Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Classic Cheesecake using Homemade Mascarpone Cheese, Yogurt and Fresh Strawberry Sauce

I am always inspired to incorporate seasonal fruits in my baking having inherited this from my mom who would always focus on benefits of eating fruits and vegetables, in season. As summer starts to set in, the supermarkets shelves are flooded with "blood-red', "heart shaped", "juicy", "sweet" strawberries :P making it perfect time to bake this cheesecake and welcome summer.

Finding cream cheese is sometimes not only an arduous task but an expensive one too. So I decided to make this scrumptious cheesecake with homemade cheese. I tried experimenting mascarpone cheese at home and was surprised that it can me easily made at home without any special equipment.You can find the recipe here.

For the cheesecake, the inspiration comes from this recipe ( the pictures make my mouth water).  I made 1/2 of  the recipe and it turned out to be beautiful. You will also see that i replaced the cream cheese with "hung-curd" / "Yogurt" and Mascarpone. I prepared the cheese a day in advance and stored it in the refrigerator overnight before using. This helps the cheese set in and also prevents it from turning sour.

So lets get started....

Classic Cheesecake using Homemade Mascarpone Cheese, Yogurt and Fresh Strawberry Sauce

Modified from Chef Denis's  Creamy, Mascarpone Strawberry Cheesecake Recipe 

Equipment Required
9 inches Springform pan or a loose-bottomed tin
Zip lock bag or any plastic food bag
Rolling pin
Piping bag
Aluminium foil

For the Crust:
1 packet of McVitie's Digestive Biscuits
3 tablespoons melted butter

For the Filling:
1 cup thick and creamy "hung curd"
1 cup Mascarpone
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Zest on one lemon
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 eggs

For the Strawberry Topping:
1-1/2 cup fresh strawberries
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
Food coloring - Red (optional - if your strawberries aren't red enough)
1 teaspoon cornflour

1/2 cup whipped cream

Make the Base:

  • Butter the springform pan
  • Put the biscuits in a plastic food bag and crush to crumbs using a rolling pin
  • Mix the crumbs and melted butter thoroughly and press the mixture evenly around the bottom until an even layer is formed
  • Bake at 160°C for ten minutes. Cool on wire rack
Make the Filling:

  • In the bowl, beat together the mascarpone cheese, hung curd, sugar, lemon juice, zest and vanilla until smooth
  • Add eggs, one at a time fully incorporating each before adding the next
  • Now spoon the cream mixture onto the biscuit base. Even the surface using back of a spoon
  • Pour an inch of boiling water in the roasting pan. Wrap the springform pan with aluminium foil and place the cheesecake in a roasting pan surrounded by water (this method is called bain-marie or water bath in simple terms)
  • Bake the cheese cake at 160°C for 50-60 minutes or until it is set around the edges while the center still jiggles
  • Turn the oven off and let the cake sit in the oven with the doors closed for half an hour. Let cool on a wire rack for 1 hour more before placing it in the refrigerator. Refrigerate for 3-4 hours
Make the Topping:
  • Puree 1/2 cup strawberries and mix sugar, water and cornflour
  • Heat all the ingredients in a sauce pan over medium heat. Keep stirring till the sauce becomes thick
  • Turn of the heat and add the remaining strawberries and let the sauce cool
Decorating / Serving:

  • Put whipped cream in a piping bag and make a circle on top of the cake forming a boundary
  • Pour in the sauce and place the strawberries
The cake turned out to be amazing. I really enjoyed making it and it was even more fun sharing this perfect summer treat with my friends over a lovely dinner. Cheers!

“So here’s to all those summer nights when my feet hit the sand and the waves break my fall and all my friends around me out number the stars.”— Unknown

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