Chocolate Strawberry Cheesecake

Utensils: 23cm round fluted loose base tart tin

Serves: 8

Ingredients

  • 435g Vanilla Bean Sweet Shortcrust Pastry, defrosted
  • 250ml moscato
  • 1 vanilla bean split
  • 110g caster sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 500g strawberries
  • 500g cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 2 large eggs, lightly whisked
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
  • Zest 1 lemon
  • 250g mascarpone
  • 2 tablespoons grated chocolate for decorating (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh mint finely chopped (optional)

Method

  1. Combine moscato, caster sugar, water and vanilla bean in a saucepan placed over medium heat. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes or until mixture reaches a syrup consistency. Discard vanilla bean, then set aside to cool.
  2. Lightly dust work surface with flour and roll the pastry out a little further to give you an extra 2cm all round. Use a 26cm round plate as a template to cut a circle.
  3. Line the 23cm tart tin with the pastry, gently push the pastry into the tart, line with baking paper and fill with baking weights, making sure you fill the weights to the top of your tart to support the sides during baking.
  4. Place the tart on a baking tray and bake for 20 minutes, then remove weights and return to oven for a further 5 minutes. Once pastry case is baked reduce oven temperature to 160C fan-forced.
  5. For the filling place the cream cheese, sugar, eggs, vanilla paste and lemon zest in a food processor blitz until smooth and well combined (or mix in Thermomix mix on speed 4 until combined). Now add mascarpone and pulse until just combined.
  6. Leaving the prepared tart shell on the baking tray pour in the cream cheese filling, bake in preheated oven at 160c fan-forced (180c non-fan) for 1 hour or until the centre has a slight wobble. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 20 minutes before removing from tart tin.
  7. While the tart is baking prepare the strawberries. Depending on size of strawberries you can cut them in half or quarters or even thick slices, add these to the cooled syrup and leave to macerate for 30 minutes.
  8. Place the tart on a serving platter, just before serving use a slotted spoon to remove the strawberries from the syrup, scatter over the top of the tart then drizzle with a little of the syrup. If using, top with the grated chocolate and chopped mint.
  9. Save any leftover syrup for drizzling over each slice.
  10. Tip: The Moscato Syrup can be made the day before.
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