Strawberry and White Chocolate Cheesecake

One of the main reasons I like food blogging is the potential to experiment and still feel that something productive came out of something that didn’t go perfectly. This entry to A Slice of Cherry Pie’s In The Bag event (this month’s ingredients: strawberries and white chocolate) was one of those imperfect, but valuable cooking experiences.

I knew I wanted to cook a cheesecake, but I wanted to not follow a recipe strictly as it seems all the cheesecake recipes I try to follow don’t work. This is probably due to differing oven temperatures, but many times I’ve found the cooking times specified to be either far too short or far too long, with me having to slice a burnt top off. So today I wanted to try one that has been much hyped, Nigella’s London Cheesecake, but I wanted to do it a bit differently. You can find the original recipe here.

I started my departure from the recipe by doubling the amount of biscuit and butter required in order to make a cheesecake with a base and walls. (Probably more accurately termed sides, but I think they look like a rather craggy fortress myself) Although working against gravity to create the walls, they didn’t cave in and it was all A-OK.

I then made up a strawberry syrup from a punnet of berries, some caster sugar and a touch of water. I boiled it up, then down, then mushed it and spread all over the biscuit base and let the whole lot cool. So far, so good.

The white chocolate was simply melted and stirred in with the cream cheese of the original recipe, and I adjusted the cooking times up a little to make up for the 200g of white chocolate I’d added but cooked it in a vat of water just as with the original. Well, I evidently didn’t adjust enough because it was still wibbling at me after a good hour. I can’t quite tell with cheesecake how much it’ll firm with cooling (once I had a rather amazing disaster where I undercooked a cheesecake and took it out of its tin without letting it cool. Result: cheesecake avalanche, followed by a number of spoons scooping and eating from the table and a mortified me!) so I bunged it in for another half hour. I eyed it suspiciously once more, removed it from the water, let it cool.

As it was cooling, I fanned some strawberries for the top (apparently very retro, but novel for me).

Unfortunately the slice of cake itself was not pretty enough for a full-frontal (boo hoo) as the strawberry layer, though tasty, looked a little tired (well it must have been after all that time sat under the cheesecake filling). The walls went down very well with TLM, but I think next time they could be thinner, and hopefully with today’s knowledge I will be able to judge them better. Something inside me felt the strawberry syrup needed whizzing for a more event texture, and maybe even something to made it redder – more appealing I suppose? However, it tasted fine so maybe I should keep it organic.
I will want to add more vanilla next time (pod maybe?) because that would really bring out the white chocolate softness. It had flecks from the vanilla sugar and flavour from the vanilla extract but I think a pod is the way forwards for this one.

A very interesting challenge. Cheesecake, not yet mastered. I predict with us moving (again) and me having a new kitchen and cooker the battle will continue…
(any tips – welcome!!)

13 responses to “Strawberry and White Chocolate Cheesecake

  1. Anonymous June 17, 2009 at 9:55 am

    This is one of the most amazing cheesecakes I have ever seen!

  2. Anonymous July 6, 2008 at 4:15 am

    Stunning!! It is indeed a work of art. Well done!!

  3. My Sweet & Saucy July 4, 2008 at 5:57 am

    What a beautiful cheesecake!

  4. Monkee July 4, 2008 at 3:15 am

    Great invention. It’s different from the other cheesecakes and it has a shape (and life) of its own. Good job!

  5. Kevin July 3, 2008 at 9:41 pm

    That cheesecake looks so good!

  6. Segat1 July 2, 2008 at 11:46 am

    I want news on Glastonbury foods!

  7. Astra Libris July 1, 2008 at 2:21 am

    I love your story of the cheesecake’s creation! Such a beautifully written culinary journey! Your cheesecake is positively gorgeous… I love the “fortress” walls and the beautifully artistic strawberries!

  8. Julia June 30, 2008 at 6:43 pm

    How damn good does that look? I so wish I could taste it. Fantastic entry!

  9. Hannah June 24, 2008 at 5:25 pm

    That sounds (and looks!) absolutely gorgeous!

  10. grace June 23, 2008 at 4:33 pm

    strawberries and white chocolate are my favorite cheesecake combination. period. this looks glorious–perfection in a pan!

  11. Sage June 23, 2008 at 7:54 am

    looks lovely and I might try that for myself when I feel brave enough to attempt cheesecake… my experiences in the past was my mum making them from a boxed product found in a supermarket.

  12. Anonymous June 22, 2008 at 10:10 pm

    Wish I were there to share! When I think something needs to be ‘redder’, I add tomato ketchup but then, as you know, my cooking is indescribable!

  13. Beth (Jam and Clotted Cream) June 22, 2008 at 7:34 pm

    This looks delicious. Im still trying to decide what Im going to make for my first in the bag event. Went to the PYO today, so Id better think fast!

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