Strawberries are where it’s at people. I have been buying punnets of them by the dozen and getting fully involved; jam making, throwing them into salads or just straight from the punnet on the way home from the farmers market. In fact it’s a bit of a miracle I had any left to make this delicious cheesecake.
I have to thank two different food blogs for my inspiration here. Joy the Baker’s Snickerdoodle Strawberry Shortcakes and Lifeloveandsugar’s Strawberry Shortcake Cheesecake. I have written about snickerdoodles before in my Snickerdoodle and Marshmallow Blondies, they are an American cookie, as old as the hills, made with and then rolled in brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg, and not a nutty, caramel chocolate bar. That’s a Marathon.
I gave the shortbread base of this cheesecake the old snickerdoodle treatment, and made it just as important as the strawberries and cheesecake with a nice thick layer. There is a lot of base to this but it isn’t a hard set, it crumbles to the fork and the rice flour gives it slight softness like all the best buttery shortbreads.
The cheesecake is set and not baked which gives it a more summery vibe, it is light with cream cheese and freshly whipped double cream and dotted through with the black specks of vanilla. I used vanilla paste for the cheesecake mixture as it feels slightly fresher and of course when you can actually see the vanilla against the white cream it is ever so inviting. Buried inside the cheesecake layer are more strawberries, standing to attention on top of the snickerdoodle base and waiting to give sweet juicy pleasure. The cheesecake is then topped with sliced strawberries, macerated overnight in brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg.
This is a perfectly heavenly June dessert, bright with fruit, luscious with cream and satisfying with plenty of buttery biscuit. I think I will be making this again and again this summer.
Strawberry Snickerdoodle Cheesecake
225g unsalted butter
100g soft brown sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
250g plain flour
75g rice flour
¼ tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
A pinch of salt and black pepper
300g cream cheese
60g icing sugar
½ tsp vanilla paste
½ tsp lime juice
250ml double cream
1 tbsp soft brown sugar
Pinch of cinnamon
Pinch of nutmeg
- Pre-heat the oven to 180°C. Line and grease a 20cm round cake tin.
- Beat the butter and sugar together for a couple of minutes until fully incorporated.
- Add the vanilla extract, stir to combine.
- Sift together the plain flour, rice flour then add to the butter and sugar along with the cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Beat until it starts to come together, then tip into the baking tin and press the dough into the tin.
- Bake for 20-30 mins until the top is just starting to turn golden.
- Leave to cool in the tin.
- Once it has cooled you can make the cheesecake. Mix the cream cheese thoroughly with the icing sugar. Add the vanilla and lime juice.
- Whip up the double cream then fold through the cream cheese mixture.
- Hull 100g of the strawberries and arrange hulled end down on top of the snickerdoodle shortbread. Then spoon over the cheesecake mixture, making sure to leave no gaps. Even out the top of the cheesecake with a palette knife.
- Chill in the fridge overnight.
- Whilst it is chilling you can macerate the rest of the strawberries. Hull the fruit then slice lengthways. Coat thoroughly with the brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg and cover with clingfilm then place in the fridge overnight to take on all the sugary flavours.
- The next day, just before serving, carefully remove the cheesecake from the tin and pile the macerated strawberries on top.