Something that amazes me about human beings is our ability to form associations. I have no idea how it works, but somehow our brain responds to certain triggers which can allow us to associate certain smells, tastes, people, places and even memories with other things. For example, I always associate the smell after it rains with a family trip to the zoo when I was little and I claimed to be Dr Doolittle and persisted to go around talking to the animals whilst it was chucking it down. I always associate the song 'Breakfast at Tiffany's' by Deep Blue Something with my Dad laughing non stop at me for getting the words wrong and believing that 'Tiffany' was referring to Tiffany from Eastenders!! And, well, I always associate home made cheesecake with my Dad!
My Dad was known for his currys and his cheesecakes. He didn't have that much of a sweet tooth (I got that from my Mum!!!) but, he was always partial to a home made cheesecake, and my word, were they the best thing EVER!! My Dad really did try very hard to keep our family together but he didn't always get everything right. Something I guess you only really appreciate when you look back and reminisce. However, you could guarantee that his ideas for day trips, his leftover turkey currys and his cheesecakes were ALWAYS right. This will never be as good as his, but I will try, just like he did.
(You will need a 20cm Spring Form Tin which will serve about 8 people)
175g Digestive Biscuits (or ginger nuts/shortbread)
300g Cream Cheese
200g Fromage Frais
200g White Chocolate (plus extra for grated decoration)
1. Place the biscuits in a food bag and tie quite tightly. Bash the biscuits to death using a rolling a pin (great if you are feeling stressed/angry) until they resemble quite fine crumbs. Tip them into a large mixing bowl.
2. Melt the butter on the stove until completely liquid. Pour onto the biscuit crumbs and stir until combined. Place the buttery biscuit mixture into your tin and compress it firmly so that it reaches each part of the tin and is evenly spread. Chill in the fridge.
3. Mix the cream cheese and fromage frais in a mixing bowl.
4. Using a ban marie (or in the microwave if you prefer) melt the white chocolate. Allow to cool a little and then spoon it into the cream cheese and fromage frais mixture and fold it in until combined.
5. Chop the strawberries (save 6 or so for decoration if you wish) into SMALL pieces (you will see why later) and scatter throughout the cheesecake mixture. Fold in until everything is nicely mixed.
6. Remove the biscuit base from the fridge and spoon the mixture into the tin. Flatten with the back of a spoon or a spatula until the cheesecake looks smooth, glossy and appetising.
7. For added decoration slice the 6 saved strawberries in half and place in a pretty pattern on top of the cheesecake. Place back in the fridge and allow to chill and set for at least 4hours (the longer you leave it, the nicer it is, in my opinion).
8. Just before you serve it, grate some white chocolate and scatter on the top of the cheesecake, just for an added bit of yumminess!!!
This looks pretty spectacular, a real centre piece and I'm quite proud of how pretty it looks. However, something was missing! It didn't have that "Yum! Eat some more!" 'ness about it. You could really taste the yoghurt and it made it have a bit of a sour after taste. My Dad's were always really thick and sweet, but mine was a bit gloopy and liquidy (I added 400g of Strawberry chunks and I think this is what made it liquidy). It looked FAR better than it tasted (however, Andy really enjoyed it). What would have made it absolutely fabulous is a brown sugar layer on top of the cheesecake and then blow torched so it had a creme brulee look to it.
Defo going to try another cheesecake, as I'm not entirely happy with this one, but I still thought it was worth blogging. Please feel free to try this recipe yourself and let me know how you get on. And also, upload a picture!!