The recipe is from the ‘ABC Delicious – Simply the Best’ cookbook, by Valli Little. It’s simple but time-consuming, so best to start a day or so ahead. It’s done in three stages, with cooling and setting time between, so the labour can be split up. To make the recipe lactose and gluten-free for those that need it, I used LF versions of the milk, cream, cream cheese, GF arrowroot cookies and Nuttelex in the base. It worked fine ~ A. V. Mather
300 g shortbread of digestive biscuits
¼ cup (25g) cocoa, sifted
80g unsalted butter, melted
8 gold-strength gelatine leaves (I have no idea what these are, I just used regular)
1kg cream cheese at room temperature
1 ¼ cups (275g) castor sugar
1/3 cup (80ml) milk
300ml thickened cream
¼ cup (60ml) rosewater
2x250g punnets strawberries, hulled and halved
Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C. Grease a 22cm springform cake pan.
Place the biscuits and cocoa in a food processor and whiz until fine crumbs. Add the butter and pulse to combine. Press mixture into the base of the cake pan. Place in the oven for 10-15 mins, cool on counter, and then place in the fridge to chill.
Soak 5 gelatine leaves in cold water for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, place cream cheese and ¾ cup (165g) sugar in cleaned food processor and whiz until smooth. Place the milk in a saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to just below boiling point. Squeeze excess water from the gelatine, then add the gelatine to the milk, stirring until the gelatine has dissolved. Cool slightly, then add to the cream cheese mixture in the food processor and whiz to combine. Transfer to a bowl.
Beat the cream with electric beaters until soft peaks form, then fold into the cream cheese mixture with 1 tablespoon rosewater. Pour the filling over the biscuit base and gently tap the pan on the bench to dispel any pockets. Cover in plastic wrap and chill for 4 hours or until filling is set.
Meanwhile, place the strawberries and remaining ½ cup (110g) of sugar in a large bowl with ½ cup (125ml) of water, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Cover the bowl tightly with foil and place over a pan of simmering water (don’t let the bowl touch the water). Simmer for 20 minutes, topping up the pan with more water if needed, until the strawberries are very soft.
Soak the remaining 3 gelatine leaves in cold water for 5 minutes.
Pass the strawberry mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl – don’t press down on the fruit, or the jelly will be cloudy. While the juice is warm, squeeze excess water from the gelatine, then stir the gelatine into the juice until dissolved. Stir in remaining 2 tablespoons rosewater. Cool completely, then place in the fridge for 15 minutes until just starting to thicken. Pour the strawberry jelly over the cheesecake, then return to the fridge for 3-4 hours until the top has completely set.