Ashley Palmer-Watts

Ashley Palmer-Watts

6th June 2014
Ashley Palmer-Watts


Serves 8


  • Pâte Sablée:
  • 250g Plain flour
  • 1g Baking powder
  • Salt
  • 85g Unsalted butter, cubed and at room temperature
  • 85g Icing sugar
  • 48g Whole egg
  • Biscuit Base:
  • 350g Reserved baked pâte sablée
  • 80g Unsalted butter, cubed and at room temperature
  • 70g Muscovado sugar
  • Compressed Apples:
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into 5mm slices
  • 500g Apple juice
  • Elderflower Jam:
  • 200g Elderflower cordial
  • 1 Small handful fresh elderflowers (optional)
  • 235g White caster sugar
  • 10g Pectin jaune
  • 5g Tartaric acid
  • 135g White grape juice
  • 65g Glucose
  • Reserved compressed apples
  • Goat’s Cheese Cream:
  • 400g Goat’s cheese, rind removed
  • 100g Double goat’s cream
  • Pâte à Bombe:
  • 265g White caster sugar
  • 150g Egg yolk
  • Cheesecake Mousse:
  • 10.5g Bronze leaf gelatine
  • 25g Icing sugar
  • 400g Plain cream cheese
  • 335g Double goat’s cream
  • 185g Reserved pâte à bombe
  • 85g Whipping cream
  • 15g Elderflower cordial
  • Cinnamon Sugar:
  • 1.5g Ground cinnamon
  • 150g White caster sugar
  • Roasted Figs:
  • 2 Figs
  • Reserved cinnamon sugar
  • Red Wine Fluid Gel:
  • 1 Bottle Maury red wine
  • 2.5g Gellan F (low-acyl gellan)
  • 0.8g Sodium citrate


