This is a dessert we’ve served up at our Bristol based ‘Montpelier Basement’ supper club a few times recently, including our London debut at The Coach & Horses. It seemed to go down incredibly well, so I thought I’d write the recipe up on the blog .
In actual fact it's three recipes combined, stolen from three different chefs; Gordon Ramsay, Tom Kitchin and Jason Atherton. Between them they hold a multitude of Michelin stars but it took our culinary genius to slap the three elements all together in one bowl. So a massive 'in your face' Michelin starred chefs!
Ok first up, the ewe’s curd cheesecake mousse. This is an awesome recipe from Tom Kitchin. He uses Crowdie, which is a Scottish cream cheese. We used Homewood ewe’s curd instead, which is produced locally in Somerset by Tim & Angela Homewood, and is absolutely fantastic.
450g Ewe’s Curd
1 ½ Tbs Flour
1 Tbs Vanilla Extract
Zest of 1 Lemon
1 Egg Yolk
Preheat the oven to 150C. Mix the cheese, sugar, flour, vanilla and lemon zest in a blender until smooth. In a separate jug, mix the egg and egg yolk together, then pour into the blender with the cheese mixture and blend until smooth.
Pour into a 23cm baking dish and cover with foil. Bake for 35-40 minutes until set. (We cooked a much bigger volume, so it took quite a bit longer to set). Allow to cool and then transfer the mixture to a blender, and blitz until smooth. Leave to set in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
The butterscotch apple sauce is a Gordon Ramsay recipe, in fact, a component part of another dessert. It’s incredibly sweet but tastes amazing partnered with the slightly sour cheesecake mousse.
Butterscotch Apple Sauce
1 Large Granny Smith Apple, peeled cored and chopped.
1 Vanilla Pod
100g Caster Sugar, plus 2 Tbsp
100g Unsalted Butter
100ml Double Cream
Put the chopped apple in a small pan and sprinkle over 2 Tbs of water. Slit the vanilla pod and scrape out the seeds, adding them to the pan with 2 Tbs of caster sugar. Stir into the apple and heat until sizzling. Then cover and cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft and pulpy. Cool then crush to a chunky puree with a fork.
In another saucepan, gently heat the 100g of sugar with a splash of water until melted. Stir occasionally. When clear, raise the heat, stir in the butter and cook to a light caramel. Do not stir at this point or it will become fudge.
Remove from the heat, and cool for 5 minutes before mixing in the cream. Cool to room temperature, before stirring in the apple puree. Refrigerate.
The third component is a Jason Atherton recipe for Spiced Shortbread. We’ve found it works really well, is incredibly simple to make and the spices give it a bit more of an interesting flavour.
225g Unsalted Butter, cubed and softened. Plus extra to grease tin.
250g Plain Flour
80g Rice Flour
¼ Tsp Salt
½ Tsp Ground Star Anise
¼ Tsp Ground Cinnamon
100g Golden Caster Sugar
Cinnamon Sugar Topping
1 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
1 Tbsp Golden Caster Sugar
Preheat the oven to 150C. Grease a 23cm square baking tin with butter and line it with buttered greaseproof paper, allowing plenty of overhang on opposite sides to act as handles.
Sift the flours, salt, star anise and cinnamon together into a large bowl; set aside. Using a mixer, beat the butter until soft and fluffy. Tip in the sugar and beat for 2 minutes on high speed until creamy. (You can do all this by hand, but it’s hard work!) Add the creamed mixture to the flour and knead together by hand until uniform in texture.
Press evenly into the prepared tin and bake for 1 hour until golden. Leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes.
For the topping, mix together the cinnamon and the 1 tbsp of sugar in a small bowl.
Carefully lift the shortbread out of the tin (it's extremely fragile at this stage), using the overhanging paper as handles and place on a board. Cut it in half, and then into 1.5cm fingers. Sprinkle with the cinnamon-sugar mix (We also added a bit of leftover ground star anise to this). Place on a baking sheet, spaced apart and bake for another 10 mins to dry out. Transfer to a wire rack to cool and store in an airtight container.
We sprinkled the final dish with cobnut crumbs. Basically roasted cobnuts which if you don’t know are like hazelnuts and smell absolutely incredible. Discard the outer husks, use a nutcracker to remove the shell and bake the nuts in a 150C oven for up to an hour, until hard and browned. Cool and then blitz to a crumb texture.
All that’s left to serve is a bit of assembly.
If you’re dexterous and suave, shape the cheesecake mousse into a quenelle and place delicately on the plate. Or if you’re me, dollop some on like a bricklayer shovelling cement. Next to this, add a generous portion of the butterscotch apple sauce. In an extremely cheffy asymmetric style, smugly place your spiced shortbread across the other two components. If you have a moustache, as this stage, you must twiddle it, if not, arch one eyebrow. Slice some apple and fan it out in a pleasingly pretentious fashion. Finally, sprinkle some cobnut crumb over everything.
Bon appétit. Your work here is done.