Unusual combinations in this no-bake Pink Grapefruit and Cinnamon Cheesecake. The inspiration came from a book I recently purchased: “Flavor Thesaurus” by Niki Segnit.
It is not a recipe book. The book talks about different flavors, foods and spices, and their unlimited combinations in cooking. And the author accomplishes this in a very poetic, sometimes random, way. But this is probably what I like most about the book: I let myself be inspired by odd combinations.
I doubt the author will have tried all the combinations contained in the book, but even by just naming two ingredients together is a source of inspiration for me to try new things.
It reminds me of the “sommelier approach”: giving concrete names to vague and distant flavors. Like “..a flavor of mediterranean undergrowth and citrus, with notes of oak wood and a slight hint of coffee.”. After the 5th glass of wine I too can taste all these things.
In search of inspiration for a summer cheesecake I stumbled upon the combination grapefruit and cinnamon. It is unexpected because the grapefruit, although a winter fruit, has a more fresh, summery flavor. Whereas the cinnamon is more connected to winter and Christmas cakes.
A no-bake cheesecake, a base of cinnamon flavored Digestive biscuits and a pink grapefruit cheesecake cream. I had to test it three times to get the amount of gelatin right.
The final product has a good consistency but not jelly-like, like the one of a panna cotta.
It tastes delicious and fresh. I wouldn’t know if beyond the two main flavors there are Arabic reminiscences with hints of tarragon and nutmeg. But it was good enough for me.
Pink Grapefruit and Cinnamon Cheesecake
For the biscuit base:
- 70 g butter melted 2.5 oz
- 130 G Digestive type biscuits 4.6 oz
- 2 tsp. cinnamon powder
For the cheesecake filling:
- 250 g spreadable cheese, like Philadelphia 8.8 oz
- 150 g mascarpone 5.3 oz
- 80 g confectioner sugar 2.8 oz
- 230 fresh cream 8.1 oz
- 10 g gelatin sheets, approx 2 sheets 0.35 oz
- 130 g freshly squeezed pink grapefruit juice approx 1 and ½ 4.6 oz
- grated pink grapefruit zest
- Put the grapefruit zest in 30g (1 oz) of cream, cover with cling film and place in the fridge.
For the biscuit base:
- Line the bottom of a round springform pan with baking paper. If you have the pastry tape line the inside as well. Alternatively use a stripe of baking paper. Use some butter to make it stick to the inside of the pan.
- Crush the biscuits in the mixer together with the cinnamon.
- Add the melted butter and combine.
- Distribute the biscuit base on the bottom of the prepared pan, pressing down with the back of a spoon.
- Place in the fridge.
For the pink grapefruit cheesecake filling:
- In a large bowl, using the handheld mixer, combine the mascarpone, the spreadable cheese and the confectioner sugar.
- Add the pink grapefruit juice (filtered) and combine.
- Soak the gelatin sheets in cold water.
- Take the cream with grapefruit zest back from the fridge. Sift through a strainer and put the cream in a small pot on low heat.
- When hot, add the wrung gelatin sheets and stir to dissolve.
- Let it cool down slightly.
- When the cream with gelatin reaches 30° C (86° F) add it to the cheesecake filling and mix with the handheld.
- Whip the remaining cream, 200g (7.1 oz), to firm consistency.
- Gently fold the whipped cream into the cheesecake filling.
- Distribute the filling inside the prepared pan and level with a spatula.
- Refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving.