‘De-constructed’ Strawberry Cheesecakes

Describing an item of food as ‘de-constructed’ is a rather strange thing to do. In my eyes, prefixing something with ‘de-‘ suggests that it was constructed in the first place. Yet, if that were the case, the entire world of food bloggery would be a far messier place. Still, since ‘deconstructed’ is an accepted term in these parts it shan’t be done away with. Instead, let my protestation regarding its use be officially and permanently recorded. Besides, despite all of this pernickety prosing on the suitability of a single word, it does produce a rather stunning dessert.

No-bake cheesecakes are rather different from their denser, baked counterpart. The texture, which is reminiscent of a mousse, lends itself tremendously well to spring/summer fruits such as strawberries, raspberries and blackberries. Feel free to replace the strawberries, since the base recipe is all-encompassing. However, it is important to remember that bromelain is instrumental in the breaking down of gelatine. As such, it is necessary to avoid using uncooked pineapple, figs, guava, ginger root, papaya and mango. Though, I’m unsure of its effect on vegetarian gelatine.

The simplicity of this dish certainly belies its handsome good looks. It really is a case of merely mixing it all together. However, this recipe, like another of my recent posts, emerged, like a phoenix, from the ashes of failure. Originally, I attempted to make these cheesecakes sans gelatine, a method which proved to be catastrophic to their consistency. Something which surprises me a little is the fact that I don’t get so frustrated at failure any longer; it is evident that a trial run isn’t the most detestable occurrence.

De-constructed Strawberry Cheesecakes

Makes 4-6

Ingredients:

• 450g cream cheese, not an expensive brand

• 150ml double cream

• 4 gelatine leaves, or equivalent

• 50g icing sugar

• 250g strawberries, extra for decoration

• 2 digestive biscuits, crumbled

Method:

1. Place the gelatine in a bowl of cold water for 5 minutes. Beat the cream cheese in a bowl until soft. Sift in the sugar and stir thoroughly. Heat the double cream gently before adding the soaked gelatine, remember to squeeze it of any excess water. Simmer for 2 minutes, until the gelatine has dissolved. Stir the cream into the cheese, blend the strawberries and add those too. Transfer to vessels of one’s choice and chill for an hour.

2. After the hour is up crumble a little of the digestive biscuit onto the top of the cheesecake, top with half a strawberry.

Cost: This absolutely wonderful dessert comes in at a surprisingly low price. The cost of cream cheese is extremely low and this pulls the cost right down. Don’t use mascarpone, it is a waste. The cost of the entire confection should be roughly £2.60. Enjoy!

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102 comments on “‘De-constructed’ Strawberry Cheesecakes

  1. cookinginsens
    April 29, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    I guess that leaves out Philadelphia Cream Cheese. Okay. Still looks good :)

    • frugalfeeding
      May 1, 2012 at 11:02 pm

      You could use it, but I feel it would be a waste, Rosemary.

  2. Olimpia
    April 29, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    so cute!

  3. sugaredpecan
    April 29, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    I love this! Your pics are great as well!

    • frugalfeeding
      May 1, 2012 at 11:02 pm

      Thanks! I’ve decided to rededicate myself to taking great pictures.

  4. susartandfood
    April 29, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    This looks great and inexpensive – we’re not dealing in lbs over here of course, unless we eat it :)

    • frugalfeeding
      May 1, 2012 at 11:02 pm

      Thanks! Well, no – I don’t suppose that you are.

  5. eclectic faerie
    April 29, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    looks wonderful ~ i love teacup food!

    • frugalfeeding
      May 6, 2012 at 10:25 pm

      Thanks! There’s nothing quite like doing the wrong thing with a tea cup… that sounds odd, doesn’t it?

  6. thesinglegourmetandtraveller
    April 29, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    Great idea and looks delicious!

  7. Chica Andaluza
    April 29, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    Oh yes please! Love un baked cheesecakes as well as baked and I´m pleased to see they were in decent sized cups ;)

  8. Cultural Life
    April 29, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    Oh wow! I’m a huge fan of cheesecake and these look really easy. I look forward to trying them.

  9. Amy
    April 29, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    Yummy! These sound delicious. It’s funny we bloggers sometimes have the same them going in our heads. I blogged about cheesecake yesterday too. This looks divine!

    • frugalfeeding
      May 6, 2012 at 10:25 pm

      Thanks, Amy. Haha, yes it is rather funny. I;ve noticed it rather a lot.

