Chilled-out grape-topped cheesecake

This easy grape-topped cheesecake recipe is topped off with fruit in Christmassy colours, and a sprinkle of icing sugar for a final snowy finish that’ll wow your guests. You could also try the basic vanilla base with different seasonal fruit to suit your tastes. Just make sure you leave enough time for everything to set!

grape-topped cheesecake
Chris Alack

SERVES 6-8

FOR THE BASE
150g digestive biscuits broken into pieces
60g unsalted butter

FOR THE CHEESECAKE
4 gelatine leaves (for example Dr Oetker brand) soaked and drained according to the packet
500g quark
300ml whipping cream
200g golden
caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

ON TOP
300g seedless grapes (mixed colours)
icing sugar for dusting

1. Select a 20cm loose-bottomed cake tin about 7cm deep. For the base, whiz the biscuits to crumbs in a food processor. Gently melt the butter in a small pan over a low heat, tip in the crumbs and stir to coat. Press these into the base of the tin. Pop in the fridge while you prepare the cheesecake.

2. Place the drained gelatine in a medium bowl. Pour over a couple of tablespoons of boiling water and stir to dissolve. Whisk half the quark into the gelatine mixture a tablespoon at a time, then beat in the remainder. Whisk the cream, sugar and vanilla in a large bowl using an electric whisk until it forms soft, fluffy peaks. Fold in the quark mixture. Spoon this over the base and smooth the surface. Cover with clingfilm and chill overnight until set.

3. Remove the cheesecake from the fridge about 15 minutes before serving. Run a knife around the collar of the tin. Halve the grapes and scatter them over the top, dust with icing sugar, then remove the collar and slice.

Recipes by Annie Bell. Food styling by Clare Lewis. Styling by Sue Radcliffe.