Cheesecake is one of those classic desserts that seem to never go out of fashion. By making this in a square container, you can cut it into individual portions for a more elegant, restaurant-style presentation. The deconstructed ginger crumb is scattered across the plate rather than forming a base.
125g crème fraîche
100g icing sugar
1 tsp finely grated lime zest (use a microplane if you have one), plus extra to serve
1 tbsp (15ml) lime juice
1 tbsp ginger syrup (from jar of stem ginger), plus extra to serve
2 leaves gelatine, softened for 5 minutes in cold water
1 piece stem ginger in syrup, finely chopped, plus extra to serve
1 cup sugar
2 cups boiling water
finely grated zest of 1 lime and several lime leaves, if available
4 tbsp (60ml) lime juice
Mix ricotta and crème fraîche in a food processor, then add icing sugar, lime zest and juice, and ginger syrup.
Squeeze excess water from gelatine, place gelatine in a cup and microwave for 10 seconds to dissolve (it must not boil). Combine gelatine with ricotta mixture, then remove food processor blade and stir in chopped ginger. Place in a plastic container (approximately 12cm × 16cm) lined with baking paper and refrigerate for a few hours until firm.
For the granita, dissolve the sugar in boiling water, then add the lime zest and leaves. Steep for 5 minutes, then add the lime juice.
Remove the leaves and freeze the syrup in a shallow container. Stir and scrape with a fork after 40 minutes and every 30 minutes thereafter to make a fluffy granita.
Crush the gingernuts in a food processor or with a mortar and pestle and set aside.
Remove cheesecake from container and cut into long slices. Serve cheesecake sitting on a bed of gingernut crumbs with granita and a little chopped ginger in syrup alongside, then grate a little lime zest over the top.
Reproduced with permission from SIMON GAULT MODERN CLASSICS by Simon Gault. Published by Penguin Group NZ. RRP $60.00. Copyright © text, Simon Gault, 2014.
Copyright © photographs, Kieran Scott, 2014