400ml almond milk
3 teaspoons gelatine
500g cream cheese
1 tablespoon brown sugar
juice of 1 lemon
2 oranges
½ cup pistachios, roasted then lightly crushed
edible flower petals, for garnish
140g plain flour
125g butter
½ cup brown sugar
50g dates
250ml orange juice
½ cup sugar
¼ cup water

People who know me know that I’m a huge fan of cheesecake. I can remember helping myself to frozen cheesecake from the freezer when I was a kid, much to my dad’s annoyance, as he was a fan too. Now, when I’m making cheesecake I tend to make a lot, as it doesn’t last long – especially if Dad is coming around!

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1.Preheat oven to 180°C fan-bake.
2.To make the cheesecake base, place the flour, butter and sugar in a food processor and blitz until crumbly.
3.Add the dates and blitz again until just combined.
4.Press into a 25cm x 10cm rectangular mould or 25cm round mould and bake for 20 minutes. Allow to cool.
5.To make the filling, warm the almond milk in a pot over a medium heat.
6.Sprinkle the gelatine over the top and allow it to dissolve. Remove from the heat.
7.Put the cream cheese and brown sugar in a food processor and blitz to combine.
8.Mix in the lemon juice, then slowly add the almond milk mixture with the motor running.
9.Pour the filling over the cheesecake base and chill overnight or until set.
10.To make the orange syrup, place the orange juice, sugar and water in a small pot and bring to the boil.
11.Reduce the heat and simmer until the mixture has reduced by half. Allow to cool.
12.To make the garnish, use a sharp knife to peel the oranges, removing all the white pith.
13.Cut the flesh into little wedges down the natural segments of the orange.
14.Squeeze any remaining juice into the orange syrup.
15.To serve, transfer the cheesecake to a platter and top with orange segments, pistachios and petals and drizzle with orange syrup.

Extracted from
Good from Scratch
by Michael Van de
Elzen, photography
by Babiche Martens.
Published by Allen &
Unwin NZ. RRP $49.99.