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Citrus cheesecake

Recipe for a light, no-bake cheesecake with a note of white chocolate – a Quentin Lechat creation.

Today’s cheesecake has its roots in ancient Greece, where it was considered fuel for the body and thus served to athletes. The first waves of European migrants brought the recipe to the New World, and ever since then, this dessert has been a classic of North American cuisine.

In the tradition of New York cheesecakes, this recipe by Quentin Lechat is based on Philadelphia soft cheese (cream cheese). But unlike those cheesecakes, this one is not baked, but rather uses the cold to hold its shape. The airy confection is infused with lime, while its top serves as stage for a decadent display of candied citruses.

With its lightness and notes of fresh lemon and lime, this cheesecake is far from the original high-calorie version of antiquity. Yet it is fully in line with the subtlety of elegant creations from the rising star of the Parisian pastry scene.

Ingredients (4 servings)

For the cheesecake filling:

  • 120g Philadelphia soft cheese
  • 100g white chocolate
  • 100ml whipping cream
  • 1 egg
  • 110ml water
  • 15g sugar
  • 8g gelatine, hydrated
  • Zest of 1 organic lime

For the granola biscuit

  • 75g oat flakes
  • 40g crushed hazelnuts
  • 30g flaked almonds
  • 15g white quinoa
  • 45g honey
  • 20g butter, melted

For the citrus topping

  • 3 lemons
  • 1 Buddha’s hand


Method

For the citrus topping (make the night before)
Peel only the yellow part of each lemon to make fine but wide shavings.
Put the peels in a saucepan of sugared water and boil gently for 10 minutes.
Remove segments of the lemon, trimming away any membrane, and immerse them in a mixture of water and honey. Let marinate overnight.
Use a mandoline to thinly slice the Buddha’s hand and put the slices in a mixing bowl. Heat the syrup until very hot and pour over the slices.
Let the citruses heat gently until they are lightly candied, then place in the fridge.

For the cheesecake filling
Melt the white chocolate.
Whip the cream in a mixer at low speed, then place it in the fridge.
Combine the egg and the Philadelphia soft cheese.
Make a syrup with the water, sugar, lime zest and gelatine, then pass it through a mesh strainer.
Add the syrup to the cheese mixture, then add the melted white chocolate.
Fold the whipped cream into the above mixture.
Pour into a ring mould and let the batter solidify in the freezer for an hour.

For the granola biscuit
Combine all the ingredients. Spread the mixture inside a greased ring mould on a baking sheet.
Bake at 165°C (325°F) for 15 minutes.
Remove the ring while it is still warm, and place the biscuit in the fridge or freezer.

To serve
Place the cheesecake disk on the biscuit.
Decorate the top with the marinated lemon segments and then the candied citrus peels.
Note: Assemble the dessert in advance and let it sit at room temperature to ensure that all the components thaw before serving.

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