SERVES 12 // HANDS-ON 20 min // HANDS-OFF 270 mins
250g digestive biscuits
100g unsalted butter, softened
20 ml red food colouring, plus extra to decorate
600g cream cheese
300g crème fraiche
160g white chocolate, melted
150g caster sugar
6 large eggs, 3 separated
1½ tsp vanilla essence
1. Line the base of a 20 cm springform tin with wax paper and spray the sides with cooking spray.
2. Blitz the biscuits in a food processor until crumbs form. Mix in the butter and food colouring.
3. Line the bottom of the tin with the biscuits, pressing down with the back of a spoon.
4. Place the biscuit base in the fridge to set and preheat the oven to 160°C.
5. Beat the cream cheese gently until smooth. Add the crème fraiche, melted chocolate and sugar. Beat in 3 whole eggs, 3 yolks and the vanilla.
6. Put the kettle on. Line the outside of the cake tin with strong foil so that it covers the bottom and sides in one large piece. (This will protect the cheesecake while it cooks in a water bath.) Place the wrapped tin in a roasting tin.
7. Pour the cream-cheese filling on to the chilled biscuit base.
8. Dip a toothpick in red food colouring and drag the tip across the top of the cheesecake to make patterns.
9. Pour hot water from the recently boiled kettle into the roasting tin around the cheesecake. It should come about halfway up; don’t overfill, as it will be difficult to lift the tin.
10. Bake for 90 minutes. When done, it should feel set, but not rigid and still seem a bit wobbly.
11. Take the tin out of the water and leave to cool slightly. Place in the fridge to set completely, about 3 hours.
12. Cut with a hot knife when serving.