Earl Grey truffle plum cheesecake bars

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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