One area that I felt Maze let itself down on was the pudding, I had a White Chocolate Cheesecake and Coconut Ice cream. To start, I don't overly enjoy deconstructed cheesecake, I like the crunch that goes with the rich, creamy mouse filling. The flattened pineapple base (no biscuit base) was a bit like leather and there simply was too much coconut that even a Coconut Crab would have turned it's 'nose' up.
I guess it's all down to preference. Do you prefer s baked or non baked cheesecake - for me personally, it's always a baked cheesecake because the flavours are so much fuller and the texture is so much better. It also means that this dish which I made the other night for the Barmouth Kitchen Supper Club, has become my in-between a real cheesecake and a faux one. It's a great pudding, really fresh and exceptionally creamy but more importantly, it takes very little time to create/prepare and it has been one of our family favourites since before I can remember. Basically, I've stolen it from my mother's Hamlyn's Full Colour Cook Book which I think must have been a best seller back in the 70's, as very few women of a certain age and/or ilk seem to not have this on their recipe book shelf.
Of course, I have made a few amends and when I serve it at dinner parties, I like to make individual portions rather than the very 70's large flan dish decorated with crystalized fruits!
Ingredients for Lemon filling:
600ml double cream
340g sweetened condensed milk
2-3 large lemons (zest and juice)
Ingredients for the Crunch:
113g ginger biscuits
57g unsalted butter
1 tblsp caster sugar
1 tsp ground nutmeg
To start, crush the ginger biscuits with the end of rolling pin thoroughly, making sure you don't have any large lumps left, to this mixture, add the nutmeg and combine. When you're almost done biscuit bashing, put the butter and the sugar into a small saucepan and gentle melt. Pour the melted butter and sugar into the biscuit crumb and mix well.
Take out a backing tray and line with baking parchment. Lay your 6 (6cm x 4cm) chef's rings on top of the baking parchment and divide the biscuit crumb mixture into the base, pressing/compacting down with the back of a kitchen spoon. Make sure that the biscuit mix is evenly pressed into the base of each of the chefs rings and then bake gently on 150c/gas mark 2 for 8 mins.
Remove the cooked biscuit base from the oven and leave in the tin whilst you set aside to cool. It is really important that you don't release the base from the chefs' rings, as the biscuit base will just crumble if it hasn't cooled and set.
In a large glass mixing bowl, mix together the cream and sweeten condensed milk, along with the grated lemon rind. You will know when this is ready as the sweeten condensed milk loosens and starts to take on the cream.
And now for the magic! Slowly begin to beat in the lemon juice into the cream/condensed milk mixture - this will start to thicken quite quickly, as the lemon has a chemical reactions with the cream/milk/sugar but this is exactly what you want. Add enough lemon juice until you have a really good thick consistency (ie. you're metal spoon can stand vertically upright), this is now ready to be put into the cake tin.
Pour the filling on top of each biscuit base - each one will automatically begin to level but help them along by either shuggling or using the back of a metal kitchen spoon.
Once level, put it in the fridge for a minimum of 4 hours. Personally I like to make this the night before so that the dish has plenty of time to set.
Before serving, take the baking tray of Lemon & Ginger Crunches out of the fridge and remove each pudding from the baking sheet, placing onto the serving/pudding platter/plate. Now run a 'warmed' round bladed knife between the pudding filling and the chefs' rings edge, then slowly push down and release the base with a few wiggles. The Chefs' Rings should release with ease, leaving you with and individual pudding on each plate.
Now all I do is lavishly grate some milk chocolate over the top and serve. Et Voilà ... my delicious and I think much better than Maze Restaurant version of an 'inbetween' cheesecake called Lemon & Ginger Crunch!