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Strawberry Cheesecake

by Bryony Harrison (follow)
Poems on the Page: tinyurl.com/pgyyx76
Cheesecake (70)      Strawberries (55)      Honey (54)      Creme Fraiche (9)      Vanilla Essence (2)      Curd Cheese (1)      Vanilla Extract (1)     

Did you know that the Greeks and Romans were great lovers of cheese? To them, cheese was like sweeties are for us. The Romans were the first to make cakes with cheese, and they were for special occasions such as a savoury cake for sacrifices or a sweet cake for weddings. One recipe was a wedding cake made with cheese, grapes, and spices. Today we still use that combination, particularly after or before dinner on a cheeseboard platter.

It was not until the 17th century that the term 'cheesecake' was used, but oddly enough, there was no cheese in it. The cake was a sweet custard-like dish made from curd or eggs.

The New York Cheesecake is probably the most well known version, but It was actually in Europe that the first cream cheese recipes were made. They were then brought to America with the arrival of European settlers. The New York Cheesecake became famous in the 1920s when it was introduced in Jewish delis. The sweet and dense desert was a variational on a traditional Italian cheesecake.

Whatever its origins, cheesecakes are delicious; the one problem is, that with all the cheese, cream, and buttery digestive base, they can be quite fattening. I have come up with a recipe to cut the calories, totalling to approximately 197 calories per slice based on the brands I used.

Preparation Time: 25 minutes
Cooking Time: 0 minutes
Makes: 8 servings

400g strawberries
170g fruit muesli
20g New Zealand wildflower honey
50g Flora lighter than light margarine
227g curd cheese
300g half fat creme fraiche
50g icing sugar
1tbsp vanilla essence
1tsp water

Melt the honey and butter in a saucepan.
Blend it with muesli in a food processor, then leave to chill in the fridge.
Beat the curd cheese, Creme Fraiche, 25g icing sugar, and vanilla essence together.
Take the muesli base out of the fridge, and spread the cheese mixture on top.
Leave it in the fridge to chill.
Take off the strawberry stalks and puree 300g of the strawberries in a food processor with the water and remaining icing sugar.
Take the cheesecake out of the fridge and spread the puree on top.
Decorate with the remaining strawberries and chill in the fridge to set.

#Creme Fraiche
#Curd Cheese
#Vanilla Essence
#Vanilla Extract
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