Strawberry Cheesecake with Red Wine Strawberry Compote
I love cheesecakes. In the last few years of my baking professionally journey I have come to realise that I am getting over my sugar cravings. I guess the smell of baking & sugar while divine is also enough to put me off my dessert cravings. I am not saying I don't crave them at all but it's not like before. I do not anymore need a slice of cake or something sweet after every meal, nor do I get weak in the knees when I see something sweet in front of him. However all this comes to a complete halt and 180 degree turn for three things : Bengali sweets, Besan sweets (think besan ladoo and the ghee laden mysore pak) and well cheesecake. I cannot just cannot resist a good cheesecake.
But then the issue is "good". Everywhere you go, all you find is those gelatin filled and chemical soya whipping cream rich cheesecake where cheese has probably been added as an afterthought. And they are so easy to put together at home that it really is a crime to buy those chemical filled ones from the market and guess what this no bake one doesn't even need an oven. So what are you waiting for make this while the lovely strawberries are in the season, oh well I guess you could even make it for Valentines day on Sunday :)
For the cheesecake Filling
For the Cookie base
For the Red Wine strawberry Compote
- For the compote : mix all the compote ingredients and bring to boil in a heavy bottom pan. Reduce the heat and let it simmer till thick and strawberries are soft. This should take about 15 minutes on low heat. Keep aside for cooling.
- For the biscuit base : Powder the digestive biscuits in the mixer or crush them in a ziploc packet using a rolling pin. Mix in the softened butter and line this in the springform pan or individual dessert cups if you are using them. Let it chill in the fridge while you assemble the cheesecake filling
- Whip the softened cream cheese, Mascarpone and sugar together till soft and smooth. Add the strawberry compote. Mix well and keep aside.
- Whip the cream into soft peaks. Ok while we are here, I get to hear so many cribs about cream not whipping and I understand the plight. As a country we are severely lacking in a good whipping/heavy cream product. There are a couple of decent imported ones in the market that one could use but they do kill your pocket very badly. What I have figured out over time is that with a little effort Amul cream (or even the new whipping cream by them) does whip to soft peaks. I chill the cream packet and cut in length ways and let go of all the thin liquid that flows. Do not shake the packet before doing this. Then keep the packet in the fridge for chilling again for 2 hours. Now whip the cream in a bowl which has been chilled as well. Yes I know its a little hard work but it's worth it.
- Melt the gelatin in 2 tbsp warm water. The best way to do this with Indian gelatin is to soak the gelatin in water for about 5 minutes and then microwave it for 10-12 seconds. Please keep an eye on it, you do not warn to let it boil or else it won't work.
- Mix the melted gelatine in the cheese mixture
- Now fold the whipped cream into the cheese mixture gently. Use a silicon spatula or a perforated spoon for doing this. Perforated spoon helps in maintaining the lightness you have built into the whipped cream.
- Pour this mixture on the set biscuit base and let it chill for an hour.
- After an hour, take it out of the fridge and pour the compote on top and chill for another hour before serving.