Mmmm cheesecake. I love cheese, I love cream, I love digestive biscuits, I love strawberries and I love meringues, so it seemed only natural to combine all 5 of them into one big indulgent dessert over the last bank holiday weekend! With the weather being so sunny recently and summer bring just around the corner (I can’t believe it’s June in 3 weeks time!!!), I wanted to make this pudding a real reminder of how brilliant British summertime is.
Eton Mess is one of those treats that is reserved only for super sunny days that are normally spent watching Wimbledon on the telly or enjoying a barbecue with family and friends, and as these events don’t happen all too often, this is the perfect dessert to give you that combination of strawberries, cream and meringue without indulging too much; too much of a good thing and all that!
This was the first cheesecake I’ve made so I decided to play it safe and go for a fridge-set one rather than a baking it. I’m glad I did it this way and it’s a really easy recipe to follow but next time I will definitely be going for the latter option as having this sit in the fridge to set overnight was rather tempting – it took all my willpower to not demolish the whole thing when I returned home on Saturday night after one two many beer garden drinks!
I sometimes find that cheesecakes can be just a bit too rich or overly sweet but the sugar and cream in this recipe are balanced just right and the finished product is light and sweet without being too overbearing, and if you have a big enough slice, there’s probably enough strawberries there to count as one of your five a day! 😉
Ingredients (Serves 6)
80g Crushed Digestive Biscuits
30g Crushed Ginger Nut Biscuits
100g Butter, melted
150g Philadelphia Cheese (full fat works best – I used Philadelphia)
80g Icing Sugar
125ml Double Cream
1 Tsp Lemon Juice
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
Large Handful Strawberries (5-6), sliced
1 Mini Meringue, crushed
Add the biscuits to a zip lock bag and give them a good bashing with a rolling pin (this is my new favourite way to vent) until the crumbs resemble breadcrumbs – you don’t want them too small so don’t worry if there’s a few chunks in there.
Pour the melted butter into the biscuits and stir together until the crumbs can hold together when pressed.
Add the crumb mixture to the flan/cake tin and press down over the bottom until you have a tightly packed layer.
Move the biscuit base to the fridge whilst you prepare the cream cheese mixture.
In a small mixing bowl beat together the cream cheese, icing sugar, lemon juice and vanilla extract until everything is well mixed.
In a separate bowl whip the double cream until its nicely thickened with soft peaks. Fold the cream into the cream cheese mixture and mix lightly until well combined.
Spoon the cheesecake filling onto the biscuit base and smooth over with a spatula. Put the cheesecake back into the fridge for at least 4-6 hours or (preferably) overnight.
When you’re ready to serve the cheesecake, add the sliced strawberries and crushed meringues to the top of the cake in which ever pattern takes your fancy.
* Do this just before serving to avoid the meringues softening and the strawberry juice leaking into the cheesecake – this will taste just as delicious but it may not look so pretty!
Now serve up to your adoring fans and enjoy the compliments on this fabulous pud!