To the traditionalists amongst you there is absolutely no question as to what to finish your traditional Christmas dinner with, it just has to be a traditional dried fruit and spice filled steamed Christmas pudding. And as much as we on the Jersey Lavender Farm really do love this classic Christmas favourite, sometimes after a huge breakfast of smoked salmon, a mountain of mince pies, several vats of champagne and then the huge Christmas dinner itself, we just don’t have room for even a snifter of what is undoubtedly one of the heaviest desserts known to man!
But it just wouldn’t be Christmas without a little bit of indulgence, so are there perhaps some slightly lighter alternatives to the traditional Christmas pudding, with which could round off our Christmas Day meal?
Obviously being the proud owners of our wonderful Jersey Lavender Farm we are going to be a little biased towards including some lavender here; however the refreshingly floral character of lavender can really help to cleanse the palette after a big meal. So we got to thinking, could we find a really show stopping dessert that would leave us feeling treated rather than bloated after Christmas dinner? When it comes to cooking, there are a number of flavours that really compliment lavender – two of our favourites being lemon and white chocolate, both of which would be perfect here; the lemon to bring some brightness and zestiness to your palette and the white chocolate to make you feel truly spoiled.
So why not try something a little different this year and serve our lovely White Chocolate and Lavender Cheesecake instead of Christmas pudding?
· 40 digestive biscuits
· 2 tbsp dried culinary lavender
· 60g melted butter
· 150g caster sugar
· 200g white chocolate
· Zest of 1 lemon
· 750g full fat cream cheese
· 3 eggs
1. Using a food processor blitz the digestive biscuits with 1 tbsp of the lavender until fine crumbs form. Then add 1 tbsp of the caster sugar and the melted butter and pulse to combine.
2. Press the biscuit mixture into the bottom of a 23cm spring form cake tin and bake at 180˚C for 8-10 minutes until the crust is set and fragrant.
3. Set the crust aside to cool and reduce the oven temperature to 140˚C.
4. Melt the white chocolate over a bowl of simmering water and set aside to cool a little.
5. Using a spice grinder or a pestle and mortar grind the remaining lavender until it forms a fine powder.
6. Beat together the cream cheese, remaining sugar, lavender and lemon zest until smooth and creamy, then beat in the eggs 1 at a time.
7. Pour the filling over the base and bake for 50-55 minutes until the centre is almost set, but still with a slight wobble.
8. Leave the cheesecake to rest for about 10 minutes then release from the tin and leave to cool in the fridge.
9. Now all you have to do is decorate the cheesecake however you choose, we love crystallised violets and lots of gold and silver pearls, stars and glitter.