Wow this feels like I’m about to burst out on stage to an empty room. I’m a little ashamed that my ‘short break’ from blogging has turned into a five week long hiatus and admittedly, it’s a bit nerve-wracking posting again after so long. In fact it felt a little bizarre to be back to hunching by the back door to take photos with whatever daylight was left (curse you impending winter darkness!).
But at least I got to break in a new member of this blog! Yes friends, I have finally retired my little ol’ basic Canon camera of 3+ years (I’ll never forget you!) and have shacked up with a shiny new Nikon. I’m loving the ease of it with all these new fancy technological function thingies that I didn’t know I needed. And dare I say it, I’m thrilled with the team swap. *grin*
So even though I’m freezing my behind off and covering up every inch of my skin with fleece and wool, I had intense cravings for a summery cool cheesecake. I did however, wanted to skip the whole baked/chilled dense filling of traditional cheesecake so the answer here is a tart with a light mousse-type cream filling that loses none of the cream cheese punch. As for the fruit pairing, well, I know it’s out of season and hugely overpriced but strawberries are like little nubs of happiness for me and thanks to Sara Lee, a ‘cheesecake’ just isn’t the same without it.
- 250g packet of plain sweet biscuits
- 125g butter, melted
- 1 egg white, lightly beaten
- 2 x 250g punnets of strawberries, hulled
- 100g caster sugar
- 250g cream cheese, softened
- 2-3 Tbl caster sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 250ml cream
- For biscuit base, preheat oven to 160°C. Process biscuits in a food processor then add melted butter and pulse until combined. Press into 6 x 10cm non-stick loose bottomed tart tins then blind bake in the oven for 5 minutes. Lightly brush the bottom of the tarts with egg white then bake for a further 5 minutes (this will stop the crust from getting soggy from the filling). Remove and allow to cool completely.
- To make the glaze, process one punnet of strawberries with the sugar then push through a fine sieve to remove seeds and pips. Cook the purée over medium-low heat, stirring regularly, in a heavy based saucepan until it comes to a simmer then cook until it has thickened to a light syrup. Cool one half of the glaze in the fridge (this will go into the filling).
- Meanwhile cut the other punnet of strawberries into halves then toss into the other half of the glaze (while it’s still slightly warm), then leave to cool and macerate in the fridge.
- In a bowl, beat the cream cheese with the sugar and vanilla until softened. In another bowl, whip cream into soft peaks then gently fold into the cream cheese.
- Lightly fold the reserved half of the strawberry glaze through the filling to make it all swirly. Divide amongst the cooled biscuit bases and chill until needed. Top with the macerated strawberries and brush on some extra glaze just before serving.