White chocolate and strawberries go together like strawberries and cream, or strawberries and Pimms, or strawberries and cream and Pimms and Wimbledon!
There is something so evocative of British Summertime about these tastes. When the strawberries are in season and picked locally, there is nothing to beat them. The Food Thoughts Cacao Nibs in the base stop the cheesecake from getting too sweet, with little bursts of intense chocolate flavour in each mouthful.
This cheesecake is easy to make and even easier to eat.
Because of the white chocolate, the cheesecake sets in the fridge and contains no gelatine. It’s a favourite in my house and I hope that it will be a favourite in yours too.
You will need:
8” loose-bottomed cake tin
200g digestive biscuits
50g Food Thoughts Cacao Nibs
75g unsalted butter (melted)
8-10 fresh strawberries
200g Food Thoughts 35% White Cacao Melts
200ml double cream
175g cream cheese
25g golden caster sugar
freeze dried strawberries (6g tubes available from Sainsburys)
- To make the cheesecake base, blitz digestive biscuits and Food Thoughts Cacao Nibs in a food processor until a fine sandy rubble. Pour melted butter into the mixture and combine.
- Press the dampened, buttery biscuit mixture into the bottom of a cake tin. Press down firmly and pop the tin into the fridge for an hour to firm up.
- Wash and prepare fresh strawberries by cutting away the top (leaving a flat surface) and cutting in half. Line the edge of the cake tin by pressing the cut surfaces of the strawberries against the side of the tin.
The flat top edges of the strawberries should sit on the cheesecake base so that the pointed ends are sticking up.
- To make the cheesecake, begin by melting white chocolate and set this aside to cool a little. You can melt chocolate in the microwave if you go slowly – checking and stirring after 30 second intervals and stopping once only a few small lumps of chocolate remain. These will melt in the heat of the bowl with a little stirring.
- In another bowl, whip double cream until it holds soft peaks.
- In yet another bowl (sorry in advance for the washing up!) beat cream cheese and sugar until combined. You can use the same beaters that you used for the cream!
- Mix the cooled white chocolate into the cream cheese and sugar.
Gently fold the whipped cream into the white chocolate and cream cheese mixture. You will need to have everything nicely combined without knocking out too much of the air in the cream.
Pour freeze-dried strawberries into the cheesecake mixture and stir to distribute them evenly.
- Spoon the cheesecake mixture onto the cheesecake base and smooth the surface. Pay special attention to pressing onto the area between each of the strawberries around the edge. From the top, the cheesecake should look almost like a star.
- Chill the cheesecake until set which will take an hour or two in the fridge, though this can be prepared the day before you plan to serve it.
I remove the cheesecake from the fridge 20-30 minutes before I plan to serve it to allow the filling to soften just a little.
The cheesecake will keep in the fridge for 3-5 days if you can make it last that long!