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Saffron and Cointreau Cheesecake on Gingerbread with honey

This recipe has been reproduced with the kind permission of Genevieve McGough. Genevieve is a chef in Auckland New Zealand with fifteen years experience in professional cookery. She has her own web site called Genevieve’s Cuisine where every dish is created by her.

When asked what was her inspiration for the web site and why her food writing differs from others, this is what Genevieve had to say:

"I have spent many hours myself searching the internet for recipe ideas and became tired of wading through hundreds of recipes on huge sites just to find one worth printing. I thought to myself why can’t every recipe be worth printing after all it isn’t the volume of recipes that give you a good culinary site, it’s the quality. The other factor I thought was missing was food photography. When chefs look through cookbooks for inspiration, they often only look at the pictures. This can be enough to inspire a new dish all by itself. If you can’t see the food you can’t imagine it.

I endeavoured to fill a gap by learning photography and to write about food leaving out everything I dislike about other food writers recipes."

To read more and obtain more recipes visit Genevieve’s Cuisine <click here>

Of all the recipes I worked on last year this would have to be one of my very favourites. Extremely decadent and just right for a special occasion, this dessert was hard to keep my chefs away from - they even descended on the mixing bowl once it was emptied like a pack of wolves. A sure sign this is a winner, it was all I could do to stop my chefs from “damaging” the odd portions so they could personally deal with the disposal!


250g / 9 oz ginger nut biscuits or molasses snaps
125g / 4 1/2 oz butter
60mls / 2 fl oz Cointreau
1/4 g / large pinch saffron thread
Zest of 1 orange finely grated
130g / 4 1/2 oz runny honey
400g / 14 1/3 oz cream cheese
400mls / 14 1/3 fl oz heavy cream

For the saffron syrup:
180mls / 6 fl oz runny honey
180mls / 6 fl oz water
1 pinch saffron


  • Melt the butter on a low heat and blend in a blender with the ginger biscuits. Firmly press into a round 9 inch / 23 cm diameter tin with removable base until even and smooth over with a spoon then refrigerate.
  • In a small pot heat the Cointreau until it steams a little then add the saffron thread and set the mixture aside to soak for 20 minutes.
  • With an electric beater on low, beat the cream cheese for a couple of minutes until it softens then slowly beat in the honey and orange rind.
  • Add the Saffron mixture and then slowly pour in the cream. The cream needs to be whipped until very thick as no gelatine is used in this recipe. You will know it is ready when it holds its shape firmly. Be careful not to over whip as the cream will split. You can see this starting to happen when the mixture looks a little grainy.
  • Remove any of the saffron threads from the beater and incorporate back into the mix, then spoon on top of the ginger nut biscuit base and smooth over with a spatula.
  • Chill overnight.

For the saffron syrup:

  • Bring the above syrup ingredients to the boil and then simmer until reduced to half.

To serve:

  • Remove from the tin by loosening the cheesecake at the sides. This can be done with a hot wet cloth placed around the sides of the tin, you will see the edge melt slightly, and then push at the edge of the biscuit base to remove from the metal base onto a serving platter.
  • Serve with whipped cream and saffron honey syrup.

Serves 10

Genevieve McGough