Fresh strawberries were on sale last Friday at Fairprice Xtra, around $2.80 for 250g punnet. I happily grabbed two punnets even though there's still one punnet in my fridge. These strawberries were imported from Australia, very plump, red and juicy. Not as sweet as the Korea strawberries, but not too sour either and has a lovely strawberry aroma.
And after making the Chocolate Marshmallow Cake, I still have lots of whipping cream to clear. Now, you can't go too wrong with strawberry + whipped cream combination. And since I have cream cheese in the fridge and some digestive biscuits in my kitchen cabinet, I know exactly what I will do with my strawberries.
At first, I was thinking of blending the fresh strawberries with milk, then combine with cream cheese and whipped cream for the filling. But this will not give me a nice strawberry flavour in the end product. I find that cooking the strawberry actually brings out the full flavour, and it adds a nice colour to the cheesecake. The same goes for blueberries. Beside using this strawberry sauce for cheesecake, you can also use the sauce to drizzle over ice-cream, yogurt, pancakes or add to milkshake etc. It's 100% homemade strawberry sauce without artificial preservatives and flavouring.
(make 30 small squares, from tray measuring 20cm x 30cm)
15 digestive biscuits (crushed into fine crumbs - I used a rolling pin to crush it)
90g butter (melted)
(B): Strawberry sauce
250g fresh strawberries (chopped)
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 to 2 tbsp water
(C): Cream cheese filling
200g cream cheese
2 tbsp lemon juice
60g fine sugar
250ml dairy whipping cream (whipped till peak)
30ml water + 2 tsp gelatin
3 gelatin sheets
[Note: I need about 5 tsp of gelatin powder. But I run out of gelatin powder, so I replaced it with 3 gelatin sheets.]
1) Mix the crushed biscuits and melted butter together. Press onto baking tray lined with cling wrap (for easy removal). Chill in freezer till the base hardens.
2) Combine all ingredients in (B) in a small pot. Cook over low heat for about 10 minutes till strawberries break down. Stir frequently and check. Remove from heat, cool slightly and blend to become strawberry sauce. This will yield about 300ml strawberry sauce.
3) Place the milk in a small pot and bring to a gentle boil. Meanwhile, combine 30ml water with the gelatin powder. If using gelatin sheets, soak in water briefly and squeeze out excess liquid. Pour in the gelatin mixture and/or the soaked gelatin sheets into the pot of milk. Stir and cook till the gelatin melts completely. Do not boil the milk rapidly or the gelatin may lose the setting ability. Set aside to cool.
4) While preparing step 3, place a mixing bowl in the freezer (for a few minutes) to chill it. Pour the whipping cream into the chilled bowl and whipped till peak form. Place the bowl of whipped cream in the fridge.
5) In another mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, lemon juice and sugar till creamy. Add about 200ml of the strawberry sauce from step 2 (reserved about 100ml for later use). Beat to combine. Pour in the milk mixture from step 3 and mix well.
6) Fold in the whipped cream from step 4 to the cream cheese mixture. Pour the cream cheese mixture over the prepared biscuit base. Drizzle the remaining strawberry sauce over the top to create the marbling effect. Put it back to the freezer to set.
7) To remove: Invert the chilled cheesecake onto a piece of baking paper, remove the bottom cling wrap and flip the cake onto a cutting mat. Cut the cheesecake into desired serving size and serve chill.