The global gluten-free phenomenon that is Becky Excell is back at it again, sharing with us another of her perfect-10 creations. On the table this time around is her no-bake, make-in-30-minutes strawberry cheesecake inspired by its packet mix counterparts found at the supermarket.
“I’m not gonna lie, my inspiration for this recipe was a bog-standard, boxed, frozen cheesecake in the supermarket which has screamed ‘eat me’ at me for the last decade. Sadly, a gluten-free version never came to exist, so I recreated it myself,” says Excell.
- 320g (11½oz) gluten-free digestive biscuits (graham crackers)
- 150g (⅔ cup) butter, melted
- 600g (2⅔ cups) mascarpone
- 100g (¾ cup minus ½ tbsp) icing (confectioners’) sugar, sifted
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 300ml (1¼ cups) double (heavy) cream
- 200g (7oz) strawberries, hulled and chopped
- 150g (5oz) strawberries, hulled and quartered
- 60g (5 tbsp) caster (superfine) sugar
- 2 tbsp water
- 1½ tsp cornflour (cornstarch)
200g (7oz) strawberries, hulled and halved
Takes: 30 minutes + five hours chilling
Serves: 12 generous slices
- Firstly, make your base. In a food processor, blitz the biscuits to a crumb-like texture – not into a fine dust! Alternatively, pop the biscuits into a zip-lock bag and bash them with a rolling pin. Place in a large bowl and pour in your melted butter. Mix well.
- Spoon the mixture into a round 20cm (8in) loose-bottomed or springform tin (pan). Compact it into the base in an even layer, then chill in the fridge for 30 minutes and up to an hour, while you make your filling.
- I use a stand mixer to make the filling, but you can easily do this using an electric hand whisk. Doing this process by hand is achievable, but in that case it’s vital that you whisk long enough (as you’re far more likely to undermix by hand).
- Place your mascarpone, icing sugar and vanilla extract into the bowl
- of the stand mixer. Mix on a low to medium speed for 10–20 seconds, then add your cream.
- At a medium speed, mix for 2 more minutes, or until it begins to firm up. Definitely don’t overmix as the mixture can split. It should end up as a nice, thick, spoonable consistency, not a pourable one. Gently fold in your chopped strawberries until evenly dispersed.
- Spread your filling evenly on top of the chilled biscuit base and place into the fridge to chill for at least 5 hours, but ideally overnight.
- For the sauce, place a medium saucepan over a low heat and add the quartered strawberries, sugar and water. Simmer for 10 minutes, or until the sugar has dissolved and the strawberries have softened, then break them down with the back of a wooden spoon.
- Sieve the mixture into a small bowl and pour the liquid back into the saucepan. Stir in the cornflour and continue to simmer and stir until the mixture thickens, then allow to cool briefly.
- Arrange your halved strawberries for decorating on top of the cheesecake, flat-side down. Pour over the strawberry sauce, carefully remove from the tin and serve.
- Store in the fridge (ideally covered or in an airtight container) or slice and freeze for up to 3 months.
Making it dairy-free or vegan?
Use a hard dairy-free butter alternative, dairy-free cream cheese (minimum 23% fat) and dairy-free cream (minimum 30% fat).
This is an edited extract from How To Bake Anything Gluten-Free by Becky Excell published by Quadrille.
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Image credit: supplied