Sunday, 29 June 2014

Strawberry, Lime And Basil No-Bake Cheesecake

I have to admit, I've been off the cake market for some time. I'm not having a cake affair, I promise (I am not cheating on cake with vegetables!), but I have been busy with exams and work and the like.

Cake, will you be my best friend again??

I've entered my recipe into the Rix Aga Inspired Recipes Competition for June! The theme this month is strawberries, so I think I'm in pretty good shape here :) 

Last week, I went to Taste Of London (where I casually met Michel Roux, who poked me because I was being slow and a bit shy to order at the La Gavroche stall where he was serving. That's right, I got poked by Michel Roux!!!! But more on that in another post) and there was a stall selling jam.

One of the flavours was strawberry, lime and basil, and I loved it! It was incredible, it was inspiration, and then it was very quickly in my mouth. Yummy. So I decided my next recipe was going to be this, in cheesecake form. The combination works incredibly well.

I call it strabaslimeberry cheesecake. 

Enjoy =) 

(I went a little snap happy with the photos... well, actually my boyfriend did who helped me take all of the photos. He says hello!)

No-bake cheesecake is really the easiest thing to make. It doesn't take very long (apart from chilling time, but you just chill during chilling time and don't need to do anything!) at all. 

I'd say that no-bake cheesecake is a lot creamier than New York style cheesecake (the baked type). Just so you know. I prefer it, it's just really...melty...mmmm...

Did you know, strawberries can help whiten your teeth? The acids in the fruit help to remove stains!

Here are step by step instructions below, and you can see the full recipe at the bottom.

Making the digestive biscuit crumb case. I chopped basil and put it into the base for that basil kick. I would recommend you chop it really really fine though, otherwise it get's a bit bitty when you're eating the cheesecake.

Oh, oh! Tip of the day: when trying to get the most juice from a lime/lemon/orange, stab it with a fork and then squeeze it. For even more juice, put the fruit in cold water for two or three minutes then squeeze again.

(This actually reminds me of something from Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince. Remember Harry finds Snape's old book and it has tips in it and one of them was to crush the Sopophorous bean with flat side of silver dagger, which releases juice better than cutting. I don't have a silver dagger and I don't know what a Sopophorous bean is but you get my drift. Sort of.)

Squeeze the juice in to the cream cheese and icing sugar with the zest of one grated lime...

If you managed to make it this far into my post (firstly, congratulations!), then I can tell you now that Tesco's are selling 1kg of strawberries for £3.50. Yes £3.50! You might have to look around a bit in the store but I found it in the Canary Wharf store, so run and get some while you can! And make jam with the leftovers!

Mixing the strawberries into the cream cheese and double cream mixture...

I did mix it afterwards, I promise.

When I make cheesecake, I always line the loose bottomed tin with clingfilm. This way, when you want to get the cheesecake out I take away the sides and lift it on to a plate. Then, use two big flat spatulas and lift up the cake a tiny bit and gently slide away the clingfilm at the bottom.

Decorate with strawberiies, maybe some basil, maybe a squeeze of lime! Whatever tickles your fancy.

Glad to be friends with you again cake, I think we'll have a great summer together! I promise I'll never leave you again.

Strawberry, Lime And Bail No-Bake Cheesecake
Serves 8-10
Takes about 45 mins to an hour, plus chilling time (overnight)

350g digestive biscuits
125g butter, melted
2 limes
A bunch of basil, very finely chopped
600g full fat soft cheese
125g icing sugar
300ml pot double cream
 400g punnet strawberries

First, make the base: Line a 23cm loose-bottomed tin with cling film, making sure the edges go over the side (this helps you lift it out easier). Put the digestive biscuits in a plastic food bag and crush to crumbs (you can use a rolling pin or throw it against the wall for some stress relief, but I’d recommend double bagging it).

Transfer the crumbs to a bowl, then pour over 125g melted butter. Mix thoroughly until the crumbs are completely coated. Tip them into the prepared tin and press firmly down into the base to create an even layer. Chill in the fridge for 1 hr to set firmly.

Whilst the base is chilling, make the cheesecake. Place the soft cheese and icing sugar into a large mixing bowl. Grate in the zest of one lime and squeeze in the juice of both (tip: stab the limes with a fork to get more juice out of it).

Whisk with an electric mixer until smooth. Pour in the double cream and beat until combined (don’t over-whisk). Hull and quarter about three quarters of the strawberries and mix into the cream mixture (don’t worry if it bleeds, creates a beautiful pink colour!)

Spoon the mixture onto the cheesecake bottom, evening out the top with a spatula. Put back in the fridge to set overnight.

To unmould, take the cheesecake out of the fridge and ask a friend to help you lift it out. Both of you take the edges of the clingfim and lift out slowly onto a plate. You can try and slide the cake off the clingfilm by lifting the cheesecake bottom up with two spatulas and gently sliding the clingfilm off. Be careful it doesn’t fall apart at this point!

Hull the remaining strawberries and place on top, and decorate with a few basil leaves.


  1. Just saw this post on Twitter and I am definitely making it for the 4th of July. I have tons of basil in my garden and strawberries are in season in New Jersey. Just need to convert the metric measurements.

  2. Those photos of the juicy scrumptious strawberries look utterly glorious Xinmei- what a perfect way to serve them on a bed of creamy cheesecake.

  3. I was the person who posted above about making this for 4th of July. Just did it and converted everything. I had to add more powdered sugar than you stated (that's icing sugar in the states) and I used heavy cream because we don't have double cream. It looks terrific and tasted great when I was mixing it up. I had fresh basil from my garden and I used graham crackers with the basil for the crust. I put all that in the food processor. I just hope I can get it out of the pan.

    1. Hi Carolyn! Thanks so much for your comments, really glad you liked it. Hope it came out of the pan ok (did you try my cling film method?), I'm sure it was well received!

  4. This looks fabulous, and seems nice and sophisticated despite not needing much in the way of baking skills - right up my street, will definitely try it!

    1. Tried it last weekend and it went down a treat - utterly delicious. My husband was sceptical about the basil but then wanted more on top once he tasted it - it works so well to modify the sweetness of the strawberries and lime.

      Failed miserably with the clingfilm technique - the bottom started crumbling very alarmingly when I tried to lift it off, so next time I might add a bit more butter. But I just put the whole thing on a plate, complete with the loose tin base, cut round the clingfilm and sort of tucked it under so you couldn't see until you served it. By which point everyone was too busy tucking in and going, 'Mmm!!' to mind!

    2. Hi! Glad to hear it went down well :) Hmm sorry to hear about the cling film, but hopefully some more butter next time will be ok :)

      By the way, I just wanted to let you know that I really appreciate your comments. Thank you for taking the time to follow my blog for so long, it's been great receiving your feedback along the way! Thank you!

  5. This looks so summery and fresh! I love that you took the jam and turned it into a cheesecake :D fab idea


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