Taste the World: Failed Fig Cheesecake

Experience what the world has to offer with a recipe from acclaimed Chef Julian Cincotta. As part of our Taste Dining at Home series, in partnership with Taste Festivals, we’ve invited globally renowned chefs to create recipes to help you make the most out of every day at home.

To follow along with Chef Julian as he makes the full recipe, watch the video below. And to find Chef Nelly’s Classic Fish Pie recipe also featured in this video, click here.

fig cheesecake in bowl
chef julian cincotta and chef nelly robinson

Failed Fig Cheesecake with Burnt Butter Crumb and Grape Molasses

By Chef Julian Cincotta

What You’ll Need (Serves 2)

For the Burnt Butter Crumb:
250 g milk powder
150 g unsalted butter
25 g castor sugar

For the Failed Cheesecake Mix:
450 g cream cheese
250 g castor sugar
12 g gluten-free corn flour
4 g pink salt
50 g milk
2 eggs

To finish:
4 ripe figs
200 ml verjus
100 ml grape molasses
Red shiso or edible flowers for garnish

How to Prepare It

For the Burnt Butter Crumb:
This is a great addition to any dessert, cake or ice cream. Make extra to keep in your pantry.

Preheat the oven to 265° F.

Start by warming a medium-size saucepan on medium heat. Add the butter and melt. Buere nosiette (nut butter) is not BURNT. It’s a point that the butter is taken past melted that is caramelized and is nutty in aroma and amber golden in color.

Using a whisk, whisk the butter so the milk solids do not catch on the bottom, so they will incorporate and caramelize. As the butter starts to turn golden, be careful not to go too far as the residual heat will keep cooking the butter. Take off the heat once golden and add the sugar and milk powder. Whisk around to incorporate.

Once mixed around, line a baking tray with baking paper or use a nonstick mat.

Lay the mix on the tray and, using a spoon or spatula, break up any clusters as they will burn from the inside out while in the oven.

Put in the oven for 5 minutes and take out again, cutting with a spatula to break up clusters and mixing around (edges to the center) so the crumbs can get golden. Put back in the oven and repeat until a golden fine crumb. Take your time with this.

Once finished, cool in a bowl and reserve.

For the Failed Cheesecake:
Preheat the oven to 345° F.

Line an 8” x 10” baking dish with parchment paper.

Using a food processor or mixer with the paddle attachment, add room-temperature cream cheese and sugar. Blend until smooth.

In a bowl, whisk the eggs and milk until combined.

In another bowl, put the gluten-free corn flour and stream the egg mixture in while whisking so there are no clumps.

While the cream cheese mix is blending, stream this mixture in and mix until combined. Scrape down the sides and make sure all is well combined and smooth!

Transfer to the lined baking tray and bake for 20 minutes. The cheesecake should be golden on top and set.

Cool in the fridge for 1-2 hours. Once cold, add the cheesecake back to the food processor and pulse until smooth. Transfer to a piping bag or container and cool for 1 hour before serving.

For the figs:
Cut the figs how you like and soak for 5 minutes in the verjus.

To serve:
Start with the cheesecake and spoon into a bowl.

Place the soaked figs and drizzle the grape molasses over the top.

Sprinkle the Burnt Butter Crumb over the top.

Garnish with the red shiso or edible flowers.

Devour it. You won’t want to share!