White Chocolate Mango Cheesecake With
Macadamia Crust and Wild Berry Compote

12 servings

Macadamia crust:
1 tbsp simple syrup
1 1/2 cups macadamia nuts (toasted and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
3 tbsp brown sugar

For the cheesecake:
8 tbsp melted white chocolate
1 tbsp unsalted butter
4 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 tbsp creme fraiche (or sour cream)
2 cups cooked pureed mango (fresh or canned)

Wild berry compote:
2 pints ripe wild berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries)
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
Juice and zest of 1 medium orange


•To make simple syrup, put 1 tbsp water and 1 tbsp sugar in saucepan.  Cook over low heat until clear, then boil for a minute or so, until thickened.

•For the crust:  Combine simple syrup, macadamias, grapham cracker crumbs and brown sugar.   Set aside.

•To assemble:  In a double boiler, melt the chocolate (or microwave it in a glass bowl).  Grease a 12-inch springform pan with butter and line the outside bottom of pan with foil for a tight seal.  Set aside.

•Place crust mixture into the bottom of pan and press firmly.  In the large bowl of an electric mixer, cream together cream cheese and sugar.  Slowly ad eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  On low speed, mix in vanilla and creme fraiche or sour cream.  Add melted chocolate.   Mix.  Add pureed mango.

•Pour batter into prepared pan.  Fill a roasting pan with about 2 to 3 inches of warm water.  Place cheesecake in the water bath and place pan on center rack of oven.

•Bake at 300 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour.   It's done when toothpick inserted in center comes out dry.  Turn off oven, open the door slightly and let cheesecake cool in the oven for 1 hour.  Refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours.

•When cake is chilled, remove springform pan and place cheesecake on platter, leaving cheesecake on bottom of pan.

•For the compote:  Wash berries, hull if using strawberries.  Put all the ingredients in a nonaluminum, heavy-gauge saucepan and cook over medium jeat until the fruit breaks down and the excess liquid evaporates.   Reserve, keep warm.  Put a dollop of compote on top of each slice and garnish with raw wild berries, diced mango and whole macadamia nuts.

September 23, 2001