It was Shane’s birthday this weekend and we had a small dinner party for him at our flat. He wanted a baked strawberry cheesecake as his birthday cake and so I went in search of a nice recipe.
If you have ever made a baked cheesecake you will know that they can be a mission and quite pricey. The recipe I used is nice in that it’s not too much of a mission, but you will still be spending a fair amount on ingredients, because it calls for mascarpone, cream and loads of cream cheese, yip all things delicious and healthy. But it’s worth the spend because the end result is a creamy, tart but sweet strawberry flavoured treat that will have you hoping no guests arrive so you can eat the whole thing alone and in the dark.
As always, please let me know if you land up making one of these, I love hearing about your baking triumphs.
This recipe comes out The Hummingbird Bakery Cake Days book.
FOR THE BASE
220g digestive biscuits
100g unsalted butter, melted
FOR THE TOPPING
200g fresh strawberries, hulled and chopped, plus 100-200g extra strawberries, cut in half to decorate
180g caster sugar
750g full-fat cream cheese (such as Philadelphia, I bought 3 x Woolies full-cream cream cheese)
2 large eggs
100g mascarpone cheese
20g icing sugar
1. Line the base of spring-form cake tin (I used a 25 cm one ) tin with baking parchment and then Spray and Cook the sides. Using a food processor with the blade attachment, blitz the biscuits into fine crumbs.
2. Place the biscuits crumbs in a bowl then add the melted butter and stir together. Place the crumb mixture into the cake tin and press into the base with your hand until it’s nice, compact and even. Place the tin in the fridge for 20 minutes to allow the base to set.
3. Meanwhile, place the strawberries in a saucepan with 80g of the castor sugar and 30ml of water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and cook until the strawberries are soft and the liquid has reduced by half. I cooked them for about 15 mins. When they’re done take them off and then set aside until they are completely cooled.
4. Preheat the oven to 160°. With a hand held electric whisk or a free standing electric mixer with the paddle attachment, beat together the cream cheese and remaining castor 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. Once it’s all properly mixed, tip the cooked strawberries in and stir by hand, ensuring that they are evenly dispersed.
5. Pour the cheesecake mixture into the prepared tin – it should be about two-thirds full. Then wrap the base and sides of the cake tin in foil and then place it in a roasting pan. Fill the pan with water up to about 5mm 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 – it totally works!
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 it 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 cream until soft peaks form, then fold it into the mascarpone. I then beat this mixture on a medium speed until it formed soft peaks.
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. I left it in the fridge overnight.
9. When you are ready to serve it, carefully remove the cheesecake from the tin and top with fresh strawberry slices.