Chocolatey Pear And Amaretto Cheesecake

This cheesecake has to be my all time favourite cheesecake and will impress your guests and make them beg for seconds. It takes a bit of time but is actually easy to make and requires no baking.

Chocolatey Pear And Amaretto Cheesecake

Bruno
This decadent and somewhat exotic cheesecake is like no other and is suitable for the highest level of gourmet entertaining. The ingredients are fairly common but also easily substituted. The fact that it does not require any baking might be a welcome change too.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Setting Times 2 hrs
Total Time 2 hrs 40 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine International
Servings 10

Equipment

  • Spring Form of about 24 cm Ø.

Ingredients
  

Poached Pears

  • 2 Pears large, ripe, preferably Bosc
  • 50 g Sugar Super Fine or Caster
  • 100 ml Water
  • 1 Vanilla Pod

Cake Bottom

  • 150 g Graham Cracker Crumbs see notes
  • 50 g Butter unsalted
  • 4 tbsp Nutella see notes

Filling

  • 300 g Cream Cheese Philadelphia type
  • 125 g Sugar Super Fine or Caster
  • 550 ml Whipping Cream 35%
  • 3 tbsp Amaretto Liqueur e.g. Disaronno
  • 100 g Amaretti Biscuits see notes

Decoration

  • 60 g Chocolate Dark or Semi Sweet
  • 1 tbsp Icing Sugar

Instructions
 

Poached Pears

  • Peal and quarter pears
  • Core the quarters
  • Slice quarters in half lengthwise to end up with ⅛ slices
  • Chop the slices into 4-5 mm chunks
  • In a small saucepan dissolve the sugar in the water over medium heat
  • Split the vanilla pod and scrape the seeds into a large bowl
  • Cut the pod halves in two and add to the sugar syrup simmering 5 minutes to infuse
  • Remove the vanilla pod pieces and add the pears
  • Simmer for 10 minutes
  • Strain, set aside and let pears cool off

Cake Bottom

  • Add Graham Cracker Crumbs to a medium sized bowl
  • In a small sauce pan melt the butter
  • Add the Nutella and stir to dissolve
  • Add this mixture to the Graham Cracker Crumbs and mix really well
  • Tip this mix into the spring form and distribute evenly over the bottom pressing it down firmly
  • Place in refrigerator for 45 minutes

Filling

  • Crush the Amaretti Bisquits using a rolling pin until you get crumbs about the size of Panko crumbs
  • Add the cream cheese to the bowl with the vanilla seeds
  • Add the sugar
  • Using a hand mixer or a whisk beat the mixture until evenly mixed and creamy
  • Slowly add 450 ml of the cream while continuing to mix
  • Add the Amaretto liqueur
  • Continue to beat the mixture at an increased speed until you get a soft peaks consistency
  • Fold in the Amaretti crumbs and the poached pear chunks
  • Remove the spring form from the fridge
  • Ladle the filling over the cake bottom and level the surface
  • Chill in the refrigerator for 45 minutes until well set
  • Pour the remaining 50 ml of cream over top in a thin layer
  • Chill again for a minimum of 30 minutes
  • Unmold the cake by running a thin-bladed knife around the edges of the cake and pop off the spring form rim
  • Use a palette or pastry knife slid under the cake and transfer to a suitable flat serving plate or cake bell

Decoration

  • Melt the chocolate in a heat proof bowl (see notes)
  • Spread the chocolate in a thin, even layer over a smooth surface such as a marble slab, Corian type countertop or the underside of a clean baking sheet
  • Let cool off until set
  • Using a sharp knife held at an angle of about 25° and working quickly, draw it across the surface to shave the chocolate into good sized curls
  • Arrange the chocolate curls on top of the cake
  • Finish this masterpiece by dusting it with icing sugar

Notes

Instead of using Graham Cracker Crumbs you can also use digestive biscuits turned into fine crumbs using a blender or food processor.
Nutella can be substituted with any other chocolate spread especially if you have allergies to nuts.
If you can’t find Amaretti biscuits in your local supermarket just make your own a day ahead (See my recipe here).
Melting chocolate the traditional way over a hot water bath has never worked well for me so I use the microwave as follows (adjust process according to how powerful your microwave is – my current one is not):
  • Blast chocolate at full power for 30 seconds
  • Let sit for 60 seconds
  • Repeat
  • Test chocolate with a clean wooden or silicone spatula
  • If you can easily stir the chocolate, you’re done. If not, repeat the process until you can
Times given in this recipe are only approximate and the total time needed depends on how well you are organized or how good you are at multitasking as you can overlap some processes and have them going simultaneously.
Keyword amaretti, amaretto, bosc pears, cheesecake, chocolate, pears

This recipe is an adaptation of a recipe I found in Gordon Ramseys book “Christmas with Gordon”.

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