CHRIST­MAS CHEESE­CAKE A spiced ap­ple dessert from BBC Masterchef’s John Torode

The BBC Masterchef judge’s make-ahead fes­tive dessert is an easy way to please a hun­gry house­hold

BBC Good Food - - Contents - Pho­to­graph PETER CAS­SIDY

We tend to think of cheese­cake in terms of sum­mer flavours and berries, but this fes­tive ver­sion proves that win­ter fruit and spices also work well. I love this recipe be­cause it’s sea­sonal, it eas­ily feeds a house full of peo­ple and it can be dressed up or down to be as fancy or ca­sual as you want it to be. 1 But­ter and line the base of a 23cm loose-bot­tomed cake tin. Whizz the bis­cuits to a rough crumb in a food pro­ces­sor, or put them in a sand­wich bag and crush with a rolling pin. Tip the crumbs into a bowl with the melted but­ter, stem gin­ger and spices, and stir well. Press the mix­ture into the tin, push­ing up the sides a lit­tle (putting your hand in a food bag makes this eas­ier). Leave the base to set for 30 mins in the fridge.

2 For the cheese layer, whisk all the in­gre­di­ents to­gether un­til smooth, then pour over the base. Chill in the fridge overnight.

3 The next day, make the top­ping. Mix the cin­na­mon, gin­ger and mixed spice in a large bowl. Cut each ap­ple into 12 wedges, then toss the wedges in the spice mix­ture. Heat the sugar and 4 tbsp wa­ter in a saucepan and bub­ble to an am­ber caramel (see p129). As soon as the sugar be­comes a dark caramel, take off the heat and care­fully toss through the ap­ples. Pour in the brandy, and the whole lot will bub­ble and seize. Re­turn the pan to the heat and sim­mer gen­tly to re-dis­solve the caramel and cook the ap­ples in the syrup. Re­move from the heat and set the ap­ples aside to cool in the syrup.

4 Ease the cheese­cake out of the tin. Spoon the ap­ples over the top with a slot­ted spoon. Serve the sticky brandy syrup on the side as a sauce.

PER SERV­ING 479 kcals • fat 25g • sat­u­rates 16g • carbs 54g • sug­ars 44g • fi­bre 1g • pro­tein 6g • salt 0.8g

BBC Good Food con­tribut­ing editor John Torode will be back as a judge on the new se­ries of Masterchef, which will air on BBC One next spring. @John­torode1

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