Our favourite Gin Baker is back and boozier than ever with this amazing recipe that plays off of Four Pillars' most prominent botanical: orange! Using the tried-and-true combination of chocolate and orange, Liam brings us this mouthwatering, layered cheesecake that brings together all the flavours of November's Gin of the Month in crumbly, delicious - and boozy! - harmony. Check out what The Gin Baker has to say about his boozy bake and get the recipe for yourself below.
Before the birth of The Gin Baker, I was always a keen baker and would rely heavily on old recipes books, cookery blogs and the trusty know-it-all that is the internet for baking inspiration. When I had that lightbulb moment to combine my love of gin with my passion of baking, I hit the web to see what recipes already existed. Straight away I hit a brick wall - the internet was devoid in the way of gin baking unless you wanted a Gin & Tonic Drizzle Cake which I had already made a number of times before. I didn’t want a Gin and Tonic Drizzle Cake though; I was hankering for some cheesecake at the time.
As I delved deeper in my search for an alcoholic cheesecake, the general consensus was always the same: alcohol doesn’t work in cheesecake unless you’re using a liqueur. “Poppycock!”, I proclaimed, and my mission to fill the internet with gin baked goods began. One of my very first recipes was a very successful gin cheesecake and admittedly I did use a gin liqueur; but I have now found a more inventive ways to impart gins in my bakes and in cheesecakes.
Fortunately, the Craft Gin Club provided me with the perfect excuse to knock up another cheesecake after the arrival of this months Craft Gin Box. After that first sip of Four Pillars Rare Gin I was instantly inspired and I knew that I wanted to amplify its prominent citrus notes. Juniper is also clearly there, alongside its array of traditional botanicals, which overall gives the gin a great depth so I knew there was no chance of losing the flavour in the bake. Further inspiration came after devouring the Kinnerton’s Dark Chocolate and Florida Orange Bar. Before I even had a chance to wipe the crumbs from my mouth I was in the kitchen whipping up this Chocolate Orange Cheesecake with an Orange Gin Jelly topping.
With a thick chocolatey biscuit base, slathering’s of orange infused cream and a layer of orange gin jelly, this adult-friendly cheesecake is perfectly balanced to get your taste buds tingling. Although it may not be much to look at on the outside, this is a real showstopper once you cut a slice to reveal the layers. To make this Chocolate Orange Cheesecake with an Orange Gin Jelly, you will need:
400g of Digestive Biscuits
180g of Butter
50g of Cocoa Powder
250g of Mascarpone
400ml of Double Cream
50ml of Orange Juice
Zest of 2 Oranges
5 sheets of Leaf Gelatine
100ml of Four Pillars Gin
100ml of Tonic Water
200ml of Orange Juice
1: Preheat the oven to 180C.
2: Using a rolling pin and a plastic sandwich bag, crush the digestive biscuits into a fine crumb. Add to a bowl and combine with the sieved cocoa powder using a wooden spoon. Melt the butter in a small saucepan and then add to the biscuit mix. Combine with a wooden spoon until the mixture begins to clump.
3: Lightly oil the base and sides of a 23cm spring form tin and then spoon the biscuit base into the tin. Using your fingers, press the biscuit mixture into the base and the sides of the tin until well covered. The sides don’t have to be particularly neat but ensure you have an even base about 5mm thick. Place in a preheated oven for 10 minutes, then remove and place in the fridge to cool.
4: To make your cheesecake filling, add the mascarpone to a bowl and whisk to loosen. Add you double cream, orange juice and orange zest to the mascarpone and whisk until you have stiff peaks. Spoon the mixture into your biscuit case about 3/4 of the way up and use a spatula to level out the cheesecake mixture.
5: To make the jelly add the leaf gelatine to a bowl of cold water and set aside. In the meantime, combine the Four Pillars Gin, orange juice and tonic in a bowl. Add 100ml of the gin mix to a saucepan and bring to the boil until steaming. Using your fingers, strain the water from the leaf gelatine and add to the saucepan, stirring until the leaf gelatine have completely dissolved. Sieve back into the remaining gin mixture and leave to cool completely.
6: Once cooled, slowly spoon the liquid over the cheesecake and then place in the fridge for about 6 hours or overnight to set. Your cheesecake is then ready to serve.
You will need a good couple of hours to make this cheesecake, but don’t let that put you off. Most of the time is spent waiting for the layers to set. I would strongly advise preparing this the day before serving as you don’t want to risk having a runny jelly. Serve with a large Four Pillars G&T with a slice of orange.