175g digestive biscuits
500g mascarpone, room temperature
50g hazelnuts, blanched and skinned
600g full-fat cream cheese, room temperature
400g strawberries, hulled and halved
100g unsalted butter
150g castor sugar
1tbsp icing sugar
1 vanilla pod or 1tsp vanilla extract
2tbsp orange liqueur (optional)
3 large free-range eggs, lightly beaten
- Heat the oven to 180°C. Melt the butter in a pan. Crush the biscuits and hazelnuts in a processor to form crumbs. Add the crumbs to the melted butter and stir well. Press into a 23 cm springform tin until compact. Chill in the fridge.
- Beat 200g mascarpone and 500g cream cheese until smooth, using an electric whisk. Beat in the sugar and cornflour. Gradually add the eggs, whisking until smooth. Split the vanilla pod in half (lengthways) using a sharp knife and scrape seeds into the mixture; or add the extract. Stir well.
- Pour the mixture into the cake tin. Put on a baking sheet and transfer to the middle shelf of the oven for 1 hr, or until almost set but with a slight wobble (don’t worry if the top cracks slightly, it will be covered later). Remove from the oven and cool completely.
- Beat together the remaining mascarpone and cream cheese, and spread over the top of the cheesecake. Keep in the fridge until ready to serve.
Put the strawberries in a bowl with the icing sugar and orange liqueur, and leave to macerate for 15 min. Arrange the strawberries on the cheesecake.
Light and fruity – the perfect pud for a spring braai