Pâte Sablée:
Place the flour, baking powder and a pinch of salt in a bowl and combine. Set aside.
Place the butter and sugar in a mixer bowl and cream at high speed until light and creamy, using the paddle attachment.
Reduce the mixer to a moderate speed and gradually add the egg until well emulsified.
Add the flour mixture and mix until it comes together to form a dough. Remove the dough from the mixing bowl and place between 2 sheets of baking parchment.
Roll the dough to a thickness of 5mm.
Place in the freezer while preheating the oven to 170°c/340°f.
Peel off the parchment and bake the dough until golden.
Allow to cool, then store in a sealed container until needed.
Biscuit Base:
Place the pâte sablée in a Thermomix and blitz to fine crumbs.
Set aside.
Place the butter and muscovado sugar in a mixer bowl and cream at high speed until light and creamy, using the paddle attachment.
Reduce the mixer to a moderate speed and add the crumbs; mix until fully combined.
Line a baking tray with baking parchment and transfer the biscuit mixture on to it.
Place another sheet of parchment on top and flatten the biscuit mixture with a rolling pin, ensuring it is compressed well.
Place the tray in the freezer for 1 hour. Using a 4.5cm-diameter cutter, cut 8 rounds out of the biscuit mixture.
Gently place the biscuit bases on a clean tray.
Place in the fridge until needed.
Compressed Apples:
Place the apple slices in a sous-vide bag, ensuring they are all lying flat and in a single layer.
Seal under full pressure.
Pierce the bag several times and repeat the process to compress the apples.
Place the compressed apple slices in a second sous-vide bag, followed by the apple juice.
Seal under full pressure and place in the fridge for 24 hours.
Dice them into 5mm cubes.
Elderflower Jam:
If desired, the flavour of the elderflower cordial can be intensified by infusing the fresh elderflowers in it for 30 minutes. Strain the cordial and set aside.
Combine the sugar and pectin in a bowl, mixing very well using a small whisk, and set aside.
Mix the tartaric acid and 5g water in a small bowl until fully dissolved.
Set aside.
Place the grape juice and glucose in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Add the sugar and pectin mixture to the saucepan and reduce over a moderate heat, whisking continuously.
Once the mixture has cooked to 67° Brix, remove from the heat and whisk in the tartaric acid mixture and the elderflower cordial.
Allow to cool.
Place the mixture in a Thermomix and blitz for 2 minutes before passing through a muslin cloth.
Combine 140g of the jam with 140g diced compressed apple and refrigerate until needed.
It is best if they are combined shortly before filling the cheesecakes.
Goat’s Cheese Cream:
Place the goat’s cheese in a mixer bowl and beat at moderate speed using the paddle attachment.
Add the cream and combine well.
Spoon the goat’s cheese cream into a piping bag and store in the fridge until needed.
Pâte à Bombe:
Heat the sugar and 85g water in a small saucepan.
Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolk in a mixer at medium speed.
Just before the sugar syrup reaches 121°c/250°f, increase the speed of the mixer.
Once the sugar syrup has reached 121°c/250°f, remove from the heat and reduce the speed of the mixer to medium.
Slowly add the sugar syrup to the whisked egg yolk mixture and whisk until the entire mixture has cooled.
Cheesecake Mousse:
Place the gelatine leaves in enough cold water to cover them.
After 5 minutes, once the gelatine has softened, strain the leaves and ensure all the water has been squeezed out.
Place the icing sugar, cream cheese and goat’s cream in a round-bottomed bowl and place over a pot of boiling water, mixing well until fully combined.
Add the bloomed gelatine and continue to combine until all the gelatine has dissolved.
Remove the bowl from the boiling water and place over a bowl of iced water.
Allow the cream cheese to cool to 45°c/113°f.
Fold the pâte à bombe into the cream cheese. In a separate bowl, whip the whipping cream until soft peaks have formed and add, along with the elderflower cordial, to the cream-cheese mixture.
Place in a piping bag and store in the fridge until needed.
Biscuit bases
Reserved goat’s cheese cream
Reserved cheesecake mousse
Reserved elderflower jam
Charcoal powder
Pipe a layer of the goat’s cheese cream on the top of each biscuit, the same thickness as the biscuit. Place a 6.5cm-diameter cookie cutter over each biscuit, and, using it as a mould, pipe the cheesecake mousse around the biscuit, concealing the sides, then fill the mould seven-eighths full with mousse, allowing some room for an additional layer later on. Repeat with the other 7 bases.
Keeping the cutters in place, put the tray in the freezer and reserve the remaining mousse.
Once the cheesecakes have frozen solid, remove them from the freezer and scoop out a small amount from the centre of each one.
Fill the hollowed out cheesecakes with elderflower jam.
Hide the elderflower jam pocket by piping additional cheesecake mousse to the top of the mould, and smooth over.
Return the cheesecakes to the freezer.
Once they have frozen solid, remove them from the freezer and allow to stand for 5–10 minutes before gently lifting off the moulds.
Place a small piece of clingfilm over the top of each cheesecake to protect the top, then brush a small amount of charcoal powder on to the sides to resemble a round of goat’s cheese.
Remove the clingfilm and allow the cheesecakes to defrost completely in the fridge before serving.
Cinnamon Sugar:
Mix the cinnamon and sugar together in a small bowl until well combined.
Roasted Figs:
Quarter the figs and dip the flat sides into the cinnamon sugar.
Heat a pan over a high heat and lightly griddle the flat sides of the figs until lightly golden.
The figs should be griddled just before serving.
Red Wine Fluid Gel:
Pour the wine into a saucepan over a moderate heat.
Flame, bring to the boil and simmer to reduce the wine to 300g.
Set aside.
Place the reduced wine in a Thermomix and bring to 90°c/194°f on a medium setting.
Add the gellan F and sodium citrate and blitz for 1 more minute.
Lift the lid and scrape down the sides of the jug halfway through.
Pour the mixture into a bowl and place the bowl in iced water.
Using a handheld blender, blend the mixture as it cools to achieve a smooth consistency.
Pass the red wine fluid gel through a fine-mesh sieve and store in a piping bag until needed.
To Serve:
Defrosted cheesecakes
Reserved red wine fluid gel
Reserved roasted figs
Gently place each cheesecake on a serving plate.
Pipe a thin strip of red wine fluid gel alongside the cheesecake.
Top with pieces of roasted fig.

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