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Friday 12 July 2013

Let Her Eat Cake: Strawberry & Rosemary Cheesecake

STRAWBERRIES. Say it again, strawberries! Yeah.

'Tis the season and we're not taking any prisoners. It's summer flavours or NOTHING. Haven't had enough of strawberries even after our Top 10 Strawberry Recipes? Me neither. Read on.

Roasted strawberries are a thing of joy: they go all juicy and gooey and make a lovely contrast to the tangy, fresh fruit. Better still, this cake is super fast. Stick some strawbs in the oven, bash up some biscuits and you're basically done. Perfect for when it's just too hot to get involved in real baking.

Honey-roasted Strawberry & Rosemary Cheesecake
You will need:
For the roasted strawberries:
  • 100g strawberries
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • Large sprig fresh rosemary or 1tbsp dried
For the cheesecake:
  • 120g plain digestive biscuits
  • 60g butter
  • 400g cream cheese
  • 100g creme fraiche
  • 1 vanilla pod or 1/2 tsp of vanilla essence
  • 6 tbsp icing sugar
  • 150g fresh strawberries, to decorate
Make it!
The roasted strawberries:
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas mark 4. 
  2. Discard the leaves of 100g of strawberries and chop them roughly in half. 
  3. Place in a shallow oven dish. Drizzle over the honey and throw in the sprig or dried rosemary. 
  4. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes, or until the strawberry juices have reduced to a gooey, sticky jam. Set aside to cool.
The cheesecake:
  1. Lightly grease a 20cm springform round cake tin.
  2. Place the biscuits in a zip-lock bag and bash with a rolling pin until completely crumbled, then tip into a bowl. (You can place them in a bowl and hit them with a wooden spoon too - it just takes longer). 
  3. Melt the butter and stir into the biscuit crumbs until combined. 
  4. Tip the biscuit mixture into the tin, spreading out evenly and pressing down.
  5. Place the cream cheese, creme fraiche and icing sugar into a bowl and beat together until combined. 
  6. If using real vanilla, scrape the seeds from the pod or add the vanilla essence and stir in well. 
  7. Spoon the cream cheese mixture onto the base and spread out until smooth. 
  8. Chill in the fridge for at least an hour, or until ready to serve.
  9. Decorate with the rest of the fresh strawberries, cut into slices and arranged however you like. Remove the rosemary sprig (if using) from the roasted strawberries and scatter them across or artfully pile them in the centre of the cake. 

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