The People's Friend Special

Gluten-free Drambuie Butterscot­ch Popcorn Cheesecake


Course: dessert Serves: 8 Prep: 1 hr 30 mins Cook: 0 mins

250 g (9 oz) gluten-free ginger biscuits

100 g (3½ oz) butter, melted Pinch of salt

For the Drambuie Butterscot­ch: 50 g (1¾ oz) butter

125 g (4½ oz) light soft brown sugar

100 g (3½ oz) golden syrup

2½ tbs Drambuie

150 ml (5 fl oz) double cream

Generous pinch sea salt

For the Filling:

600 g (1 lb 5 oz) soft cheese

100 g (3½ oz) icing sugar, sifted 150 ml (5 fl oz) double cream For the Topping:

1 tbs sunflower oil

40 g (1½ oz) popcorn kernels

1 Grease a 20 cm (8 in) springform cake tin with butter and line the base and sides with greaseproo­f paper.

2 To make the base, place the biscuits into

a sealed food bag and give them a bash with a rolling pin until they are coarse crumbs. Pour into a mixing bowl and mix with the melted butter and the salt. Tip the mixture into the prepared cake tin and push down firmly with your hand to form an even layer. Chill in the fridge while you prepare the filling.

3 To make the Drambuie butterscot­ch sauce, put the butter, sugar and golden syrup in a medium heavy-based pan. Heat gently until the sugar has dissolved then simmer for another 5 minutes. Turn off the heat then add the Drambuie and slowly stir in the double cream until smooth. Stir in a pinch of salt. Allow to cool.

4 To make the filling, beat together the soft cheese and icing sugar until smooth and thick, then beat in the double cream until beginning to thicken, being sure not to overwhip the mixture. Pour half of the Drambuie butterscot­ch into the soft cheese mixture and fold through. Set the rest of the butterscot­ch aside.

5 Spoon the cheese mixture over the biscuit base, smoothing it in an even layer with a palette knife. Cover and chill in the fridge for at least two hours, or overnight.

6 The popcorn is best served fresh so if you are making the cheesecake a day ahead, make the popcorn just before assembling. Heat the oil and popcorn kernels in a heavy-based pan with the lid clamped on. Once the kernels begin to pop give the pan a shake to stop them catching and remove from the heat once the popping has slowed right down. Open the lid slightly to allow the steam to escape, removing it completely once the popping has stopped.

7 Meanwhile, gently warm the butterscot­ch until it is pourable again. Pour about 4 tablespoon­s over the popcorn and mix so that it’s coated in the sauce. Pile the popcorn on top of the cheesecake and pour some more sauce over the top, drizzling it down the sides of the cheesecake.

Sprinkle with sea salt flakes. Serve the cheesecake with any remaining butterscot­ch in a jug.

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