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Cointreau & orange cheesecake with tender rhubarb compote

At this time of year I always look forward to the first harvest of tender young rhubarb. I have quite a few crowns of ‘Timperly Early’ which start the season before the heavier cropping ‘Victoria’ comes in to its own. Rhubarbs affinity with orange, and a recent trip to the wonderful Cointreau distillery in Delphine’s home town of Angers in France, made me think of pairing the two with a cheesecake. I think it makes a really great combination!


To make the base

Step 1 Grate the biscuits, using a machine of you like, with the aim of keeping some crunchy texture which you will lose if you put them in a blender.

Step 2 Melt the butter and mix together with the sugar, cinnamon and biscuits.

Step 3 Spread this evenly into the base of your prepared mould and firm down well. Put into the fridge to chill.

To make the cheesecake filling

Step 1 Put the gelatine leaves in a bowl with cold water and leave to soften. In another bowl, beat the cream cheese with the zest, icing sugar, Cointreau and the seeds scraped out from the vanilla pod.

Step 2 In a third bowl whip the cream until it reaches a soft peak. Drain the water from the gelatine and warm it gently until it melts

Step 3 Now fold the cream into the cream cheese and mix until smooth, before adding the gelatine and again mixing. Put this mixture onto your prepared base and refrigerate overnight.

Step 4 Gently warm the mould with a kitchen blow torch, or carefully with the steam from a kettle, before removing it and serving the cheesecake with your baked rhubarb.

To make the rhubarb compote

Step 1 Cut the rhubarb into small chunks, add the sugar and orange juice. Put in a moderate oven until soft.

This is a recipe by
Matt Buzzo
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