I've baked this before end of last year. It was a huge success then. And since my beloved monster sis requested for a cheesecake, I baked this again to satisfy her cravings. :)
This time around, instead of strawberry pieces, I used fresh whole strawberries. And the results - they look so lovely sitting on a dollop of strawberry preserve on top of the cheesecake squares.
This recipe from Joy Of Baking is good. I like that the ingredients are minimal. For the crust, only digestive biscuits, a little butter and sugar. And to make the filling, besides the obvious cream cheese and a little sugar, I like the addition of lemon zest and juice into it. It adds some tangy-ness into the rich cream cheese.
The adding of the preserve serves two purposes. One, is so that the strawberry is able to sit on top of each squares. Second, is that the sweetness of the jam complements the rather tart strawberry flavour.
They're so pretty that I don't want to eat them.
And oohh....hubby even ate two pieces. I was so happy when he asked for the second piece! :)
Recipe: Cheesecake Squares (copied from JoyOfBaking.com)
Graham Cracker Crust:
2 cups (200 grams) graham wafer crumbs or crushed digestive cookies (biscuits) - (I used McVitie's Digestive)
2 tablespoons (30 grams) granulated white sugar
1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, melted
2 - 8 ounces (454 grams) cream cheese, softened - (I used Philadelphia)
1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated white sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest (outer yellow skin of lemon)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract - I used Vanilla Essence
2 large eggs-
Fresh Berries - (I used fresh whole strawberries and some preserve)
Graham Cracker Crust: In a small bowl combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter. Press mixture evenly over the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Increase the oven temperature to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).
Cheesecake Filling: In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla extract and beat until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, as needed. Pour the cheesecake filling over the graham cracker base and bake for about 20 minutes or until the cheesecake batter is just set.
Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Place in the refrigerator for a few hours to make the squares easier to cut. To cut into squares - place on a cutting board, remove the foil, and with a sharp knife, cut into 2 inch squares. Have a damp cloth on hand to wipe the knife between cuts.
Garnish with fresh berries, if desired.
Makes about 24 - 2 inch (5 cm) squares. (I cut it into 16 equal squares on a 9-inch square pan)