Monday, 4 June 2012
Strawberry daiquiri festival cake
My friend has made a tradition of throwing a start-of-summer BBQ party, which this year coincided perfectly with the Jubilee weekend. The theme for the party is essentially to celebrate the summer by ingesting way too many strawberry daiquiris, to me the Queen of all drinks. This year, I wanted to make a dessert that would go with the theme, and ended up with this strawberry daiquiri cheesecake.
This is partially inspired by several different recipes I have browsed online (including this one from Kinuskikissa), but essentially is something I threw together myself. The recipe contains strawberry vinegar, as I bought a bottle of it from a lovely little shop in York called The Hairy Fig. If you don't have any, just leave it out. I think it brings a nice little tangy addition to the recipe, but I'm sure it won't change the flavour too much if you leave it out.
Strawberry daiquiri cheese cake (serves about 8-12):
150g (about 10) Digestive biscuits
300ml double cream
150g white chocolate
2tsp vanilla paste
3tbsp strawberry vinegar
Juice from 1 lime
White rum to taste
2tbsp strawberry vinegar
3 tbsp icing sugar
26g (2 sachets) gelatin
Crush the biscuits (I used a food processor), melt the butter and mix. Press the mixture onto the bottom of a 24cm circular cake tin. Put in the fridge to set while making the filling.
Whip cream until soft and fluffy, melt chocolate. Mix all ingredients, and spoon on top of the crust. Use a spoon or a spatula to smooth the top and make it as even as possible. Let set for several hours or over night.
To make the strawberry daiquiri topping, use a handheld mixer to puree the strawberries. Add lime juice, strawberry vinegar, icing sugar, mix. Add rum to taste (I added quite a few tablespoons, I wanted the rum taste to come through to go with the drinks we would be having). In a saucepan, mix about 100ml of water with a few tbsps of the strawberry mix, heat until boiling, take off the stove, and mix in gelatin. Mix until all of the gelatin has melted, add to the rest of the strawberry daiquiri mix. Cool the strawberry mix in a cold water bath until it starts to get thick, then pour onto the top of the cake and let set for several hours in the fridge (or in an emergency, about an hour in the freezer).
When you create your own recipes, you often have a very clear picture in your head what they are supposed to taste like. To me, this didn't quite go as planned, the flavours were just a bit too mild. The good thing was that the cake was definitely not too sweet, and it got good feedback from others eating it, so I guess it didn't turn out too bad. I would probably change it a bit next time, throw in more chocolate, and maybe switch from mascarpone to Philadelphia. However, the cheese layer was now very light (in texture if not calorie content) thanks to the mascarpone and whipped cream, with Philly it would probably be a bit more like "traditional cheesecake". The reason I wanted to use mascarpone here was that the previous cheese cakes I experimented with (and should finish the post so that I can get it online) were made from Philadelphia and turned out a bit too rich for me. Thinking about it, a mix of Philly and mascarpone might be the best option. Also, the nice thing of this cake is that the white chocolate in the cheese cake layer makes it firm up nicely, so you don't need to add gelatin to set the cheese cake layer.
One thing I definitely had problems with was getting the strawberry layer to set. Well, actually the problem was just my timing. I recommend you make the cake one day ahead, making the crust and cheesecake layer in the morning, letting it cool all day, then making the strawberry layer in the evening and letting it set all night. I made the cheesecake layer the night before, and only had a few hours to let the strawberry layer to set and had to take the cake over to a friend's house to let it set in the freezer (my own freezer is not big enough to fit a cake...). But all is well that ends well, the cake set just in time.