I got this recipe in 2013 whilst doing a job in the Caribbean dressed as a pirate… don’t ask.
For this job I lived on a boat whose wonderful chef, Roger, prepared incredible food from a tiny galley kitchen whilst wearing the biggest smile I think I’ve ever seen.
It took me a whole week to get the secret of the Jolly Roger’s cheesecake out of him and about half a minute to come up with the pun title to this recipe.
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This cheesecake is a classic British dessert consisting of 4 key ingredients and a wealth of possibilities.
Jolly Roger Cheesecake. Level: Beginner
Cream cheese 700g
Icing sugar 100g (to taste)
Vanilla essence 1 tsp
Cinnamon 1 tsp
Digestive biscuits 300g
(Let’s face it, the base is the best bit so if you want to use the whole 500g packet, go for it!)
Butter 200g (melted)
Take your vessel of choice. A flan dish or cake ring. Grease it with butter and line with parchment paper. If you want to avoid all that hassle then just serve your cheesecake up in individual tumbler glasses, it looks great, avoids mess (games night) and you can always use smaller glasses if you’re worried about your diet.
LORE: If you want to get clean looking slices, dip your knife into a jug (a cafetiere works well) of very hot water. This technique works for most soft desserts, cheeses or gelatinous dishes such as terrines.
First smash up the biscuits into crumbs. Better yet, cast familiar and get someone else to do it, it’s a tedious job. Once smashed, mix with the melted butter. Press into the bottom of your vessel.
Mix all the topping ingredients in a bowl. Taste for sweetness.
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Using a silicone spatula, scoop the topping onto the base. If you want a nice smooth finish on the top then dip your spatula into some piping hot water and glide it across the top. Finish with a dusting of cinnamon.
Refrigerate until ready to serve. These will last days in the fridge if you have will power, minutes if you do not.
Jolly Roger Cheesecake. Level: Adept
So, you want to up your game huh? Fine, fruit compote, coming up.
Berries 100g – Dealer’s choice. Personally, I like blueberries but a mixture of your preference will be fine
Icing sugar – 2-3 tbsp.
A splash of water
Put everything in a pan on a gentle heat until the fruit breaks down. Pour off into a bowl, allow to cool, add to your already great cheesecake.
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Jolly Roger Cheesecake. Level: Master
So, how do we elevate the humble cheesecake to the highest level (1)? How do we imbue it with an invocation spell that will make people fall in love with you?
100g granulated sugar
½ tsp salt
2 tbsp water
Line a baking tray with parchment paper and spread the almonds out on it, toast these in an oven for about 10 minutes.
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Put the butter, sugar and a tbsp. of water into a heavy bottomed pan and begin to heat. As it melts, resist the urge to stir it or to shake the pan. You can move the pan gently around the hob if you think one part is caramelizing too quickly.
Get a pastry brush with some water and periodically ‘paint’ the insides of the pan. This will ensure all the sugar gets into the mix. You want the mixture to hit a temperature of 300° F or 150° C (I use a laser thermometer. Yes, it is cool) and turn golden but not too dark. Be careful, if this spatters onto your skin you’ll know about it.
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Pour this quickly onto the almonds and tilt the baking tray so that you get a nice even spread. Allow to cool.
Once it’s set hard, go about smashing it to pieces. You can chop it down with a big heavy knife or put it in a bag and hit it with a rolling pin. You want the fragments to be small but not dust, their texture is key to the base.
Note; with the extra sugar now in your base, you might not need as much in your topping. Try omitting the vanilla or some of the icing sugar.
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Grillardin wanders over to your station and eyes your cheesecakes with a fond recognition.
“Ah Esculerie, you have a sweetheart?”
“No” You blush
“No? Come on who is she? He? Ah it doesn’t matter, they all fall for the cheesecake. Many of my previous lovers has succumbed to its magical properties”
“You put a spell on them?” Your voice a mixture of concern and curiosity
“Not me” He says, “The cheesecake”
Paul Flannery – Pirate Moustache and Brains behind The MMORPG Show
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