The White Swan Cheesecake

white swan cheesecake
Photograph by Alex Drummond

Written by Mary Mahabir, White Swan Tea Room.

We love cheesecakes in the White Swan Tea Room at Monmouth. A good cheesecake is a delicious addition for any festive celebration. They’re so easy to make and taste a thousand times better than any boxed creation from a supermarket freezer. For maximum flavour make this at least one day before you need it.

The starting point for any cheesecake is to create two contrasting layers. The soft crunch of the biscuit layer needs to contrast with the smooth cream of the ‘cheese’ layer. Once you have the crunch versus cream you can add anything else you want. Grated chocolate is a delicious addition and always looks good. Sliced strawberries or blueberries work well and look pretty. Finely zested orange or lemon works well too but don’t skimp on the zest as you need the flavour to cut through the creaminess of the mascarpone.

If you want to save calories, substitute 100g of the mascarpone with a low-calorie cream cheese such as Philadelphia Light. The White Swan Tea Room’s Lemon and Blueberry Cheesecake recipe is just for guidance. Add your toppings and change your biscuits to suit your own taste. Digestives make a traditional base but why not use your own favourite biscuits. Or substitute some of the lemon juice for Limoncello, a good lemon or fruit tea, or your favourite gin. Be creative!

For the biscuit base:
110g of digestives or use your favourite biscuits
45g of salted butter
15g granulated sugar (optional)

For the cheesecake layer:
350g mascarpone cheese
70g caster sugar
2 lemons finely zested
90ml of lemon juice OR 90ml mixture of lemon juice or gin or limoncello

Topping:
Any quantity of fresh blueberries
2 tablespoons of good lemon curd
Edible gold lustre powder (from any good cookshop)
White chocolate to grate over the blueberries

  1. Line a 7-inch tin with a cake tin liner or use a loose bottomed cake tin and line the base with cling film or greaseproof paper.
  2. Put the biscuits in a plastic bag and crush them with your hand or use a rolling pin. The crumb base can be as fine or as chunky as you want.
  3. Melt the butter in a saucepan.
  4. Take the pan off the heat and stir in the sugar (if using) and biscuits.
  5. Press this crumb firmly into the base of the cake tin and pop it in the fridge.
  6. Beat the 70g of sugar with the mascarpone, zest of two lemons, and your lemony liquid until it is smooth.
  7. Spoon this luscious lemon cream over the biscuit base and put in the fridge for at least two hours.
  8. Once it is firm, remove from the tin and spread the top of the cheesecake with lemon curd.
  9. Tip most of the blueberries onto the curd. Roll a few berries in half a teaspoon of gold lustre powder until they’re coated with the gold dust.
  10. Sprinkle these shiny berries over your cheesecake. Grate white chocolate like a snowstorm over the blueberries and cut a slice or two.

Alternatively you can order a delicious cheesecake from the White Swan Tea Room on 01600 719782. Enjoy!

By Mary Mahabir, White Swan Tea Room.