serves 10 - 12
1 thin sponge layer, 25-30 cm in diameter and 1 cm thick
for the filling
24 brandy snaps
450 g full fat soft cheese
4 eggs, separated
1 cup (225 g) 1/2 lb caster sugar (superfine granulated)
1/2 tsp ground ginger
generous pinch of ground cinnamon
300 ml double or whipping cream
30 g powdered gelatine
8 tbsps water
for the topping
450 ml double or whipping cream, whipped
ground cinnamon or grated nutmeg
1. Press the sponge layer into a greased loose-bottomed 25-30 cm/10-12 inch round cake tin, trimming the cake to fit exactly into the bottom of the tin.
2. To make the filling, coarsely crush 12 - 14 of the brandy snaps; reserve the remainder for the decoration.
3. Soften the cheese in a large mixing bowl. Beat in the egg yolks, 100 g / 4 oz of the sugar, the spices and cream.
4. Put the gelatine and water into a small heatproof bowl over a saucepan of hot water and stir until the gelatine has dissolved.
5. Beat the gelatine into the cheese mixture. Leave on one side until the mixture is on the point of setting.
6. Whisk the egg whites until stiff, then whisk in the remaining sugar. Fold lightly but thoroughly into the cheese mixture, together with the crushed brandy snaps.
7. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and shake the tin gently to level the surface. Chill for 3-4 hours or until the filling is set.
8. Ease the sides of the tin carefully away from the cheesecake and lift the set cheesecake out on the tin base.
9. Pipe some of the whipped cream on top of the cheesecake; fill the reserved whole brandy snaps with the remaining cream.
10. Arrange the filled brandy snaps on top of the cheesecake and sprinkle the cream with a little cinnamon or nutmeg.
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