The best cheesecake ever

The following is a recipe by the wonderful Jo Pratt: mother, author and all-round brilliant celebrity chef.

We adore her recipes and Susie contributed the wine matches for her latest book, In the Mood for Entertaining.

We’re very proud indeed to have Jo contributing her delicious seasonal recipes to our free monthly newsletter. If you want to receive the newsletters and recipes direct to your inbox without having to wait, please subscribe to the newsletter via this page.

The following is the recipe Jo contributed to our December newsletter.


When you’re entertaining, sometimes it’s great to know that you have at least part of a meal already prepared, waiting in the fridge or freezer. I have chosen my favourite dessert, to share with you. Enjoy.

Serves 8

• 150g digestives

• 1 tsp ground cinnamon

• 50g butter, melted

• 100g dark Chocolate, broken into small pieces

• 500g mascarpone

• Finely grated zest of 3 Clementine’s

• 75g light brown muscovado sugar

• 4 tsp cornflour

• 2 large eggs, beaten

To serve:

• Clementine segments

• Icing sugar to dust

Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan oven/gas mark 4. Line the base of a 20cm non-stick, spring-form or loose-bottomed cake tin.

Place the digestives in a medium sandwich bag and crush them with a rolling pin. Tip the crumbs into a bowl and mix in the ground cinnamon and melted butter.

Transfer the crumb mixture in the prepared cake tin and press down firmly with the back of a spoon.

Meanwhile, gently melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of gently simmering water, or alternatively, it can be done in the microwave. Stir until smooth, and then set aside until cooled slightly.

Place the mascarpone in a large bowl with the Clementine zest, sugar and cornflour. Beat with an electric hand whisk until smooth. Whisk in the cooled chocolate and eggs, then spoon into the tin. Level the surface, place on a baking sheet and cook in the pre-heated oven for 40-45 minutes, until the cheesecake is just slightly wobbly. It will set further as it cools.

Remove from the oven and leave the cheesecake until completely cool. You can chill the cheesecake in the fridge and serve it over the next day or so, however if you are making this to get really ahead for Christmas, it can be wrapped in cling film and placed in the freezer (for up to 1 month). Remove the cheesecake from the freezer and thaw overnight at room temperature and place in the fridge until you are ready to serve.

Take the cheesecake out of the tin, decorate with Clementine segments, dust with icing sugar and serve cut into wedges.


Grated orange or Satsuma zest can easily be used as a substitute for Clementine zest.

PETER & SUSIE’S WINE MATCH: Hermit’s Hill Botrytis Semillon 2006 (£6.99, M&S) – an old favourite, full of lush candied orange and apricot flavours.