Saturday, 26 October 2013

Plum Gingerbread Swirled with Cheesecake

A quick food shop last week turned into a splurge on autumnal produce-I came back with rough-skinned russet apples, root vegetables to turn into a comforting, cream enriched soup and two big punnets of plums. Most of the apples are gone, the majority just eaten on their own, or with some sharp cheddar. A few were used as a topping for a pecan cake, sprinkled with lots of cinnamon and nutmeg. The vegetables have been peeled, cooked, pureed and eaten; I had forgotten how nice a simple vegetable soup could be, especially when you've caught the dreaded cold, like I had. I still have a lot of plums though, even though I like them a lot I was lacking inspiration. Thank goodness for the internet, especially at the moment when I am living without most of my cookery book collection. The first thing that caught my attention was plum gingerbread, then this plum traybake with cheesecake and finally these gingerbread cheesecake bars.

The cake I made came closest to the gingerbread cheesecake bars. The recipe was essentially the same, but with a few additions. Plums, obviously, but also some stem ginger to the gingerbread mix, and some lemon zest and juice to the cheesecake. I omitted the ground ginger from the cheesecake batter, as I wanted complete contrast of the two mixes. Also, instead of pouring the gingerbread batter in the cake tin, covering it with the cheesecake mix, then marbling the two, I put alternating spoonfuls of the batters in the tin and then swirled them up with a knife. I think my method would be easier, as the gingerbread batter is much heavier and denser than the cheesecake, so to try and swirl the gingerbread above and into the cheesecake seems rather difficult.

I have just a cold piece with a cup of tea , and I was very pleased- I really like the contrast between dark, heavy gingerbread and light, tangy cheesecake. I wouldn't go as far to say that the plums 'make' the dish, but they are a really nice addition and suit the flavours of the cake.

If you want to make this recipe, I used this one as a base, from the Oven Adventures blog, which looks great- I'll be pouring over it later. Add the zest of one lemon and one teaspoon of the juice to the cheesecake batter, and one ball of stem ginger, grated, plus a little of the syrup from the jar to the gingerbread. Omit the ground ginger from the cheesecake mix. See my notes above for mixing the two batters in the cake tin. Finally top with some sliced plums. I used 4 plums, each cut into four thick slices.

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