Just as I get back in the swing of things with the blog and make an effort to get creative in the kitchen, we have the craziest heatwave ever in the UK and I cannot face the thought of turning the oven on. Dinner has been grilled meats (preferably on the barbecue) and salads. The only other reason we’ve set foot in the kitchen is to retrieve cold drinks and ice cream from the overworked fridge-freezer.
I couldn’t let the heat beat me completely though, I’d seen so many different no-bake recipes and low effort ice-cream recipes recently that I knew I had to try and create something sweet and easy. Some discounted strawberries at the supermarket made my mind up for me. I wanted to create a dessert that was low on effort, but would have a bit of a wow-factor, so that if you do have people round for a barbecue you can be sure of serving dessert that wont cause you to perspire.
So I created a no-bake strawberry cheesecake that gives a very big nod to that French classic the Fraisier. Something as simple as placing strawberries around the side of the cake ring and bunging a rose on top, really elevated this dessert with minimal effort. Obviously don’t eat the rose or any of the other flowers. You can indeed crystallise rose petals and whole roses, but I really didn’t have the time or inclination for that.
I’m absolutely loving this weather, when all that is expected of me, is to sit around drinking gin and tonic, leafing through a glossy magazine in the shade, but when real life gets in the way, like vacuuming (at 9pm and it’s still no cooler), lugging heavy bags back from the shop and other household chores, it’s not so much fun. The one bonus is the fact that washing on the line dries in about 2 hours, which is something I am appreciating.
Thunderstorms this weekend though – not too sure how I feel about that given that we’re supposed to be sleeping in a tent tomorrow night, I hope we don’t get washed away.
Here’s the recipe for you to try yourself and if you feel like a baked cheesecake you can try my Eton Mess cheesecake which makes use of seasonal British strawberries also.
- ***Biscuit Base***
- 200g Digestive Biscuits
- 75g Unsalted Butter, melted
- 2 Tbsp Soft Dark Brown Sugar
- ***Cheesecake Filling***
- 280g Full Fat Cream Cheese
- 100g Icing Sugar, sifted
- 1 Tsp vanilla Bean Paste
- ½ lemon, juice only
- 300ml Double Cream
- 250g-300g Strawberries
- 150g Strawberries
- 3 Tsp Icing (or more if your strawberries aren't very sweet)
- Red Food Colouring
- To make the cheesecake base put the digestive biscuits into a food processor and pulse until fine. Add in the melted butter and sugar and pulse to distribute evenly.
- Take a 20cm patisserie ring or a deep loose bottomed cake tin without the base and line just the base with clingfilm on a board or plate that is flat and will fit in your fridge.
- Press the biscuit mixture firmly into the base of the tin. I like to use a potato masher or a rolling pin to really compress the mixture right into the tin.
- Take the strawberries, cut off the green stalk and slice similar sized ones in half. Place them pointy end up, cut side against the side of the metal ring until you have covered the whole inside of the ring/pan. You may have to squeeze in the last one to make it fit. Place the tin into the fridge to set.
- Next make the filling, place the cream cheese, icing sugar, vanilla, and lemon juice into the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk until smooth and combined.
- In a separate bowl whisk the cream until it holds soft peaks, then carefully fold it by hand into the cheesecake base. Spread this over the top of the cheesecake base, being careful not to move the strawberries.
- Take the remaining strawberries and place them in a food processor along with the icing sugar, or blitz them with a stick blender until they make a smooth puree. Strain the puree through a sieve and then pour it over the top of the cheesecake. If you find that your puree isn't very vibrant, do add a few drops of food colouring, I had to.
- Place everything in the fridge to set overnight. The next day use a blowtorch to gently prise the ring off the cheesecake.
- The cheesecake can then be served straight away, or you can decorate it with strawberries or flowers of your choice.
Thanks for reading.