven temperature to 300F/150C. Pour the filling on top of the base and spread evenly to cover. Bake for 50 minutes-1 hour, until the filling is starting to firm up. Cool to room temperature before storing in the fridge for at least an hour until ready for topping.
  7. To prepare the truffle topping, mix together the creams in a small saucepan and steep the teabags in the cream mixture over low heat. Bring to simmer for around 4 minutes, stirring frequently so it doesn’t catch. Remove from heat and immediately add the milk chocolate, stirring until it has melted through. Pour over the cooled cheesecake and spread evenly with an offset spatula.
  8. Allow to set in the fridge for half an hour before topping with decorations of your choice so they don’t sink too much into the truffle.  I used home-made mini meringues, crushed walnut praline and sprinkles. Cover with cling film and refrigerate again for at least an hour or two – ideally overnight.
  9. With a warm knife (I dip mine in boiling water before wiping off with a paper towel), cut into rectangles. Store in the fridge until ready to serve.
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2 comments

    • treatabel says:

      I usually eat three healthy meals in a day and always snack on something sweet – ideally I will have something vegan and sugar free in the freezer but if not it will probably be chocolate or ice cream! I eat loads of vegetables and much less red meat nowadays, getting most of my protein from eggs and fish!

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