I know I've already posted a cheesecake a couple of posts ago... But because I've been so bad at posting recently, I feel like this cheesecake can have its time to shine now, because the other one was so, like, 2 months ago!
This cheesecake is perfect for the beautiful weather we've been having here. What says summer better than berries and cream??? Wouldn't those berries and cream best be served in a chilled cheesecake? As a sweet snack on a hot day? Or as dessert after dinner? And it is suuuuch a pretty cheesecake with its pink-y purple-y middle and its white whipped cream lid decorated with bright berries. Oh, and not only is it a looker, it tastes amazing too.
I made this about a month ago for a friend’s BBQ (I know, shame on me. I've made and loved this cheesecake for a month and I'm only just telling you about it) and it went down a treat! There was just about a slice left by the end of the night, which doesn't normally happen once everyone has been filled up to the rim with a delicious BBQ meal (Thanks Fatima!), but I guess people don't pass up on summery cheesecakes, especially ones with berries and cream. And neither should you.
Berries and Cream Cheesecake
Makes an 8 inch cheesecake
220 grams or 400 grams digestive biscuits*
80 grams or 160 grams unsalted butter, melted (this is depending on which measurement you use for the base above. See note below)
200 grams mixed fresh berries of your choice (I used strawberries, blueberries and blackberries. If using strawberries, use them hulled and roughly chopped)
180 grams caster sugar
600 grams full fat cream cheese (such as philidelphia)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
100 grams mascarpone cheese
100ml whipping cream
1 tablespoon icing sugar
200 grams fresh berries of your choice to decorate
For crust: Line the base of your tin with baking paper. Finely grind the biscuits in a food processer. Add butter and process until crumbs begin to stick together, about 1 minute, scraping down the bowl once. Transfer crumbs to 8-inch-diameter spring-form pan with 3-inch-high sides. Using a spoon (or a cup, or your fingers) press the crumb mixture firmly up the sides to within 1/2 inch of top edge, then over bottom of pan. If you are using less biscuits for a thinner base, don't worry about going up the sides. Put the tin in the refrigerator to rest while you prepare the filling.
For cheesecake filling: Place the berries in a saucepan with 80grams of the sugar and 30ml of water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and cook until the strawberries are soft and the liquid has reduced half. Set aside until completely cold.
Position rack in middle of oven and preheat the oven to 160°C (320°F). Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and remaining sugar on medium speed until smooth. Add the eggs and vanilla extract one at a time, mixing well after each addition, and scraping down the sides of the bowls after each addition. Be sure to scrape down to the bottom of the bowl where some of the cream cheese likes to hide. Tip in the cooked berries and mix by hand, ensuring that they are evenly dispersed. Pour mixture into prepared tin, it should cover the biscuit sides.
Wrap tin in foil, and place in a roasting tin. Fill the roasting tin with water up to 5mm from the top of the tin, being careful not to pour water into the cheesecake. Placing the cheesecake in a roasting tin filled with water creates a water bath in which to bake the cheesecake to prevent it from drying out and cracking in the oven.
Bake for around 30-40 minutes, or until firm on top with a slight wobble in the middle. Allow the cheesecake to cool to room temperature still in the tin, then place in the fridge to chill and set for a few hours, or preferably overnight.
For topping: A few hours before serving the cake, prepare the whipped cream. Use an electric whisk or freestanding mixer; beat the mascarpone and the icing sugar on medium speed until smooth. In a separate bowl, whip the whipping cream until soft peaks form. Fold the cream into the mascarpone mixture. Remove the chilled cheesecake from the fridge and smooth the cream over it. Let it chill in the fridge until you are ready to serve it. Just before serving the cheesecake, decorate with the berries of your choice. Decorate it at the last minute so that the berries don't stain the cream topping. Serve and enjoy.
* I love my base quite thick, and I like to go up the sides of the pan with my cheesecake. However, some may not like their base to be as thick, so the lower amount is for those people. Those who are like me and love a thick base (it’s the best part of the cheesecake!!), use 400 grams.