By Tetemui Temui

Rich cheesecake slathered in a sticky, sweet rolanberry compote.

Serves only one many people
Preparation time: approx. 3 hours
Baking time: approx. 30 minutes

You will need:

For the dough:

  • 190 grams of flour (approx. 1.5 cups)
  • 60 grams of almond flour (approx. ½ cup)
  • 60 grams of icing sugar (approx. ½ cup)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 120 grams of soft butter (approx ½ cup)

For the fruit filling:

  • 300 grams of strawberries (approx. 2 cups)
  • 200 grams of sugar (approx. 1 cup)
  • some lemon juice
  • 2 Tbs. cornstarch

For the cheesecake:

  • Approx. 9 grams of powdered gelatin or an equivalent of 6 sheets (approx. 1 small package)
  • 500 grams of cream cheese (approx. 16 oz.)
  • 200 grams of sugar (approx. 1 cup)
  • the juice of 1 large lime
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 200 grams of heavy cream (approx. 1 cup)

If you’re an avid reader of our Aetherflow magazines, the dough might sound familiar…yes! It’s precisely the same recipe used as the base of the Sohm Al Tarte featured in our very first issue! So this means, just mix all ingredients together to form a smooth dough and refrigerate for about 30 minutes. Prepare and grease a large 8- to 9-inch tart pan. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Roll out your dough and cover your pan with it. Relieve your tension by forking the bottom of the tart. Place a sheet of baking paper over your tart and add your baking weights. If you don’t have baking weights, use the small coins you have been collecting for years instead. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown. Take out of the oven, remove the weights, and let the tart cool down completely.

Time for the fruit filling! Wash and hull your strawberries and puree them in a blender (or however you puree fruit. This includes purchasing ready-made puree. Just don’t tell anybody when serving). Pour the puree into a pot and add the remaining ingredients. Heat the strawberry mixture over medium heat until the filling becomes viscous and very bubbly. Keep stirring to avoid the filling from overflowing and ruining your entire stove. Trust me, I’ve been there and the situation is an endlessly sticky one. Transfer the bubbly sauce to a heat-proof pitcher and let it cool down to room temperature.

On to the cream cheese! Now, US cream cheese is quite different from European ones, and if you, like me, have been regularly struggling with runny cream cheese frostings, the trick for European cream cheeses is to press out all the excess liquids out of the cream cheese. I usually dump my cream cheese in two layers of kitchen paper (muslin cloth works as well), and squeeze out as much liquid as I can, repeating this process 2-3 times. I recommend to do this for this recipe as well, but, unlike cream cheese frosting, the success of your cheesecake will not depend on this, since we will be using gelatin anyway.

Next, we will first soak our powdered gelatin in about 60 milliliters of water (approx. ¼ cup) to let it bloom. In the meantime, you can whisk the cream cheese with the sugar, lime juice, and vanilla extract.

Heat your gelatin in the microwave until hot and melted, but not boiling. I usually use the highest setting and microwave, checking at 10 second intervals, until the liquid seems smooth. In this case I needed a total of 40 seconds plus the stirring in between. Let the gelatin mixture cool down a bit.

Whip your heavy cream until soft peaks form (really, don’t overdo it). Carefully fold it into your cream cheese mixture. Add a few tablespoons of your cream cheese filling to the gelatin and stir until well combined. Add another tablespoon or two and repeat. Now you can add the gelatin back into your cream cheese mixture.

Now it’s time to pour the filling into the crust! Fill the crust about half to ¾ full. Carefully pour the strawberry filling into the cream cheese mixture, creating swirling patterns. If you’re not completely happy, you can use a fork to swirl a bit more. Be careful to not stir too much though, or else your cream cheese will become pink. Put your cream cheese in the refrigerator and let it set (at least 2 hours).