Raymond cooks

Strawberry Cheesecake

 Strawberry Cheesecake
Preparation time:
40 minutes
Cooking time:
40 minutes
10 - 12 serves

You should feel no guilt when eating this cheesecake. The cake’s base is made with rye flour and wholemeal flour, as well as oats. So it is slightly savoury, which complements the swirling top of strawberry coulis and the cheesecake filling. In late summer, the strawberries can be replaced by raspberries. This perfect afternoon treat will certainly impress your guests at the end of a meal, and for wider smiles, you may wish to serve it with a bottle of chilled rosé.

  • Ingredients

    For the oat biscuit base:
    • 80g rye flour
    • 100g wholemeal flour
    • 80g unsalted butter
    • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
    • 40g caster sugar
    • ½ tsp salt
    • 95g jumbo oats
    • 1 medium egg, free-range/organic, beaten
    For the strawberry coulis:
    • 2 gelatine leaves, softened in cold water and drained
    • 250g strawberries, hulled and halved
    • 25g caster sugar
    • 1 tsp lemon juice
    For the filling:
    • 250g cream cheese
    • 80g crème fraîche
    • 1 tbsp good-quality vanilla extract
    • ¼ lemon juiced plus a little extra for whisking the egg whites
    • 2 gelatine leaves
    • 80g caster sugar
    • 3 tsp water
    • 2 medium eggs, whites only, free-range/organic
    To serve:
    • 250g strawberries
    • Icing sugar shaker (optional)
  • Method

    For the oat biscuit base:
    • Preheat the oven to 180ºC.

    • Place the flours, butter, bicarbonate of soda, sugar and salt in a large bowl. With your fingertips, crumble the ingredients together until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the oats and egg and mix well, then knead until it comes together.

    • With a rolling pin, roll the biscuit mixture out between two sheets of baking parchment to a thickness of 5mm. Transfer the mixture to a baking tray and remove the top piece of paper. Bake for 15 minutes.

    • Remove from the oven and leave to rest for 2 minutes. Using the 20cm x 4cm pastry ring press down into the biscuit to create a disc (the cheesecake’s biscuit base) – but leave to cool to room temperature before removing the excess biscuit around the ring. Transfer the biscuit base to a plate or baking tray.

    For the strawberry coulis:
    • Using the Kenwood jug blender, blend the halved strawberries, sugar and lemon juice to a smooth coulis. Strain the coulis through a fine sieve into a bowl; push the puree through with a spatula so that only the seeds remain in the sieve.

    • Discard the seeds and reserve 100ml of the coulis for serving.

    • In a small saucepan over a medium heat warm half the remaining coulis. Squeeze out any excess water from the gelatine leaves and add to the warm coulis, stir until all the gelatine has dissolved.

    • Remove the pan from the heat and pour the coulis into the remaining cold coulis. Stir until fully mixed and reserve at room temperature.

    For the filling:
    • Soak the gelatine leaves for 5-10 minutes in a bowl of cold water to soften them.

    • In a large bowl mix the cream cheese, crème fraîche, vanilla purée or extract and lemon juice.

    • Squeeze the excess water from the soaked gelatine leaves. In a small saucepan on a medium heat, melt the gelatine in 2 teaspoons of water. When the gelatine has melted remove the pan from the heat and briskly whisk the gelatine into the cream mixture.

    • In a small saucepan dissolve the sugar in the water, bring to a boil and continue to heat to 121°C.

    • Meanwhile, in a Kenwood Chef Titanium fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the egg whites, with just a single drop of lemon juice added at the beginning. Whisk to soft peaks.

    • With the whisk on a medium speed, slowly trickle the hot sugar syrup into the egg whites.1 Continue to whisk on a medium speed for a further 5 minutes until the mixture is glossy and the bowl is cool – the hot syrup will partially cook the egg white making it stable.

    • When cool, add half the egg whites to the cream filling mixture and briskly beat with a whisk until smooth. Next, fold in the remaining egg whites. Now lightly fold in the strawberry coulis to create a ripple effect.

    • Pour the filling into the ring so that it fills it. Level the surface flat with a palette knife or the back of a spoon. Refrigerate for 3 hours to allow the mixture to firm up before removing it from the ring.

    To serve the cheesecake:
    • Remove the cheesecake from the fridge and carefully blowtorch the outside of the ring. The ring should now lift away from the cheesecake; if it doesn’t, apply a little more heat with the blowtorch and try again. (Alternatively, run the hot blade of a small knife around the inside of the ring and lift it from the cheesecake.)

    • Halve some of the strawberries and arrange them with whole strawberries on top of the cheesecake. Dust with icing sugar and serve with the reserved coulis.

  • Chef's Notes

    • The best technique for making this kind of Italian meringue is to pour the hot sugar syrup down the side of the bowl in a single thread so that it mixes perfectly. Otherwise, the speed of the whisk will spin the sugar, and it will solidify on the whisk and the side of the bowl.
    • Always take extra care when pouring in the very hot sugar syrup.

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