Saturday 23 June 2012

Cheating at cheesecake

Sorry we've been away for a bit. The community baking side of things has been really busy since the street fair. With Fridays a particular hit.

Bit of a departure from the bread for this post. I've been devising a recipe for something at work. You may remember last year I blogged about Breast Cancer Care's summer fundraiser Strawberry Tea. This year I've been working on a recipe vlog to support it and promote a new cookery feature for our online magazine.

I'm going to do my best to not link to the vlog when it's online, much prefer the written word than seeing myself on film (actually it's more hearing myself that I don't like!). But I thought I would share the recipe I came up with which needed to involve strawberries, not be too high in fat and be able to be prepared with the limited resources of our work kitchen (no oven, but a microwave and a fridge).

This is what I came up with. Good for places with limited equipment, under confident cooks (it can barely be described a cooking) and cooking with kids - Project A and Cat Botherer enjoyed smashing up biscuits.

Strawberry cheesecake with ginger, lime and mint

50g unsalted butter melted (this is where the microwave came in)
100g ginger nut/snap biscuits (I just halved a standard pack)
700g medium-fat soft cheese (I meant to test it with Quark or very low fat soft cheese but was worried they may be too watery)
75g caster sugar (also tried this with icing sugar but felt caster sugar better)
A lime - grated zest and juice
A few mint leaves
Handful of granulated sugar
Strawberries (I used around half a punnet, halving the small ones, quartering the large ones)


Lightly grease a 20cm loose-bottomed cake tin.

Bash up the biscuits in a bowl with the end of a rolling pin or in a polythene bag until you have breadcrumb-sized pieces, but don't go too mad; you want a bit of crunch.

Mix in the melted butter so everything has a good coating.

Press down evenly into the tin and pop in the fridge to go hard (45mins - 1 hour).

Add the cream cheese to a bowl and beat in the sugar followed by the lime zest and juice*.

When the base is firm, spread the cream cheese mix over. Pop in the fridge again for a hour or so firm up.

When you are ready to serve, arrange the strawberries on the top of the cheesecake. Bash the mint leaves with a handful of granulated sugar (I used the end of my trusty rolling pin again) and sprinkle the mint sugar over the top of the cheesecake.

Remove the ring from the tin (always harder than it sounds!) and serve.

*The first time I made this (pictured above) I chopped the mint and added it to the cream cheese mix omitting the granulated sugar). I felt the mint sugar version worked better - in fact one colleague said it had a mojito feel which made me think how I could get white rum into it!

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