It’s a hot summer day and you have guests coming over for lunch tomorrow.
You go through your meal plan. Starter, ticked. Main dish, ticked. Drinks, ticked. Oops, where’s the dessert?
You open the fridge. Mascarpone cheese and smooth cottage cheese stare at you. Soft ripened avocados in the fruit bowl and deep-coloured oranges that want you to use them. Porridge oats, a staple in the kitchen cupboard together with everything else.
Then, you have a brainwave and imagine how well orange zest and oats go together when baked. Weighing all your ingredients, the thought of baking a cheesecake comes to mind. Only this time, you will do it differently: you will add avocado.
Nothing is wrong with being special. We all like to wow our guests, right?
For the crust:
125 g butter
60 g brown sugar
125 g regular oats
2 tbsp orange zest
Pinch of salt
For the filling:
30 g gelatin
250 ml water
3 large eggs (separated)
250 g sugar
250 g mascarpone cheese
150 g smooth cottage cheese
250 g avocado flesh (ripe)
125 ml coconut milk
30 ml lemon juice
1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius/325 degrees Fahrenheit, and prepare one nine-inch, loose bottom, springform tin.
2. For the crust: In a medium-sized saucepan, on low heat, mix sugar and butter until well-combined. Remove, add the rest of the ingredients, and give it a good stir. Press the crumb mixture into the loose bottom tin. Bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 30 minutes until it turns golden brown.
3. Remove from oven and leave to cool in the tin.
4. For the filling: Sprinkle gelatin over 125 ml water. Allow to bloom for about 10 minutes.
5. In a double boiler, beat the egg yolks, the remainder of the water (125 ml), and sugar together, until the mixture thickens, after around seven minutes. If you do not have a double boiler, use the good old glass bowl and set over a pot of hot simmering water—it will do.
6. Remove from the heat. Add gelatin by stirring until dissolved completely (cool slightly).
7. In a separate bowl, beat the mascarpone cheese, cottage cheese, avocado flesh, coconut milk, and lemon juice together. Your electric hand mixer will do. You can use your stand mixer with the paddle attachment, if you want. Add to the gelatin mixture.
8. Whisk the egg whites until soft peak stage. Fold it in the cream cheese mixture.
9. Spoon into the prepared springform tin and place in the refrigerator until set—minimum six hours, preferably keep overnight.
10. When your cheesecake is set, garnish as desired (I garnished with roasted pineapple as the image).
For the roasted pineapple you will need:
1 medium pineapple (peeled, cored, and sliced into rings, about ½ cm thick)
1 cup of water
¼ cup of sugar
1 tbsp glucose syrup
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp pink peppercorns
1. In a large-sized frying pan, add water, sugar, and glucose syrup. Cook over medium heat until sugar and glucose syrup dissolve.
2. Add vanilla extract and cook for two minutes.
3. Add the pineapple rings and cook for about 10 minutes until liquid reaches a caramel colour with a thicker consistency and has a distinctive pineapple flavour.
4. Add peppercorns and cook for two extra minutes.
5. Remove pan from the heat and allow to cool.
6. Your garnish is now ready to use as desired.
P.S. the cheesecake will last in the refrigerator up to three days without the avocado turning brown.