New York-style baked strawberry cheesecake


This is an extract from Bish Bash Bosh by Henry Firth and Ian Theasby (HQ Non Fiction, $39.99).

Serves: 10-12

  • 400g cashews
  • 120g light digestive biscuits
  • 120g ginger biscuits
  • 100ml light olive oil
  • A pinch of salt
  • 300g dairy-free white chocolate
  • 2 lemons
  • 340g silken tofu
  • 300g icing sugar
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 3 tsp vanilla extract
  • 400g strawberries
  • 50g golden caster sugar

Preheat oven to 180°C, and place a baking tray on the middle shelf of the oven. Base-line a 23cm spring-form cake tin with parchment paper (don’t grease the sides).

Put the cashews in a pan of hot water and boil for 15 minutes until soft and rehydrated (alternatively, soak them overnight in cold water). Drain.

Put all the biscuits in the food processor and blitz to crumbs. Add the oil and a pinch of salt and pulse to mix. Tip into the lined cake tin and press firmly until well compacted and even. Put in the oven and bake for 15–20 minutes, until firm. Remove and leave to cool for 10 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 110°C and put the tray back in.

Meanwhile, melt the chocolate. Pour 3cm hot water into the small saucepan and bring to the boil. Lower to a simmer. Put the heatproof bowl on top of the pan, ensuring the water doesn’t touch the bottom. Break the chocolate into the bowl and leave to melt (alternatively, melt in the microwave in 15-second bursts). Remove and leave to cool a little. Separate 2 tablespoons of the chocolate from the main batch

Zest the lemons into a liquidiser (or blender), then cut them in half and squeeze in the juice. Add the main batch of chocolate, the silken tofu, drained cashews, icing sugar, coconut oil and vanilla extract and blend until smooth.

Layer up your cheesecake. Lightly brush the biscuit base with the reserved 2 tablespoons of melted chocolate. Pour over the cheesecake mixture and shake gently to level it. Lightly run your finger over the surface to get rid of any bubbles. Put the tin on the hot baking tray and bake for 80–90 minutes, until set but still slightly wobbly in the middle. Remove from the oven and run a thin spatula or knife around the edge to separate the cake from the tin, then leave it to cool to room temperature. Transfer the cheesecake to a plate. Refrigerate.

Hull the strawberries and halve or quarter them. Put them into the medium saucepan with the sugar. Put the pan over a medium heat and stir. Macerate for 2–3 minutes so the sugar melts and strawberries soften slightly. Set aside to cool then pile on to the cheesecake. Serve.

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