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
• 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
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!