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Recipe: baked strawberry cheesecake

PUBLISHED: 11:29 01 August 2017

Baked strawberry cheesecake

Baked strawberry cheesecake

Archant

Stephen David, Chef-Director of Mackenzie-David Events, indulges his rare sweet tooth

We Brits have an unquenchable love for strawberries, possibly because they are so tangibly interlinked with our oh-so-short summers – they need lots of sunshine to develop that sweet fragrant muskiness we adore. Here are some tasty strawberry suggestions from savoury to very sweet.

Salad: a refreshing lunch – herb-marinated feta, chunked watermelon, black olives, shredded basil leaves and strawberry vinaigrette made from a tablespoon of lemon juice, three tablespoons of rapeseed oil and a large handful of hulled berries, liquidised, well-seasoned to taste and optionally sieved.

Salsa: dice your fruit and mix with finely-chopped chillies (seeds in for more pep), diced red onion, shredded mint leaves and caster sugar to taste. If you want it to taste more savoury, add a splash of local Aspall red wine vinegar.

Balsamic (dessert): to a pound of halved or quartered berries, add a good handful of caster sugar, a few tablespoons of good balsamic vinegar and either a good grinding of black pepper or a teaspoon of pickled pink peppercorns, seal with a secure lid, refrigerate, shaking around every few hours and serve the next day.

Eton Mess: the old English favourite, crushed meringues, sliced fruit and whipped vanilla cream, all folded together, then swirled with strawberry sauce.

Eastern Mess: you can mess with a mess. I love Nadiya Hussein, winner of Great British Bake Off, and her Middle-Eastern version of Eton Mess inspired me. Make mine with mascarpone and thick cream, blended with rosewater, cinnamon and lime zest, then scattered with crushed pistachios and shredded basil.

Hot and Cold Ivy-style: simply strawberries hulled and cut into small wedges, then frozen (with other berries), removed from the freezer for 15 minutes while you whip up a rich white chocolate sauce (melt together equal quantities of white chocolate and double cream) to drizzle over.

Tart: a classic pastry dessert. Take a shortcrust case, blind-baked, whisk up a chilled crème patissière filling (cornflour-thickened egg custard), top decoratively with sliced strawberries and glaze with sieved warm apricot jam

Recipe: baked strawberry cheesecake

We like to serve this with a minted red chilli syrup and cubes of Pimms jelly on the side for contrasting texture and flavour.

(serves 6+)

250g good ginger biscuits

80g butter

300g hulled strawberries

4 eggs

175g caster sugar

Grated zest of 1 lime

1 tbsp honey

2 tsp vanilla extract

500g mascarpone

200g crème fraîche

to serve, more mascarpone

Grease an 18cm springform tin or small individual moulds. Crush the biscuits, melt the butter and mix well together. Pour into prepared tin(s) and press down. Refrigerate until set.

Finely dice 150g of strawberries and drain. Pre-heat fan oven to 170c. Whisk together eggs, sugar, zest, honey, vanilla, mascarpone and crème fraîche until smooth. Gently fold in the strawberries.

Spoon mix onto the biscuit base(s) and cook in the oven for 45 minutes until light golden (individual ones will take less time). Cover with a tea towel to cool for an hour or more and refrigerate in the tin(s).

Run a hot palette knife around the sides and remove mould(s). Slice remaining strawberries to cover the top of the cheesecake(s) and top with mascarpone.

Stephen David is chef-director of Mackenzie-David Events. Contact Rebecca Mackenzie on 01986 893991 or email rebecca@mackenzie-david.co.uk to discuss your special event

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