Marcellin Marc, a leading chef at Clos Maggiore in Covent Garden, tells us how to make a sumptuous vanilla cheesecake with pistachio cookies and wild red berries. His restaurant was once voted the most romantic eatery in London, and from this heavenly dish, it's not difficult to see why...
Preparation time: 30 minutes.
Cooking time: 15 minutes.
For the cheesecake mousse:
- 45g/1 3/4oz cream cheese
- 15g/1/2oz caster sugar
- ½ vanilla pod, scored lengthways and seeds removed
- 50ml/1/4pt whipped cream
For the wild red berry compote:
- 2 tsp caster sugar
- 100g/4oz wild red berries, rinsed
For the pistachio cookies:
- 50g/2oz unsalted butter
- 25g/1oz caster sugar
- 50g/2oz plain flour
- 2 tsp peeled pistachios
For the raspberry sheet:
- 150ml/1/4pt milk
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp corn flour
- Generous handful fresh raspberries
1. Start by making the cheesecake mousse. In a large bowl whisk the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla seeds until smooth. Then gradually fold in the whipped cream. Chill in the fridge until ready to serve.
2. For the compote, put the sugar in a saucepan and cook over a medium heat until it begins to melt. Stir until completely melted and then add the red berries and simmer gently for a few minutes. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.
3. Meanwhile, make the pistachio cookies. Preheat the oven to 180°C, 350°F, Gas 4. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy. Then slowly add the flour and pistachios and continue to mix. Roll out the dough into a sheet 1cm/1/2in thick with a rolling pin. Cut into small round shapes using a glass, help upside down, as a template. Place the cookies onto a non-stick baking tray and bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes. Remove and leave to cool.
4. Reduce the oven temperature to 130°C, 250°F, Gas ½.
5. Lastly, make the raspberry sheet. Pour the milk into a saucepan and bring to the boil over a medium heat. In a separate bowl mix the egg yolk with the sugar, then add the corn flour and raspberries. Add the mixture to the milk and boil for another 2 minutes. Spread the mixture evenly over a non-stick baking tray and cook in the oven for 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and while it’s still warm and carefully roll the sheet into 2 cannelloni shapes.
6. Fill a piping bag with the cheesecake mousse and then fill each tube with the mixture.
7. To plate, place a cookie or 2 in the centre of each plate and then put a spoonful of the berry compote on top. Finally, put the cheesecake tube on top and serve straightaway.
Clos Maggiore (closmaggiore.com) is a beautiful French restaurant in Clos Maggiore which serves exquisite cuisine alongside an award-wining wine list with over 2,000 bins. It was recently shortlised for Square Meal's Restaurant of the Year 2011.