  10. ceciliag
    April 29, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    delightful! love the individual servings too. c

    • frugalfeeding
      May 1, 2012 at 11:00 pm

      Thanks, Cecilia! I had to do individual servings, I would have eaten them all otherwise.

  11. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide
    April 29, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    Those are cool. We have a boatload of strawberries too. The technical term is flat, but not like an apartment. Couldn’t resist.

  12. Casey
    April 29, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    Beautiful! And they look so yummy!

  13. Janis
    April 29, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    awesome! and i love those tea cups! this would be a nice detail to the mad hatter’s tea party i’m planning for my daughter’s birthday. thanks for the idea.

  14. thedeliciousphilosophy
    April 29, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    looks beautiful! and I am sure it tastes amazing!

  15. Karista
    April 29, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    What a delightful spring dessert. I love the individual servings in the beautiful teacups! Are digestive biscuits equivalent to a butter cookie or shortbread?

    • frugalfeeding
      May 1, 2012 at 10:58 pm

      Thanks, Karista! umm, not quite. I don’t really know if they have an equivalent…

  16. Big Hungry Gnomes
    April 29, 2012 at 5:18 pm

    Your strawberry cheesecakes look absolutely beautiful and I imagine they are equally delicious. I love the idea of serving them in vintage teacups, particularly if they were a charity shop/ thrift store bargain (depending on which side of the Atlantic you are). Thanks for sharing the great recipe

    • frugalfeeding
      May 1, 2012 at 10:58 pm

      Thanks! They were really very delicious. I can’t remember where we got them from. We’ve had them for years.

  17. Shira
    April 29, 2012 at 5:34 pm

    Gorgeous! Gorgeous! So springy and delightful – and those cups! Love these!

    • frugalfeeding
      May 1, 2012 at 10:57 pm

      Thanks, Shira! I love the cups too :D – they are my mousse/cheesecake cups.

  18. lightlycrunchy
    April 29, 2012 at 6:11 pm

    Ive seen the gelatin leaves on British cooking shows, but havent seen them on the shelf here in Canada. How much powdered gelatin would be the equivalent?

    • frugalfeeding
      May 1, 2012 at 10:57 pm

      Hmm, I think they are better quality – we have both here. Well, 4 gelatin leaves is enough for roughly 1 pint of liquid – you work it out :D.

  19. Conor Bofin
    April 29, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    Another lovely post.

  20. baconbiscuit212
    April 29, 2012 at 7:04 pm

    So pretty! Strawberry cheesecake is one of my favorite desserts. What a lovely idea to deconstruct it and serve it in a tea cup. Those are some beautiful looking berries, Frugal. You always get such nice ones on your side of the pond!

    • frugalfeeding
      May 1, 2012 at 10:54 pm

      Thanks, Daisy! We do get good ones. These are far from the best though – they’ll be much nicer in a month or so.

  21. Marina@Picnic at Marina
    April 29, 2012 at 7:16 pm

    What I like about your blog is measurements!!! Yes, it’s in a metric system and I can understand it much better than “cups, spoon, etc.” Following your recipes is a delight: everything comes out good and tasty (so far at least). Thank you! :)

    • frugalfeeding
      May 1, 2012 at 10:53 pm

      Well, I am British – it’s how we do it around here. bugger those silly, inaccurate measurements.

  22. Vanesther
    April 29, 2012 at 8:05 pm

    This is such a great idea. And your photos are beautiful. Look forward to trying this.

  23. Just A Smidgen
    April 29, 2012 at 9:19 pm

    Love your instruction regarding the destruction of the constructed dessert.. It’s remarkable in its deconstruction :) such a pretty creation today.. A cup of spring I think.. And I would have happily had a spoonful or two or your first “failure” I bet it tasted fabulous as well!

    • frugalfeeding
      May 1, 2012 at 10:52 pm

      Haha! Thanks, Smidge. The failure did taste fabulous – it just didn’t set!

  24. the Jilb
    April 29, 2012 at 11:38 pm

    Gorgeous pics! Yum!

    • frugalfeeding
      May 1, 2012 at 10:51 pm

      Thanks! I really liked the photos too :D. I’ve decided to try harder on them again.

  25. Bluejellybeans
    April 29, 2012 at 11:47 pm

    Simply marvelous!

  26. arzea
    April 30, 2012 at 3:24 am

    Wow this looks great!

  27. Can't live without....
    April 30, 2012 at 3:26 am

    No bake…thats enough for me to try! Nice presentation too.

