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Nadiya Hussain’s Eton Mess Cheesecake

Inspired by the flavours of a classic Eton mess, this creamy cheesecake is decorated with meringue kisses and chocolate-dipped strawberries. A real showstopper of a dessert.

From the book


Though I love a baked cheesecake, I also love the ease of a cheesecake that sets in the fridge. Since the cake itself is simple to make, it gives me lots more time for creating decorations, like the beautiful meringue kisses and dehydrated strawberries that jazz up the top of this one.

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For the cheesecake:
250g digestive biscuits, crushed
100g unsalted butter, melted
300ml double cream
100g icing sugar
1 tbsp vanilla bean paste
600g full-fat cream cheese
18g freeze-dried strawberry pieces
For the sauce:
200g strawberries, hulled
15g icing sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
For the mini meringues:
50g egg whites (from 1–2 large eggs)
100g caster sugar
red gel food colouring
For the decoration:
15 strawberries, whole
100g white chocolate, melted
10 dehydrated strawberry slices, sprayed with gold lustre (optional)

Essential kit

You will need: a round cake tin, an electric mixer and piping bags.

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Lightly grease a loose-bottomed 23cm round cake tin and line with baking paper.

Put the crushed biscuits in a bowl with the melted butter. Mix till it resembles wet sand. Empty into the cake tin and pack tightly with the back of a spoon, then place in the fridge for 15 minutes.

Whip the cream to soft peaks with the icing sugar and vanilla. Put the cream cheese into another bowl and stir to slacken.

Add the cream mix to the cream cheese, along with the strawberries, and fold together gently. Add to the chilled base and level off. Chill in the fridge while you prepare everything else.

To make the strawberry sauce, put the strawberries, icing sugar and lemon juice into a mixer and pulse to a purée. Transfer to a bowl and set aside in the fridge.

For the meringues, preheat the oven to 120°C/100°C/gas ½ and line a baking tray with baking paper. Fit a piping bag with a 1.5cm star tip nozzle and turn inside out. Stand it in a tall glass or jug.

Put the egg whites in a clean bowl and whisk. After 2 minutes they should be frothy and increased in volume. Gradually add the sugar, a little at a time, whisking constantly to form stiff peaks.

Using a brush and red food colouring, paint the inside of the piping bag with stripes, starting at the tip and painting up as far as you will fill the bag. Fill the bag with the meringue mix and pipe little kisses on to the tray. Bake for 1 hour, then turn off the oven, open the door and leave the meringues inside for another hour.

Remove the meringues from their tray and turn the baking paper over. Holding the strawberries by the stalk, dip them threequarters of the way into the white chocolate. Place on the tray to set – you can put the tray in the fridge to speed this up.

Remove the cheesecake from the fridge, take out of the tin, and place on a presentation plate or stand. Decorate just before serving: pour over enough sauce to just cover the top (you may not need it all), and top with chocolate strawberries, mini meringues and lustred dehydrated strawberry slices.

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From the book: Nadiya’s British Food Adventure

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