Cheesecake is something I have eaten regularly but never made, which is odd because it’s very easy and versatile. You can add anything to the mix or the topping for a wide variety of results. Jack asked for a strawberry cheesecake so I thought I’d finally have a go! You need at least five hours for it to set so make it in the morning for an evening treat or put in the fridge overnight. A simple switch can make this gluten free.
You will need:
- 8-10 inch spring sided round cake tin
- 300g ginger biscuits
- 150g unsalted butter
- Two 340g packs Philadelphia cheese (or mascarpone)
- 100g icing sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla paste
- 300ml double cream
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Punnet fresh strawberries
- 200g seedless strawberry jam
Take the cake tin and grease it lightly with butter, using a kitchen towel to remove any excess.
Put the biscuits in a food processor to blitz until a fine crumb, it’s OK if there some larger bits. Alternatively, you can bash them in a freezer bag with a rolling pin and place in a bowl. Melt the butter over a medium heat and pour over the biscuit. Blitz again if using the food processor or mix, until well combined. Spoon the mixture into the tin, pressing down until there are no gaps and it’s even and flat. Set to one side.
The following steps can be done with an electric mixer bowl or in a normal bowl with an electric hand whisk. Into the bowl add the cream cheese, icing sugar, vanilla and lemon juice. Whisk for only 20 seconds or so until everything is combined.
Add the double cream and whisk again, slowly at first, building up to a medium speed, for around 3-4 minutes until you have a thick mixture which makes a good ‘dollop’ with a spoon.
Spoon onto the biscuit base, levelling off and smoothing the top. It’s doesn’t have to be perfect so don’t worry about using a pallet knife to make it totally flat! Place in the fridge for at least 5 hours, or overnight.
When you’re ready to decorate, take the tin, run a pallet knife or normal large knife around the edge and snap off the sides of the tin, lift carefully away from the cheesecake.
Slowly run the knife inbetween the biscuit and the tin base, gradually getting right underneath so you free them. Gradually slide onto a large serving plate.
Add the jam to a saucepan with 2 tablespoons water. Heat on high quickly, stirring fast, until you have a thick syrup. Don’t spend longer than 2 minutes doing this or the jam will get too hot. Pour into a jug to cool a little.
Prepare the strawberries by removing the green bits and slicing – in half for small ones, quarters for larger ones. Place randomly in a pile in the middle of the cheesecake. Mix the jam again to remove any skin and pour in a tight spiral starting in the middle of the strawberries, gradually working out so you end up with jam going to within 2-3cm of the edge.
Place bake in the fridge to set for another 30 minutes. It will keep for a few days, but I suspect it won’t last that long!
You can make this gluten free by using gluten free ginger biscuits, which are excellent.