blood orange + earl grey tea + lavender cheesecake

Yesterday  on my two-hour-train ride home I was going through my folders with old(er) pictures, when I came across some of a cheesecake that I really love, but that I hadn’t shared on here yet. Perhaps because I was a bit scared of it. But it is about time.

Somewhere in January – so it’s not that long ago – I came up with this flavour combination of things I either had never tried before, or had already tried, but didn’t exactly like. Kind of strange, but that’s how my head works sometimes. I have written before on all the new winter fruits I have discovered this year, one of them is blood orange. Until last month I had never heard of them before. By now they are one of my favourite fruits. After researching what flavours would go with blood orange, I found many recipes with lavender. And after researching recipes with lavender, I found that some paired it with earl grey tea. So I thought: why not combine all three of them? The creation of the recipe involved a lot of taste testing of the cheesecake mixture. And although that tasted quite delicious, I was still extremely afraid of the end result. In fact, I was so scared by it, I just let the cheesecake sit in my fridge for four days… I know. It is ridiculous.

The ingredient that got me scared was the lavender. The only place I use lavender is in the bath tub. But when I came across a couple of recipes with it, I was curious to try, and bake with it as well. Although the pre-baked mixture tasted really nice, I was afraid that after baking and cooling, my cheesecake would taste like a bar of soap. But it didn’t. Even after all those days. Insert: sigh of relieve.

On a Saturday my grandparents came to visit. And that was a good thing. Since I try to avoid to waste food, I wouldn’t allow myself to buy or make something else to serve them with their cup of coffee. And to serve nothing with coffee is not my idea of hospitality. So I dressed the cheesecake in a little syrup, and covered it in pretty blood orange slices, took some pictures and served a piece to my grandparents. Telling them about 86 times that if they didn’t like it, they didn’t have to eat it. But they liked it, and assured me of it 87 times. And when my grandparents say something is good, it is a fact. That’s how it works. So by now, three weeks later, I’m ready to share the recipe. I’d love to hear what you think.

blood orange + earl grey tea + lavender cheesecake

Servings: 6
Total time: 90 min

Ingredients

base

  • 100 g flour
  • 35 g butter
  • 35 g caster sugar
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 3 tbsp milk

filling

  • 300 g cream cheese at room temperature
  • 100 g whipping cream
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp brown rice syrup
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 bloodorange, juiced
  • 1 tsp earl grey tea
  • 1/4 tsp lavender

syrup

  • 1 blood orange, juiced
  • 1/2 tsp arrow root, or other thickening agent

decoration

  • 2 blood oranges

equipment

  • 16 cm springform
  • parchment paper
  • electric mixer
  • spice grinder

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 175ᵒC (350ᵒF).

base

  1. Combine flour, butter, sugar and baking powder into a sandy consistency. Add milk and mix through. Line a 16 cm springform pan with parchment paper, and press the mixture into the base, using a tablespoon. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  2. Lower oven temperature to 150ᵒC (300ᵒF).

filling

  1. Grind the earl grey tea and lavender to a very fine powder.

  2. Whisk cream cheese, whipping cream, egg, brown rice syrup, vanilla extract, blood orange juice, earl grey tea powder, and lavender powder together on slow speed until it looks a bit like whipped cream. About 5 minutes with an electric mixer. Be careful not to overmix otherwise the mixture will split.

assembly

  1. Spoon the mixture onto the cold cheesecake base. Put the springform pan in the middle of the oven. Fill a baking tray with water and place that on a lower rack in the oven. Bake for 30-40 minutes. The centre should be a little wobbly. Leave the cheesecake to cool slightly in the tin, then cover and refrigerate overnight.

  2. Just before serving, make the syrup by thickening the orange juice with the arrowroot on a low heat. Make sure the syrup isn't to hot when you pour it over the cheesecake. Slice up some blood oranges for decoration and added flavour.

Notes

  • Make sure to buy lavender that is suitable for cooking. Not all lavender out there is good to eat.
  • Pour the syrup over the cheesecake right before serving, otherwise it turns a bit purple.
  • For a large cheesecake, double the ingredients.

 

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