It sounds like an odd combination – beetroot and cheesecake – but that’s because you haven’t tasted it yet. It is absolutely exquisite, especially when made in the Makweti kitchen. You can, however, make it at home too. Our distinguished chefs have put together this easy, step-by-step recipe for you to try in your own kitchen.
This recipe serves 8 people generously. It makes a delicious starter served with loads of crackers or a show-stopping end to a meal as a twist on a cheese board!
- 300g pumpernickel bread (or dark rye bread)
- 80g salted butter, melted
- 6 sprigs of thyme, stalks removed
- 1 x 250g full-fat cream cheese
- 1 x 250g smooth cottage cheese, garlic & herb flavour
- 1 x 250g Crème Fraiche
- 4 large eggs
- Juice and zest of 1 lemon
- 240g beetroot, peeled
- 2 sprigs of thyme
- 2 cloves of garlic, skin on
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp soft brown sugar
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to season
- 100ml red wine vinegar
- 25g sugar
- 1 4g gelatine leaf
- Beetroot chips, crystallized thyme sprigs, and seed crackers, to decorate
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius or 160 degrees if you’re using a fan-forced oven. Grease and line a 17cm round springform cake tin and tightly wrap the outside in foil.
To make the crust, place the bread, salted butter and thyme leaves in a food processor and process until fine. Press into the lined baking tin. Bake in the preheated oven for 8-10 minutes then remove and allow to cool completely.
Next, prepare the beetroot cheesecake. On a large sheet of foil, place the beetroot, thyme, garlic cloves, olive oil, balsamic, sugar, and seasoning and toss to coat. Wrap the beetroot up and place it in the preheated oven for 20 minutes or until soft. Open the foil up and roast for a further 10 minutes. Allow to cool completely.
Place the cream cheese, smooth cottage cheese and Creme Fraiche into a food processor then blend until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, blending in between each addition. Blend in the lemon zest and juice. Pour the cheesecake mixture into the prepared cake tin and place it into a roasting tray. Fill the tray with hot water up to 2/3 of the sides of the baking tin and bake for 35-40 minutes or until the cheesecake wobbles slightly (like set jelly). Turn the oven off, remove the cheesecake from the oven and allow it to cool at room temperature in the bain-marie until completely cool. Remove from the bain-marie, wrap in cling wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes or until cold.
To make the beetroot jelly; soak the gelatine leaf in cold water then puree the roasted beetroot with the red wine vinegar and sugar until smooth and liquid. Strain the mixture using a cheesecloth or sieve. (If using a sieve, be careful not to get any beetroot bits into the juice, this ensures a clear jelly). Microwave the beetroot juice until hand hot and stir in the gelatin. Allow to cool slightly.
Finally, pour the beetroot jelly over the top of the cheesecake to form a layer. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours (or preferably overnight).
For best results, remove the cheesecake from the fridge an hour before you want to serve it and serve with special friends!