Recipe of the Week - Strawberries and Cream Cheesecake

We can't wait for summer here at Heart Home, so this week's recipe is in preparation for that first batch of home-grown strawberries which is always a reason for celebration. Whip up our cheesecake recipe for a special occasion and just bask in the compliments!

Ingredients for the base:

220g digestive biscuits

100g unsalted butter, melted

Ingredients for the cheesecake:

200g fresh strawberries, hulled and chopped

30ml water

180g caster sugar

600g full-fat cream cheese

2 large eggs

Ingredients for the topping:

100g mascarpone cheese

20g icing sugar

100ml double cream

100-200g strawberries whole or cut in half to decorate

Use a 20cm spring-form cake tin.

Method:

Blitz the biscuits into crumbs in a food processor or place them in a plastic bag, seal and crush with a rolling pin.

Pour the biscuit crumbs into a bowl, add melted butter and stir together, then tip into the tin and press into the base with the back of a spoon or using hands. Place tin in the fridge for 20-30 minutes to allow the base to set.

Meanwhile, place strawberries in a saucepan with 80g of the 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. Take off the hob and set aside until completely cold.

Preheat the oven to 160C/gas mark 3.

Whisk together the cream cheese and remaining sugar until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Tip in strawberries and stir into the cream cheese mixture.

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 from the top of the cake tin. This creates a water bath in which to bake cheesecake, preventing it from drying out and cracking in the oven.

Bake approximately 30 minutes or until firm on top with a very slight wobble in the centre. Allow the cheesecake to cool to room temperature still in the tin, then place in the fridge to chill and set for 1-2 hours.

Whisk the mascarpone and icing sugar until smooth. In a separate bowl, whip the double cream until soft peaks form, and then fold it into the mascarpone.

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.

Carefully remove the cheesecake from the tin and top with fresh strawberries. 

This recipe originally appeared in the May 2014 issue of Heart Home magazine.

Recipe and photography by  Giedre Augustinaviciute.