Recipe & Images by Claire Livia Lassam
Despite cheesecake being decidedly out of vogue, you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who doesn’t love the stuff. Creamy and tangy, it’s the stuff of childhood dreams. But on top of being less than stylish, cheesecake is trickier than it seems, with its tendency to crack, and a need for hours of oven time. This mousse-like version plays to the creamy-tangy, but keeps it light, and barely requires any heat at all.
- 340g strawberries, cut into quarters
- ¼ cup honey
- ½ tsp rose water (optional)
- 1 tsp gelatin powder
- ¼ cup honey
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 1 cup mascarpone cheese
- 2/3 cup icing sugar
- zest of a lemon
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup whipping cream
To make the macerated strawberries, in a medium bowl, combine the strawberries, honey, and rose water, if using. Cover and let sit for at least 20 minutes, or up to 8 hours, at room temperature.
To make the cheesecake, combine the gelatin and honey in a medium heatproof bowl. Let stand for 5 minutes. Bring a small saucepan of water to a bare simmer. Place the bowl on top and stir for a minute or two, until the gelatin has completely dissolved.
In the bowl of a food processor, blend ricotta, mascarpone, and icing sugar until just smooth (if you overwork it, it will split). Add lemon and vanilla and pulse until just combined. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
In a medium bowl, whip the cream until soft peaks form. Gently fold half of the whipped cream into the cheese mixture. Once combined, add half of the cheese mixture into the gelatin, stirring quickly to combine before the gelatin sets. Add back to the cheese mixture, and fold in the remaining whipped cream.
To serve, fill each glass with alternating layers of mousse and strawberries.
Note: You can prepare the cheese mousse in advance; it will keep refrigerated in an airtight container for up to four days.