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Strawberry cheesecake with strawberries in rose syrup

 

There are times that I can take one look at a photo of a dish and know that I want to cook it.  That is exactly what happened when I saw this cake of the cover of the October 2010 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.  It took me a little while to find the time (and purpose) to make it.  You see there is only one problem with my cooking obsession, I also tend to enjoy eating  and if there is something delicious in our house my self-discipline goes out the window.  A great solution to this is having friends for dinner, it means that there is never as much left over.

Baked cheesecakes have never really been part of my repertoire in the kitchen.  Not that I dislike them, I think it is more because our family recipe [1] was always the uncooked variety.   I was looking forward to trying this recipe.

strawberry cheesecake with strawberries in rose syrup (original recipe from Gourmet Traveller [2] adapted by Fiona at Food 4 Thought)   
makes one 27cm (10½ inch) cake

Ingredients
melted butter, for greasing
750g (1½lbs) softened cream cheese
500g (1lb) mascarpone  
190g (0.4lb) raw caster sugar 
finely grated rind of 2 limes and juice of 1  
4 eggs 
250g (½lb) sour cream 
140g (0.3lb) strawberries, coarsely chopped  
sweet ginger pastry 
125g (¼lb) softened butter 
30g (3 tablespoons) pure icing sugar, sieved
125g (1 cup) plain (all-purpose) flour
2 tsp ground ginger

Preparation
Preheat the oven to 150°C (300°F/Gas 2).  For sweet ginger pastry, beat butter and icing sugar in an electric mixer until light and fluffy (2-3 minutes), sieve over flour and ground ginger, stir to combine.  Turn onto a work surface, bring together with the heel of your hand, roll out to 4mm (0.15 inch) thick and line the base of a 27cm (10½ inch)-diameter, 5cm (2 inch)-deep fluted tart tin, trimming edges.  Refrigerate to rest (30 minutes), prick with a fork, blind bake until light golden (15-20 minutes), remove weights, bake until crisp (4-5 minutes), cool.

Lightly brush sides of tart tin with melted butter.  Process cream cheese, mascarpone, 165g (0.3lb) raw caster sugar, lime rind and juice in a food processor until smooth, scrape down sides then add 3 eggs, one at a time, processing to combine.  Pour over pastry, bake until just set (40-45 minutes).

Process sour cream, strawberries and remaining raw caster sugar in a food processor until smooth, add remaining egg and process to combine.  Ladle over cheesecake and bake until just set (8-10 minutes).  Cool, then refrigerate until completely chilled (4-5 hours).

Serve with remaining strawberries and syrup [3].

My tips/alterations:  *I found this pastry very soft and difficult to roll out.  In the end I decided to press it into the tin rather than roll it, this worked much better for me.  *I also forgot to bake the base after removing the weights so the base wasn’t are dark in colour or as crunchy as it was supposed to be, but it held together and tasted fine.  *I used the syrup recipe from my parfait [3] because G is not a ginger lover.  The adapted syrup worked well with the cheesecake.   *I halved the original recipe and used an 18cm (7  inch) fluted dish that was 4cm (1½ inch) deep.  This was perfect for 6-8 serves.

 

ease: 6.5/10.  There were several elements to this dish.
prep time: 40mins.
cooking time: 1hour 20mins plus resting, cooling and chilling time
total: 2 hours plus resting, cooling and chilling time

taste: 8/10.  This was very smooth and rich.  There was a great balance between the smooth lime filling, buttery pastry and strawberry top layer.  The fresh strawberries and syrup were also a lovely addition.  Our guests loved it, as did others who were fortunate enough to benefit from the left-overs.   

would I make it again: Maybe but only for a special occasion.  I prefer to make the easy (uncooked) version of cheesecake.