  28. Korena in the Kitchen
    April 30, 2012 at 4:12 am

    No way – for about the past week I’ve been imagining/planning a deconstructed strawberry cheesecake as well! I love how light a no-bake cheesecake is and yours looks really tasty and simple.

    • frugalfeeding
      May 1, 2012 at 10:49 pm

      Haha – how odd. These things always happen. Thanks, Korena.

  29. wakeupami
    April 30, 2012 at 4:29 am

    This looks amazing. And so cute in tea cups or mugs. :)

  30. Villy
    April 30, 2012 at 10:55 am

    I never bake my cheesecake. I prefer the non-baked texture by far! The deconstruction was a success from what I can see (but unluckily not taste..)

  31. epicuriousbrit
    April 30, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    Love the individual servings, and sounds very easy to make too! Thanks!

  32. Sibella
    April 30, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    You have ‘deconstructed’ these very well! :)

  33. debjani
    May 1, 2012 at 1:08 am

    Last night on Top Chef Canada, one of the contestants had to do a de-constructed cheesecake. It didn’t look anything close to as good as it looks here.
    Nice finding your blog here!

  34. soffiagudrun
    May 1, 2012 at 9:49 am

    sounds good and a nice presentations.

    • frugalfeeding
      May 6, 2012 at 10:22 pm

      Thanks! I’m trying very hard with my photographs at the moment.

  35. sarwatabbasi
    May 1, 2012 at 11:19 am

    Good recipe with good presentation.

  36. whilehewasout
    May 1, 2012 at 11:33 am

    Lovely! With great pictures as always ;)

  37. Willow
    May 1, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    Haha – I agree with your sentiments on ‘de’constructed foods. These cheese cakes reallya re beautifully ‘constructed’, though! I love the little single-servings, as well. :)

    • frugalfeeding
      May 6, 2012 at 10:21 pm

      Thanks, Willow. The single servings were a must for my health.

  38. Clare Cooks!
    May 1, 2012 at 5:50 pm

    Yum! Cheesecake is my favorite dessert. I love no-bake desserts for the summertime. Definitely making these soon.

    • frugalfeeding
      May 1, 2012 at 10:36 pm

      It’s amazing isn’t it – it’s certainly my favourite. I hope you like them, Clare.

  39. Lauren
    May 1, 2012 at 7:44 pm

    very pretty. i love the teacups, of course.

  40. katyarich
    May 2, 2012 at 5:14 pm

    I just love strawberry cheese cake, great pictures and looks so delicious…yummy:)

  41. lambyknits01
    May 2, 2012 at 9:20 pm

    Yum! You’re right on that “deconstructed” remark – too funny! I love “cheater” recipes, and I could make this now if I had gelatin in my pantry. Thank you for sharing :)

    • frugalfeeding
      May 3, 2012 at 9:00 am

      Hah, thanks! I think it’s a breath of fresh air presenting it in a different way.

  42. shanhime
    May 2, 2012 at 10:18 pm

    mmm this looks lovely and definately something I’ll bookmark to try at some point!

  43. alternative eating
    May 4, 2012 at 1:33 am

    When my sweet tooth comes back, def. going to make this one:) :) :)

    • frugalfeeding
      May 4, 2012 at 10:42 pm

      You lost a sweet tooth?!

      • alternative eating
        May 4, 2012 at 11:30 pm

        It’s a saying:) ( Don’t know if I can say that in English though ? ) When I crave something sweet again:)

        • frugalfeeding
          May 6, 2012 at 11:41 pm

          Ahha!You can, I was just being coy. I understood it really :P.

  44. Lottie @ Lottiesworldofcakes
    May 5, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    What a wonderful idea, these look beautiful!

  45. Sue
    May 6, 2012 at 10:51 pm

    Looks good.. have you ever tried black pepper with your strawberries??

    • frugalfeeding
      May 6, 2012 at 11:30 pm

      Nope, but I intend to try some interesting combinations in a month or so.

  46. The Starving Artist
    May 12, 2012 at 12:26 am

    Brilliantly done! I think I will try it with blueberries. And I do so love those digestive biscuits you Brits make! Delicious!

    • frugalfeeding
      May 15, 2012 at 10:53 pm

      Thanks! that’s a great idea. you should make some digestives yourself.

  47. Inge
    October 4, 2012 at 2:13 am

    This is easier! Thanks for sharing it. :)

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