We all know there are thousands of cheesecake recipes out there. So I figured one more wouldn't hurt. :) In particular when it's something like cheesecake and not cheesecake! But as I say a rose by any other name would smell as sweet... And boy does this taste sweet!!!
So here goes:
I had a nearly full tub of mascarpone cream in the fridge, (missing just one extremely large tablespoon from a naughty night of sneakily eating a large bowl of strawberries & cream).
I also found the most gorgeous fresh in season strawberries at my neighborhood farmers shop and I bought a packet of vanilla sugar which I had no idea what I was going to do with.
I made the usual biscuit base by crushing digestive biscuits and mixinng in melted butter to form a crumbly mixture. I layered this at the bottom of these adorable little glass jars that I picked up from Milimani a few weeks ago.
I let the base chill in the fridge as I set about making the filling.
I chopped the strawberries into large pieces (I like the chunky texture of strawberry pieces, if you prefer a smoother feel, chop the strawberries very fine or you can even blend them later to create a sauce). I added the vanilla sugar to the strawberries in a pan and set it on low heat, stirring all the time. I added some caster sugar for added sweetness. Keep doing taste checks.
I cooked the berry mixture for about 10-15 minutes keeping an eye on the consistency all the time. When I felt that the strawberries were soft but not completely pulpy, I turned off the heat and let the mixture cool.
When it was cool, I slowly added the liquid from the mixture & some strawberry pieces to the mascarpone cream and beat very gently. Be careful not to overbeat as the cream will split. I kept adding the liquid and stirring. The cream turned a lovely crimson blush colour. I also added some lemon juice as I like the tang of lemon against the sweetness of the cream. Keep tasting to make sure you have enough flavor and a good balance of sweet and sour. The worst thing I find with cheesecakes is a really bland center!
I proceeded to gently layer the cream filling on the biscuit base, topped with the rest of the strawberries. I then poured on the remaining liquid and set to chill in the fridge. The result was a creamy, tangy berry delight! Easy to make and sure to impress. Like my guest kept repeating 'are you sure you didn't buy this at the shops???'. I assured him that you cannot get these in Dar and anyhow there's just something a little more special to home made desserts. N'est pas? :D