Nothing screams summer more than strawberries and cream. On the first warm weekend in Melbourne since winter, I jumped at the chance to make this cheesecake to celebrate the start of the warm season.
The cheesecake’s crispy biscuit base is topped with a luscious cream cheese filling with muddled strawberries rippled through it. Whipped mascarpone and double cream make up the third layer then finally a layer of fresh strawberries.
For some added sweetness, I like to cook some of the leftover strawberries with some caster sugar and water to make a strawberry sauce to drizzle on top of the cheesecake.
Since the cheesecake is baked, it is important to bake it in a water bath to prevent the cake cracking. Use extra wide aluminium foil to wrap the spring form tin to prevent water seeping through the base. We don’t want a soggy bottom!
The recipe is guaranteed to be a crowd pleaser amongst your friends at the next summer picnic. And it’s dead easy too!
Serves 8 – 10
For the Base
- 220g (8oz) digestive biscuits
- 100g (3 1/2oz) unsalted butter, melted
For the Topping
- 200g fresh strawberries, hulled and chopped, plus 100-200g (3 1/2-7oz) extra strawberries, cut in half to decorate
- 180g caster sugar
- 600g full-fat cream cheese (such as Philadelphia)
- 2 large eggs
- 100g mascarpone cheese
- 20g icing sugar
- 100ml double cream
1.Line the base of the tin (20cm spring form) with baking parchment. Using a food processor with the blade attachment, blitz the biscuits into fine crumbs. Alternatively place them in a plastic bag, seal and crush with a rolling pin.
2. Pour the biscuit crumbs into a bowl, add the melted butter and stir together, then tip into the lined tin and press into the base with the back of a spoon. Place the tin in the fridge for 20-30 minutes to allow the base to set.
3. Meanwhile, place the strawberries in a saucepan with 80g (3oz) of the sugar and 30ml (1fl oz) of water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and cook until the strawberries are soft and the liquid has reduced by half. Take off the hob ans set aside until completely cold.
4. Preheat the oven to 160c (320f), gas mark 3. Prepare the topping by using a hand-held electric whisk or a free standing electric mixer with the paddle attachment to beat together the cream cheese and remaining sugar on a medium speed until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition and scraping the sides of the bowl now and then. Tip the cooked strawberries and stir in by hand, ensuring that they are evenly dispersed.
5. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin – it should be about two-thirds full. Place in a roasting tin (first wrap the cake tin in foil) and fill this with water up to about 5mm (1/4in) from the top of the cake tin. This creates a water bath in which to bake the cheesecake, preventing it from drying out and cracking in the oven.
6. Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until firm on the top with a very slight wobble in the centre. Allow the cheesecake to cool at room temperature still in the tin, then place in the fridge to chill and set for 1-2 hours.
7. Using the electric whisk or free standing mixer, beat the mascarpone and icing sugar on a medium speed until smooth. In a separate bowl, whip the double cream until soft peaks form, then fold it into the mascarpone.
8. Remove the chilled cheesecake from the fridge and pour the mascarpone cream on top, spreading it evenly. Place back in the fridge for a few hours, or preferably overnight, to set.
9. When you are ready to serve, carefully remove the cheesecake from the tin and top with fresh strawberry halves.
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do! 🙂
Recipe from the Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook