New York usually steals the thunder when it comes to baked cheesecakes. This reworking, however, owes its distinctive flavour to India – made with paneer and spiced with cardamom, it’s a revelation.
300g digestive biscuits
Ground seeds from 4 cardamom pods
2 drops of vanilla extract
100g unsalted butter, melted
FOR THE CHEESECAKE TOPPING
400g full-fat cream cheese
175g soured cream
225g paneer, finely grated
175g caster sugar
Ground seeds from 8 cardamom pods
1 tbsp vanilla extract
3 medium eggs
TO SERVE (OPTIONAL)
Crushed pistachio nuts
Mango or cherry fruit compote
1 Line a 23cm springform tin with greaseproof paper, allowing enough to hang over the edges of the tin. Blitz the biscuits, cardamom and vanilla in a food processor until finely crushed. Add the butter and blitz until the crumbs stick together when pressed.
2 Transfer to the lined tin, using the back of a spoon to spread and press it firmly over the base. Cover with cling film and refrigerate for 30 mins.
3 Meanwhile, preheat oven to 160C/Fan 140C/Gas 3. In the cleaned bowl of the food processor, blitz all the topping ingredients, except the eggs, until smooth. Whisk in the eggs, adding one at a time, until well combined.
4 Pour the cream cheese mixture over the chilled base and spread it evenly. Bake for 1 hour or until set completely. Turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake inside until it has cooled completely before removing.
5 Chill for 4–5 hours in the fridge before removing from the tin and serving.
Recipe from Gunpowder by Devina Seth, Harneet Baweja & Nirmal Save (Kyle Books, out mid June).