You Need To Try This Quick and Easy Luscious Strawberry Cheesecake ASAP

Winter might be coming to an end, but my heart is not yet filled with satisfaction for strawberries.

I better get something done before they go out of season.

When I first laid my hands on the strawberries this season, I wasn’t sure what should be done.

Strawberry Quotes (1)

True, I could simply slice them up and layer them with dollops of fresh sweetened and whipped cream, perhaps in a Mason jar or better yet, in a crisp, golden brown tart shell.

Or I could simply pulverize those luscious red berries and macerate them in vodka to create strawberry flavoured vodka.

And yet, I decided to go against it. Fuck that shit, I’m gonna prepare a strawberry cheesecake.

One of the first cheesecakes I’ve ever had may have been a mango one, but man was I hooked onto cheesecakes. Looking at the strawberries in hand, I decided to go with a cheesecake flavoured with strawberries.

Fresh strawberries are one of the few things I love about winter. Their luscious red carmine hues, the sweetish tang when you take a bite – one taste, and it feels like I’m back in the refreshingly cool strawberry farms of Mahabaleshwar.

Around the year when strawberries aren’t in season, I use whole strawberry crush, or purée – whichever is available at hand. This version, however, includes fresh strawberry coulis.

The strawberries are cooked with a couple of bruised cardamom pods and sugar. The ruby red coulis is tart enough to offset the richness of the cream cheese, yet sweet enough to be distinct from a jar of strawberries and cream. I prefer to keep the strawberries a bit undercooked, so as to lend some texture to the generally smooth cheesecakes.

 

Fresh Strawberry Cheesecake

Fresh Strawberry Cheesecake
Get me back to Mahabaleshwar!
  • Servings6 – 8
  • Time: 50 minutes + chilling
  • Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients

a) Base

  • 200g crackers/ digestive biscuits
  • 50g butter + extra for greasing

b) Coulis

  • 250g strawberries
  • 75g sugar
  • 2 – 3 cardamom pods

c) Filling

  • 200g cream cheese
  • 125g icing sugar
  • 100mL whipped cream
  • 25g gelatin
  • 5mL vanilla extract

 

Procedure

a) Pre-prep

  1. To a Ziploc bag, add the crackers/ biscuits and crush them using a rolling pin until they resemble coarse breadcrumbs.
  2. Clean the strawberries, finely dice them.
  3. Sieve the icing sugar so as to get rid of the lumps.
  4. Soak the gelatin, set aside.
  5. Line an 8″ springform tin[or whichever mould you have] with parchment paper. Grease the insides of the parchment with some softened butter.

b) Preparation

i) Base

  1. In a medium-sized saucepan, melt the butter. Add the crushed crackers/ biscuits to the melted butter, cook for a few seconds and remove from heat.
  2. Once cooled enough to a workable temperature, add the mixture to the lined springform tin.
  3. Using a flat-based cup or a spatula, spread the mixture evenly. Refrigerate until set.

ii) Coulis

  1. In a sauté pan, add the diced strawberries and sugar. Using the back of a spoon, bruise 2-3 cardamom pods, add to the strawberries.
  2. Cook until the mixture begins to thicken and darken. Take care that you don’t overcook the strawberries, or else they’ll become mushy.
  3. Once done, remove from heat and set aside to cool.

iii) Filling

  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the cream cheese and sifted icing sugar until light and smooth.
  2. Add the cooled strawberry coulis, mix well.
  3. In a small saucepan, melt the soaked gelatin gently over low heat. Once completely melted, add vanilla extract and set aside to cool.
  4. Using a spatula, fold in the whipped cream. If your whipped cream is too thick, give it a rigorous whisk.
  5. Gently pour in the melted gelatin, whisking continuously so as to avoid lumps.
  6. Pour the filling into the prepared springform tin. Refrigerate for 3 – 4 hours, or overnight.

c) Finishing

Finish the cheesecake by topping it with some fresh strawberries dipped in coulis or a simple syrup. You can also garnish the cheesecake with lots of sliced strawberries. Cut and serve.

 

Notes

  • I generally prefer to use round springform tins for cakes and cheesecakes. You might use square tins, or even sheet pans. Adjust the recipe accordingly.
  • To increase the decadence of the cheesecake, I use butter cookies in the base. You may use whichever type of cookies/ biscuits you prefer. [I once used dark chocolate cookies.]
  • Pressed for time and no cream cheese on hand? Use unflavored Greek yoghurt [or a berry-flavoured one, if available]. Tie it in a muslin cloth and get rid of excess moisture. Adjust the sugar accordingly.
  • Save on time by using pre-whipped cream. If not, whip about 50-75mL of whipping cream until it doubles in volume and achieves soft peaks. Chill for 5-10 minutes before folding it into the cream cheese.

 

What Wine to Pair with?

Riesling [be careful of the acidity though]. Or Sherry. Strawberry Dessert Wines are also available these days.

 

What flavoured cheesecake do you prefer? Let me know in the comments.

 

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