Caramelised orange cheesecake with spun sugar crown
- December 2015
- Serves 10
- Hands-on time 1 hour 20 min, oven time 50-55 min
A pudding that deserves a grand entrance. The caramelised oranges, vanilla filling and mascarpone icing make this cheesecake very worthy of its spun sugar crown.
- 46.8g (30.3g saturated)
- 58.9g (47.2g sugars)
For the base
- 80g unsalted butter
- 200g digestive biscuits
- Finely grated zest 1 orange
For the filling
- 560g full-fat cream cheese (we like Philadelphia)
- 250g mascarpone
- 200g caster sugar
- 3 large free-range eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
- 50g plain flour
For the caramelised oranges
- 3 oranges, peeled and sliced into rings, plus 1 tbsp orange juice, squeezed from the peel trimmings
- 150g caster sugar
- 2 tbsp Grand Marnier or similar orange liqueur
For the spun sugar
- 80g caster sugar
For the mascarpone icing
- 250g mascarpone
- 30g icing sugar
- ½ tsp vanilla bean extract
You’ll also need…
- 20cm diameter x 8cm deep loose-bottomed cake tin and a sugar or digital probe thermometer
- For the base, melt the butter in a small pan over a low heat. Whizz the biscuits and orange zest in a food processor to a crumb texture. Pour in the butter and whizz until the mixture starts to stick together.
- Press the biscuit crumb base evenly into the bottom of the cake tin so it’s compacted down well. Chill in the fridge until needed. 3 Heat the oven to 160°C/140°C fan/ gas
- For the filling, combine the cream cheese, mascarpone and caster sugar in a mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer, whisk the ingredients until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, then the vanilla, whisking until smooth. Stir in the flour with a wooden spoon.
- Pour the mixture into the tin, on top of the prepared base, making sure the top of the filling is smooth and even. Put in a baking tray, then bake for 50-55 minutes until set but with a good wobble. Leave to cool completely in the tin.
- Meanwhile, prepare the caramelised oranges. Put the orange pieces in a medium heatproof bowl. Put the caster sugar in a medium non-stick frying pan over a low heat and gently melt, allowing it to turn to caramel. Remove the pan from the heat and pour in 2 tbsp water, the Grand Marnier and 1 tbsp orange juice (take care as it may spit and bubble). Return to a low heat and stir until the caramel loosens. Pour over the oranges in the bowl and allow to cool.
- Once the cheesecake is cool, turn out onto a plate and, just before serving prepare the spun sugar. Thoroughly grease a rolling pin or knife steel and lay it over baking paper. Put the 80g caster sugar in a large deep frying pan over a low-medium heat. Allow the sugar to dissolve and slowly turn into caramel. Don’t stir until all the sugar has melted; swivel the pan carefully to allow the sugar to melt evenly.
- For spun sugar the temperature of the caramel needs to be 120°C. Use a sugar or digital thermometer to check this. You may find the caramel is already over this temperature. If so, let it cool slightly (see tips).
- When the caramel reaches the correct temperature, remove from the heat. Using a wooden spoon, carefully swish the caramel back and forth over the rolling pin to create the spun sugar. You’ll need to work fast as the sugar sets quickly. When it has cooled enough you’ll find you can mould it with your hands.
- For the icing, mix the mascarpone with the icing sugar and vanilla. Dollop the mascarpone icing on top of the cheesecake, then top with the caramel oranges, dribbling the caramel down the sides of the cheesecake. Finally, add the spun sugar on top at the table – ta-dah! – and serve immediately.
When making spun sugar, cover the entire work surface you’re using with cling film, then cover a large chopping board in baking paper or foil to make cleaning easier. Boil used utensils in water in a large pan to remove stubborn caramel. Caramel cools quickly but 30 seconds on the hob should bring it back to the correct temperature.
Prepare the cheesecake 24 hours before you’re ready to decorate it. The spun sugar melts quickly, especially in a warm room. Prepare the oranges up to 12 hours beforehand, then cover and chill. The icing and spun sugar are best made just before decorating.
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