Afternoon Tea at Bramble Café

Recipes from Afternoon Tea at Bramble Café by Mat Follas; Photography by Steve Painter; Published by Ryland Peters & Small

Bramble Cheesecake

This recipe is embarrassingly easy, but then cooking doesn’t have to be difficult. The result is anything but simple; sharp mixed berries, creamy smooth cheesecake and a crunchy buttery base make a wonderful combination. Topping the cheesecake with a glossy, fruity jelly gives it a dramatic and mouthwatering pop of colour and flavour.

You will need:


  • 300g mixed berries
  • freshly squeezed juice of 1⁄2 lemon
  • 30g caster/granulated sugar
  • 1 sheet gelatine


  • 100g butter
  • 250g digestive biscuits

Cheesecake Layer

  • 600g soft cheese
  • 100g icing/confectioners’ sugar
  • 300ml double cream
  • 25-cm/10-inch round, loose-bottomed cake pan, lined with clingfilm/plastic wrap to create a smooth surface


Preparation time: 20 minutes Cooking time: 5 minutes

Start with the topping. Place the berries in a bowl and add the lemon juice and sugar. Mix together and leave to infuse.

For the base, melt the butter in a small pan over a low heat. In a food processor, blitz the digestive biscuits to a rough crumb, then add the melted butter. Blitz the mixture once more until combined. Press the buttery biscuit into the base of the lined pan, then place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. While the base is chilling, prepare the cheesecake layer. Whisk the soft cheese and icing/confectioners’ sugar together, then add the cream. Whisk until smooth.

Back to the topping, place the gelatine sheet in cold water for 5 minutes to soften. Strain off the juice from the berries into a small saucepan and heat until bubbles just start to form. Remove from the heat and add the gelatine, then stir until it is fully dissolved. Add the fruit to the saucepan and fold the mixture to coat the fruit. Remove the base from the refrigerator and carefully spoon over the soft cheese mixture, smoothing the top. Now carefully spoon over the berry and juice mixture to form an even layer on the top of the cheesecake.

Place back in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours, or overnight, before carefully removing from the cake pan and peeling off the clingfilm/plastic wrap. To portion, use a hot knife to cut smoothly. Serve chilled.

White Chocolate & Strawberry Tiffin

Delicious with coffee, these tiffins are fun to make with children. Be inventive with swirly toppings and fillings.

You will need:

  • 250g butter
  • 120g caster/granulated sugar
  • 120g golden/light corn syrup
  • 200g milk chocolate
  • 100g mixed dried fruit and nuts (almonds, sultanas/golden raisins, cherries)
  • 100g fresh strawberries, chopped
  • 450g digestive biscuits crushed
  • 450g white chocolate


Preparation time: 20 minutes Cooking time: 10 minutes

In a saucepan, place the butter, sugar and golden/light corn syrup. Warm on a low heat until melted and stir to mix together.

In a mixing bowl, grate 100 g/31⁄2 oz. of the milk chocolate, then add the dried fruit and nuts, strawberries and crushed digestive biscuits. Pour in the melted butter, sugar and syrup mixture. Fold together until thoroughly mixed, then spoon into the lined brownie pan. Smooth the tiffin base to make it level, then place in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.

Melt the white chocolate by breaking it up and heating three-quarters of it in a microwave on high in a microwaveable bowl. Use the microwave in 10-second bursts, stirring the chocolate in-between until it is all melted. Now, add the remaining one-quarter and mix together to form a smooth, just-melted chocolate.

Remove the tiffin base from the refrigerator and pour the white chocolate over the top. Tilt the pan until the topping covers the tiffin base and is smooth and even. Now melt the remaining milk chocolate in the same way (melting three-quarters of it, then adding the final one-quarter at the end).

Pour the milk chocolate over the white chocolate in thin lines. Use a cocktail stick/toothpick to drag the milk chocolate over the surface to form patterns. Return to the refrigerator for at least an hour, before removing and portioning with a hot knife.

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