During the summer, especially if it's crushingly hot, we are not really enclined to eat hearty kinds of foods and we surely don't want to bake for hours. That's why this "Strawberry Cheesecake" will be very welcome at the table and on any occasion!
Compared to most cheesecakes, this one doesn't have a crumbly base made with pounded cookies, crackers, wafers or digestives or pastry. Instead, a spongy cake base replaces the traditional crust. In fact, it is the only part of the cheesecake that is baked. The second part consisting of the ricotta and strawberries (second layer) is only jellified.
It is a very easy, but nonetheless delicious dessert that can be served whenever you wish (after dinner/supper or as a four o'clock treat). Being not too sweet and quite light, it will not be the kind of dish that'll make you feel heavy after you've eaten it and the strawberries add a great touch of freshness to the whole cake. The sponge base is very pleasant and is the perfect accompaniment to the delicate ricotta cheese topping...
This recipe was taken from a "Coop Magazine" and consequently modified by myself in order to meet my taste.
Serves 6 people
100g Unsalted butter, at room temperature
100g Castor sugar
1 Tsp Vanilla extract
2 Eggs (~50g)
100g Plain white flour
1 1/2 Tsp Baking powder
1/4 Tsp Salt
250g Fresh ricotta cheese
1 Lemon, juiced
3 Tbs Grand Marnier
1 Orange zested or a pack Dr.Oetker orange rind
70g Castor sugar
1/2 Cup Water
200g + 150g Strawberries
5-6 Sheets gelatine
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
2. Grease a 24-26cm (8-10 inches) loose base tin.
3. Cream the butter with the sugar until light and fluffy.
4. Add the eggs, one at a time. Stir well.
5. Add the vanilla extract.
6. Gently fold in the sieved flour, baking powder and salt.
7. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for about 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.
8. Let cool on a rack, but leave the cake in the tin.
9. In the meantime, place the 70g sugar, the water and the 200g strawberries in a pan and bring to the boil.
10. Lower the heat and simmer gently for about 4 minutes.
11. Let cool and then, pass in the food processor in order to obtain a puree.
12. Mix the puree with the ricotta, lemon juice, zest, and Grand Marnier.
13. Cut the remaining 150g strawberries in 6.
14. Place the sheet of gelatine in cold water for 10 minutes.
15. Press the water out and place in a pan.
16. Melt over low heat (lowest gas mark).
17. Remove from the heat and add 1 cup of the ricotta/strawberry mixture. Mix well.
18. Pour this mixture into the bowl containing the remaining ricotta/strawberry preparation and mix thouroughly.
19. Pour this ricotta/strawberry mixture over the cake in the tin.
20. Place in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours or until the gelatine has set.
If you wish, you can use other fruits like blueberries, strawberries or red currants instead of strawberries.
Agar agar can replace the gelatine, but read carefully the instructions on the packet.
Eat at any time accompanied by a good bottle of white wine (Gewürzraminer, Riesling or Sauterne) .