It may look like something you’d see in a patisserie shop window (and it certainly drew a number of oohs and aahs), but this show-stopper Strawberry Daiquiri Cheesecake was actually a cinch to make.
With its refreshing strawberry and lime flavourings, it’s the perfect summer dessert (even if I am pushing it in Autumn!). But, be warned! It’s rich – made with cream cheese, ricotta and cream, a dieter’s friend it ain’t. It’s more of a once in a blue moon dessert!
I found this lovely unbaked cheesecake recipe on Taste.com.au. I followed it pretty much to the letter though, just quietly, because I had no white rum I subbed in some Triple Sec (a strong, sweet and colorless orange-flavored liqueur). Obviously not a daiquiri then, I hear you say! And you’d be right. So, for the purists out there, I’ve left the recipe as it was intended (though the Triple Sec worked a treat as far as I was concerned!).
Just a few notes. There are meant to be three, not two, layers of savoiardi biscuits. My loaf tin was a little smaller than the one recommended and with all that cheesecake mixture to use up, I chose to go with two biscuit layers instead. However, I’d recommend trying to get the three layers in, as the liqueur soaked sponge was definitely a highlight.
Secondly, I felt that the recipe was a little limited texturally, so I made up a crunchy crumb to serve with it. I used a simple gluten-free crumb recipe I’ve used before in fruit crumbles and simply halved the recipe. I lay the crumb out in a shallow baking dish and placed it in the oven at 180°C (360°F) for about 15 minutes until golden brown. I let it cool completely and scattered a handful of it around each slice of cheesecake when I served it.
Finally, there was a reasonable amount of the liqueur/strawberry sauce (which is totally yum) left over and I drizzled this over top of, and around, each slice of cheesecake when serving. Personally, I felt this one simple trick pulled the dish together and cut through the richness really well. If I make this again, given I’d be dunking an extra layer of biscuits, I’d be tempted to double the sauce recipe so there’s more than enough for those who like their liqueur kick. Enjoy!
- 250g (8.8 oz) strawberries
- 125ml (1/2 cup) white rum
- 70g (1/3 cup) caster sugar
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 125ml (1/2 cup) water
- 1 teaspoon powdered gelatine
- 250g (8.8 oz) cream cheese, at room temperature
- 70g (1/3 cup) caster sugar
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lime rind
- 250g (8.8 oz) fresh ricotta
- 60ml (1/4 cup) fresh lime juice
- 300ml (10 fl oz) double (heavy) cream, plus 80ml (1/3 cup), extra
- 250g (8.8 oz) packet sponge finger (savoiardi/lady finger) biscuits
- 300ml (10 fl oz) double (or heavy) cream, whipped (you may not need all of it)
- Crushed freeze-dried strawberries, to garnish
- Lime zest, to serve
- Icing sugar, to dust
- Lightly grease a 7.5cm (3 inch) deep, 11 x 21cm (4.5 x 8 inch) (base measurement) loaf pan and line with plastic wrap, allowing the long sides to overhang.
- Hull half the strawberries (setting aside the remainder for serving). In a blender, puree hulled strawberries and rum until smooth. Strain the puree, discarding the seeds.
- Combine sugar, lime juice and water in a small saucepan. Stir over low heat until sugar dissolves. Stir in the puree until combined. Remove from heat and let it cool.
- Place 2 tablespoons water in a small heatproof bowl. Sprinkle over the gelatine and stir until well combined. Place the bowl inside a larger heatproof bowl. Pour boiling water into the larger bowl until it reaches halfway up the side of the smaller bowl. Set aside, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until the gelatine dissolves.
- Meanwhile, use electric beaters to beat the cream cheese, sugar and lime rind in a bowl for 2-3 minutes or until light and fluffy. Beat in the ricotta and lime juice until smooth and combined. Put aside.
- Add the gelatine mixture to the cream cheese mixture. Beat until combined and put aside.
- Use electric beaters to beat the 300ml (10 fl oz) cream (leaving the extra 80mls unwhipped) in a separate bowl until soft peaks form (make sure not to overbeat - you want softly whipped cream). Fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture. Then fold in the extra 80mls unwhipped cream (this will slacken the mixture a little).
- Spread roughly one-quarter of the cheesecake filling into prepared pan.
- Dip sponge fingers, 1 at a time, into the strawberry sauce until softened (only a few seconds is needed).
- Place savoiardi biscuits lengthwise over the cheesecake filling in pan (3 rows with 2 biscuits end to end in each row - i.e. 6 biscuits used for each layer) NB: depending on the brand of savoiardi, you may need to trim them to fit.
- Spread with another layer of cheesecake filling. Repeat layers with the remaining sponge fingers (dunked in strawberry sauce) and cheesecake filling, finishing with a layer of cheesecake filling. NB: In order to have three vertical savoiardi layers, you need to put very little filling between each layer, or else you will run out of filling.
- Tightly cover with overhanging plastic wrap. Place in the fridge for 4 hours or overnight.
- Remove from fridge and remove plastic wrap. Invert the cheesecake carefully onto a serving plate. To make the dessert look inviting, cut a small sliver off each end so that the sponge biscuits are clearly shown.
- Whip the double cream to firm peaks and transfer to a piping bag with large star tip. Pipe rosettes of cream over top of the cheesecake and decorate with the remaining whole or halved strawberries, crushed strawberries and lime zest. Dust with icing sugar if desired.
- To serve, cut slices with a large knife and carefully transfer to serving plates. Drizzle extra sauce over top. If you'd like, you can also place some baked crumb (see recipe in my intro) on the plate as well.
Food Photography Info: Samsung Galaxy SM-G980F / Natural lighting