I hate waste and rarely throw any food away hence when it comes to recipes I have to sometimes be a bit creative as invariable I either don´t have the right ingredients or not the correct quantities. This happened when I looked in the cupboard and spotted half a packet of shortcake biscuits (didn´t even know OH had bought these) then spied some fresh strawberries in the fridge but not enough to make a decent serving. Hum strawberry shortcake sounded good, but then I remembered I had half a tub of cream cheese tucked in the freeze which was left over from when I last made a carrot cake and used some for the frosting. So hey presto ‘Tonight Matthew’ we will have Strawberry Cheesecake.
This is how it goes………..
For the Base
80g butter – melted
For the Filling
3 sheets of gelatine (soaked for 5 minutes in cold water)
1 carton single cream
200g light soft cheese
100g caster sugar
finely grated zest and juice of half a lemon
200g strawberries, chopped (or as many as you have)
1 egg white
Place the biscuits in a plastic bag and bash with a rolling pin until they are fine crumbs. Tip into a bowl and stir in the melted butter, mixing thoroughly. Now tip the mixture into a loose-bottomed round cake tin, at least 5cm deep, and press down. To do this I tend to moisten the back of my fingers with water and press down as the dampness ensures the crumbs stick together when sliced rather than crumble away and make a mess. Chill in the fridge while you make the filling.
Pour the cream into a pan and heat to just below boiling point. Take the gelatine leaves out of the water, give them a good squeeze and stir into the cream (they will immediately dissolve). Leave to cool.
Beat the cheese in a bowl with the sugar, lemon zest and juice until smooth and creamy. Mix in the cream and gelatine mixture and the chopped strawberries.
In another bowl, lightly whip the egg white until it forms soft peaks, and then fold into the cheese mixture. Pour into the cake tin and smooth down lightly. Chill until set, at least 3 hours.
To serve, run a knife between the cheesecake and the tin to loosen it, remove it from the tin, then take it off its base and put it on a serving plate with a few extra strawberries piled in the middle.