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Fromage Frais Cheesecake with Strawberry Sauce

Whenever I see cheesecake on a menu I'm filled with longing – there's something awfully comforting about cheesecake – but the question always arises as to whether it will or will not be cloying (and if it is, what a waste of calories!). This version is definitely not cloying: it's light in texture and, made with fromage frais, a bit lighter on the calories, too.

 
 
 Fromage Frais Cheesecake with Strawberry Sauce

  Serves 8

Ingredients
For the filling:
 12 oz (350 g) fromage frais (8 per cent)
 12 oz (350 g) full-fat curd cheese
 3 large eggs
 6 oz (175 g) caster sugar
 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the topping:
 1½ lb (700 g) strawberries, hulled
 2 level tablespoons caster sugar
For the base:
 6 oz (175 g) sweet oat biscuits
 2 oz (50 g) butter, melted
 2 oz (50 g) coarsely chopped toasted hazelnuts
 Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 2, 300°F (150°C).
Oven temperatures and Conversions
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Equipment
You will also need a 9 inch (23 cm) springform cake tin.

This recipe is taken from Delia Smith's Summer Collection.

Method

Begin by crushing the biscuits in a food processor, or by putting them in a plastic bag and rolling them with a rolling pin, then mix them with the melted butter and stir in the hazelnuts.

Now press the mixture into the base of the tin and pop it into the fridge to firm up while the filling is made.

For this combine, in a large bowl, the curd cheese, fromage frais, eggs, sugar and vanilla, using an electric hand whisk to beat everything together until silky smooth. Now pour this mixture over the biscuit base and place on the centre shelf of the oven to cook for 30 minutes.

At the end of the cooking time, turn off the oven, but leave the cheesecake in the cooling oven to set until it's completely cold (I find that this is the best method as it prevents cracking).

Remove the cheesecake from the oven and from the tin, transfer it to a plate, cover and chill till needed.

For the topping, weigh out 8 oz (225 g) of the strawberries into a bowl, sprinkle them with the caster sugar and leave to soak for 30 minutes.

After that, pile these strawberries and the sugar into a food processor and purée, then pass the purée through a nylon sieve to remove the seeds.

To serve the cheesecake, arrange the remaining strawberries all over the surface, then spoon some of the purée over them and hand the rest of the purée separately.

 

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