Christmas Day dessert

This is basically an individual chocolate cheesecake.

There aren’t many ingredients, so it is quite simple, but looks pretty impressive.

The base is made with liquidised Digestive biscuits mixed with butter and cooled.

For the filling you need:

Stoned prunes, I prefer Pruneau d’Agen, soaked in brandy overnight
A tub of mascarpone
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon of caster sugar
Half a bar of good quality plain chocolate
2 tablesppons of double cream

Place some chef’s rings on a flat base, a plastic chopping board is ideal and press some of the ground digestive and butter mixture into each one.

Then place a few prunes into each ring.

Take the soaking brandy and add the caster sugar, warm on the hob and flame off the alcohol. When the flames have died down, melt most of the chocolate (but save some for grating on top later) and stir in the cream and keep stirring until you have a smooth glossy sauce.

Allow this to cool slightly and add in the vanilla extract. Then mix this into the mascarpone and beat well until it is stiff and smooth.

Pour this mixture into the rings and cover with clingfilm and chill for several hours.

To serve, place each ring onto a plate, you will need to use a spatula, I think, and grate the remaining chocolate over the cheesecakes.

To unmould, I used a knife to loosen the cheesecakes, making sure I separated the base from the ring, and carefully lifted the rings off.

These are really very rich and luxurious so matching them with wine isn’t easy.

To keep a south-western French theme going I served a chilled bottle of Monbazillac, a rich, honeyed dessert wine from the Bergerac region.

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