Well, here we are halfway through December and I’ve yet to have a Christmas recipe on Friday Feast. Bit slack, really. Especially for someone who adores Christmas food.
My mouth’s salivating as I imagine the indulgences of Christmas past: Crayfish. Fruit mince tarts. Rich pud with old coins tucked inside. Prawns. Bowls of nibbles you know you shouldn’t eat but can’t stop dipping into. Gluhwein. Abalone flash grilled on the barbecue. Smoky ham. Morton Bay bugs. Roast duck. Rum balls. Boozy Christmas cake. Sugary candy canes. Shortbread. The never to be repeated gravy I made in France which included the jelly and fat from the top of a hunk of foie gras…
And then there’s this recipe.
No, it’s not traditional, but it is sweet, gorgeous to look at and very, very naughty. Not to mention delicious. No point slaving over something that doesn’t taste any good and who cares if it’s naughty? It’s Christmas.
WHITE CHOCOLATE DECADENCE
Begin this recipe one day ahead. The cake will keep for up to one week in the fridge.
450g cream cheese, at room temperature
¼ cup caster sugar
3 teaspoons cornflour
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
3 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
2 cups sour cream
1 cup thickened cream
240g block of good quality white chocolate, melted then cooled to lukewarm
Fresh seasonal fruit and fruit puree to serve
Preheat oven to 180ºC. Grease a 20cm springform cake pan and line base and sides with baking paper. Wrap the outside of the tin tightly in a few layers of foil. It is important that the tin is made waterproof or water will leak into the tin during cooking and spoil the cake.
Whiz cheese and sugar in a food processor or mixmaster until smooth. With the motor running, add cornflour, then eggs one at a time, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides. Add vanilla, zest and creams, and ¼ teaspoon salt, and process until just combined, scraping down sides. Add chocolate and pulse until smooth. Pour mixture into the lined tin and then sit tin on a teatowel in a large roasting dish (the teatowel prevents the tin slipping around). Pour hot water into the dish until it comes halfway up the sides of the cake tin.
Bake for 45 minutes, then leave cake in switched off oven with the door closed for one hour. Remove tin from roasting dish, remove foil and cool cake completely on a rack, leaving it in its tin. Cover and chill overnight.
Turn out onto a plate or cake stand. Remove baking paper, top with fruit then drizzle with fruit puree. Slice using a hot, dry knife.