If you’ve known me for a while, you know that I’m not really into ‘cheesy’ cheesecakes. I like the tanginess of a cheesecake but to a limit. I feel like the heaviness of an all-cheese cheesecake prevents me from enjoying it, and therefore, I’ve been mixing and matching trying to come up with a cheesecake recipe that suits me best; in terms of taste and texture.

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Initially, I used to put my mixer bowl on a scale and weigh half the amount of cheese required in an all-cheese cheesecake and complete the rest with random items; cream, heavy cream, labnah, and various other things. And when people used to ask me for the recipes, I would be like…ummm…yeah well…I’ll get back to you on that, I’m not really sure. Of course, that would cause a few raised eyebrows, like I don’t like to share my recipes. Funny, because I do have a food blog you know! :p

Strawberry Cheesecake

Anyway, I decided that it was time I actually wrote down and measured the ingredients in a way that I could easily give the recipe to others. This cheesecake is truly a crowd pleaser…no joke! I have my ‘cheesecake’ entourage. And the best thing is, the recipe is a base recipe that I use when I want to make other types of cheesecakes as well (raspberry, chocolate, zebra)

 

Slice of Cheesecake

If you’ve seen my previous post, Carrot Cake Cheesecake, you might have realised that for the cheesecake part of the recipe, I use this one.

You can see detailed steps in the YouTube video below…and the ingredients and recipe is right below it. Enjoy making it, eating it, and giving me feedback :))

 

Strawberry 'Heart' Cheesecake
Recipe type: Dessert
 
Ingredients
For the base:
  • 200 grams honey graham cookies
  • 150 grams butter, melted
For the Strawberry Sauce:
  • 1 tablespoon strawberry jam
  • 1 cup (150 grams) largely sliced strawberries
For the cheesecake:
  • 1 cup sugar (235 grams)
  • 1 cup heavy cream (250 ml), room temperature
  • ½ cup labnah (120 grams), room temperature
  • 2 (8 oz) packs of cream cheese: total of 16 oz (454 grams: 2 cups), room temperature
  • 170 grams of thick cream (1 can: about half a cup)
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch, sifted (16 grams)
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 175C (350F)
Preparing the pan:
  1. Grease a 10-inch (25cm) springform pan. Line the sides with a strip of parchment paper and grease again.
  2. Take two sheets of aluminium foil and wrap the sides of the pan tightly (this step is to avoid the seeping of water when the cheesecake is in the water bath)
Preparing the base:
  1. Break the honey graham cookies into large pieces and put them in a food processor.
  2. Grind the cookies until the texture is fine and crumbly.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the cookie crumbs and melted butter. Mix well until completely combined.
  4. Place the cookie crumb mixture into the springform pan and shake the pan to spread the cookie crumbs evenly all around the base.
  5. With your hand, press the cookie crumbs onto the base of the springform pan.
  6. Using the bottom of a glass, firmly fix the cookie crumb base.
  7. Refrigerate until needed.
Preparing the Strawberry Sauce:
  1. In a jug or tall glass, combine the strawberries and strawberry jam.
  2. Using a stick blender (immersion blender), puree the strawberries
Preparing the cheesecake:
  1. In the bowl of a standup mixer, combine the sugar, heavy cream, labnah, cream cheese, thick cream, and sifted corn starch.
  2. Beat until smooth on medium speed for about 1 minute; scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl occasionally.
  3. Continue beating on medium speed for about 2 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, whisk the eggs and vanilla.
  5. Gradually add the eggs into the cheesecake and beat for a further 2 minutes, until well combined.
  6. Once the cheesecake is ready, remove the whisk from the mixer and use it to whisk the cream cheese mixture while scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl to ensure all the ingredients have been combined well.
  7. Pour the cheesecake mixture on top of the chilled cookie base.
Making the strawberry decorations:
  1. Fix a piping bag into a tall glass and fold the edges down to secure
  2. Pour in ⅔'s of the pureed strawberries
  3. Twist the open end of the piping bag to secure the bag.
  4. Snip the bag carefully while keeping the snipped side upright so the strawberry puree doesn’t leak.
  5. Insert the bag into the cheesecake, without touching the base, and squeeze the strawberry puree all around the inside of the cheesecake. Take care not to get too close to the edges.
  6. Use the remaining strawberry to decorate the top of the cheesecake: Using a dessert spoon (or teaspoon), place spoonfuls of strawberry puree all around the top of the cheesecake (like large polkadots on the surface)
  7. Insert a toothpick halfway into the cheesecake and drag through the strawberry puree dots forming hearts.
Baking:
  1. Place the cheesecake pan into a larger pan, and pour hot water into the large pan up to half of the cheesecake pan.
  2. Carefully put the cheesecake into the oven (wear oven mitts since the hot water will make the pan too hot to touch). Bake in preheated oven for about 75 to 90 minutes. When you’ve passed the 1 hour mark, regularly (at 15 minute intervals) check if the cheesecake is done. The cheesecake surface should have set, and the cheesecake should only wobble slightly when you gently shake the pan)
  3. When the cheesecake is done, turn the oven off. Crack the oven door open using a wooden spoon as a wedge. Cool the cheesecake for an hour in the oven.
  4. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and carefully remove the foil around the pan.
  5. Set the cheesecake on paper towels to absorb moisture. Once cooled to room temperature, refrigerate cheesecake for at least 6 hours. (I don’t cover the cheesecake when I place it in the refrigerator as this causes some moisture to form on the cling film. The moisture can drop on the cheesecake and discolour it)
Removing Cheesecake from Springform Pan:
  1. Carefully, heat the bottom of the cheesecake by gliding it over an open flame a few times (this only takes about 10 seconds).
  2. Remove the sides of the springform pan and remove the parchment paper that is wrapping the cheesecake.
  3. Carefully slide a cake lifter (you can use a thin sharp knife and spatula if you don’t have a cake lifter), and slide the cheesecake from the springform pan onto your serving dish.
  4. You can decorate the top with fresh whipped cream and strawberries.

 

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