Two spoons at the ready for this Valentine’s dessert

Rose and chocolate cheesecake
Rose and chocolate cheesecake

Food plays a key role in setting the mood for Valentine’s Day…and what could be more romantic than a sharing dessert for two says executive head chef at the Sofitel, David Woods.

If you’re still debating how to woo your loved one with your culinary skills, then try this baked cheesecake for maximum brownie points.

David Woods

David Woods

It contains the two key elements of this special day – rose and chocolate.

Rosewater has been used for centuries in Middle Eastern cooking, and hundreds of years ago it was a key element of British dishes before we discovered vanilla.

We will be serving this cheesecake as a sharing platter, accompanied by rosewater meringue kisses, white chocolate hearts – and two spoons.

But at home some strawberries, chocolate shavings and cream will add the perfect finishing touch.

Rosewater is now available in most good supermarkets, but the secret with this ingredient is definitely ‘less is more’.

Just like aftershave or perfume, a few drops will set the mood for the evening, too much and it will spoil a good thing.

La Brasserie is Sofitel’s 2 AA rosette restaurant. To book a table call 01293 567070 or email H6204@sofitel.com. Follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook or share your recipes on Instagram by tagging @SofitelLondonGA.

Rose and chocolate cheesecake

300g chocolate chip cookies

80g butter melted

900g full fat cream cheese

225g caster sugar

1 tbs lemon juice

1tsp vanilla extract

50g plain flour

4 eggs

3tsp rose water

Few drops of red food colouring

Method

Preheat oven to 150 oC. Grease and line the bottom of a 23cm (9 inch) springform tin with greaseproof paper.

Whiz the chocolate chip cookies in a food processor to form crumbs then stir in the melted butter. Spread over the base of the tin and press down firmly. Place in the fridge to chill.

Using an electric whisk, cream together the cream cheese, caster sugar, lemon juice, vanilla extract, rose water and a drop or two of red food colouring to turn the mixture pink.

Sieve the flour and fold in carefully.

Beat in the eggs one at a time to prevent the mixture from curdling.

Pour the mixture onto the biscuit base and bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven. Leave to cool and serve two slices with chocolate shavings, mini meringues and whipped cream onto one large sharing plate.

Chef’s tip

This baked cheesecake freezes well. We make it in individual portions but it is much easier to make one large one at home. Cut the portions you need for your Valentine’s dessert as soon as the cheesecake has cooled, then freeze the rest for another day.