It’s one of those easy desserts, the perfect ending to a summer dinner on the veranda. I never had “a thing” for cheesecakes but this one tastes more like a light and luscious strawberry mousse. The crust is chocolatey and in perfect harmony with the tanginess of the cheese and the berries. I used white chocolate for sweetness which is heavenly. This is so easy and delicious. It’s inevitable.
For the crust:
- 12 digestive style biscuits
- 2 Tbs soft brown sugar
- 1 Tbs cocoa powder
- 2 Tbs Nutella
- 70 grams unsalted butter melted
For the cheesecake:
- 2 ½ tsp gelatine (1 sachet)
- 2 Tbs water
- 600 grams fresh strawberries
- ¾ cup granulated sugar, divided
- 180 grams white chocolate
- 500 “Philadelphia” cheese
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup cream
Make the crust. Line the base of a 23cm (9 inch) spring form pan with greaseproof paper. In the bowl of a food processor put the digestives and crush to bits. Add brown sugar, cocoa powder and Nutella. Pulse a few times to combine. With the motor running mix in the melted butter until evenly distributed.
Press the crust on the base of the prepared pan. Refrigerate crust while you prepare the cheesecake.
Make the cheesecake: In a small bowl put gelatine and water. Let mixture stand for a few minutes. Gelatine will soak up all the water and “bloom” as they say.
In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a blade, pulse the strawberries until pureed. Transfer strawberry puree in a medium sized saucepan over medium heat. Add ¼ cup of the sugar.
Heat strawberry mixture until beginning to steam. Add the bloomed gelatine and stir until completely dissolved.
Remove pan from heat and gradually add the white chocolate. Keep adding and stirring until all chocolate is added, melted and mixture is smooth. If mixture cools too much and you have trouble melting the chocolate, return saucepan over low heat briefly. Set mixture aside to cool for about 10 minutes.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk the cream to soft peaks. Transfer in a bowl.
In the same bowl of a stand mixer (no need to wash it), whisk the cream cheese with the remaining ½ cup sugar and the vanilla extract, until softer. Add the cooled strawberry mixture and mix to combine.
Take bowl off the mixer and fold in the whipped cream, using a spatula.
Pour cheesecake mixture over chilled crust. Transfer cheesecake in the fridge to set. This will take at least 6 hours so it’s better to let it chill overnight.
To serve, run a hot knife around the perimeter of the cheesecake to release sides. Transfer cheesecake on a serving platter and discard greaseproof paper from the bottom of the crust. Serve with fresh strawberries.