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Vanilla and ginger cheesecake for The Poms

By Emma Jane

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*featured image care of goodfood.com.au Photography by William Meppem/Jennifer Soo Styling by Hannah Meppem



“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”

Leo Buscaglia




Our gorgeous family friends from the UK were in Sydney and I invited them for lunch at home. Word spread to the rest of the family and soon we were 9 adults and 5 children.

Just a quiet Thursday lunch at home.

I have the propensity to be a perfectionist when it comes to entertaining. Often to the detriment of my joy of entertaining. I cause myself unnecessary stress. My husband would say I also cause him unnecessary stress.

It is something I need to work on.

Mr UK is an avid follower on Facebook, eagerly awaiting my latest creation. Ever supportive with his commentary and often requesting recipes for his annual visit.

Mrs UK is a very good cook. I put on 10kg in the six months I spent living with them. (I tried to pass it off as fluid retention after the long haul flight home. Neither my father nor sister bought a word of it when they met me at the gate.)

I think what makes Mrs UK such a good cook is that she loves food and she really loves entertaining people. She has a generosity of spirit that makes you feel welcome and relaxed and she makes food that she thinks you will enjoy. I certainly enjoyed my time in their home (so much so that I may have overstayed my welcome) and I loved observing how Mrs UK created a warm, inviting home for her family and guests alike.

As a host she is relaxed and welcoming – you can’t help but pick up on her energy.

I strive for relaxed and welcoming.

I had found this recipe in the weekend paper and was very keen to tweak it and see what they both thought of it as dessert. The beauty of it is that you can make it the day before.

Recipes that can be made the day before are a great aid to relaxed and welcoming hosting.

We spent a lovely afternoon in the garden.

Precious memories were made.

The cheesecake was a triumph.

I felt relaxed and welcoming.

I hope it translated.





(Based on Neil Perry’s recipe)

For the base

250gms Ginger Thins

100g unsalted butter, melted

2 ½ tbsp light muscovado sugar


For the filling

3 vanilla pods, split

3½ 250g packets (875g) cream cheese

1 cup caster sugar

2 egg yolks

2 whole eggs

350ml thickened cream (35 per cent fat)

100gms naked Buderim ginger (finely diced)


For the roast pineapple

1 large ripe pineapple

¾ cup dark brown sugar

¾ cup orange juice

⅓ cup honey

1 star anise

2 cardamom pods

1 cinnamon quill

Serves 12


GREASE AND LINE a 24cm spring-form cake tin with baking paper.


FOR THE BASE, Place the Ginger Thins in a zip lock bag and cover with a tea towel and gently beat them with a rolling pin (very therapeutic) OR process biscuits in a food processor until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.


Transfer to a bowl, then add melted butter and caster sugar. Stir to combine. Press mixture evenly into the base of the lined cake tin. Place in fridge to chill for an hour.





FOR THE FILLING, scrape seeds out of vanilla. Reserve pods. Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla seeds for 10-15 minutes until all lumps are gone and sugar is incorporated. Add yolks and eggs and beat for a further 2 minutes. Add the cream and naked ginger and mix until just combined; it should have a smooth, and slightly thick yet runny consistency.

POUR FILLING into the tin lined with the biscuit base. Bake for 90 minutes.



YOU WILL KNOW WHEN IT IS COOKED when the outside is set but the middle still has a wobble to it.

REMOVE TIN from oven and allow to cool to room temperature, then chill in fridge until cold and firm.

FOR THE PINEAPPLE, preheat oven to 180°C. Peel, core and cut pineapple lengthways into 12 wedges.

STIR TOGETHER sugar, orange juice and honey in a bowl until sugar dissolves. Bruise spices and add to mix along with reserved vanilla pods. Add pineapple and toss to coat. Marinate for at least 10 minutes, tossing occasionally. Place pineapple on roasting tray lined with baking paper. Reserve marinade.

ROAST PINEAPPLE for 15 minutes. Turn, brush with marinade, and roast until tender and caramelised, another 10-15 minutes. Drizzle remaining marinade over pineapple; allow to cool slightly.

REMOVE CHEESECAKE from tin and cut into 12 portions using a hot, clean knife. Serve with the spiced roast pineapple and its sauce.


The Poms loved it.



*featured image care of goodfood.com.au Photography by William Meppem/Jennifer Soo Styling by Hannah Meppem


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