Dan Hargreaves’ Useful Cheats’ Cheesecake

Another of the chefs demonstrating at Scarborough’s Seafest last summer was Dan Hargreaves, the head chef at The Grainary. He’s a ‘self-confessed’ mad foodie, a big supporter of his home town, and he also runs a community apple press producing Hedgehoggers cider (subject of a later post).

I immediately warmed to Dan when he said that he understood chefs often demonstrated dishes which were completely impossible for the normal non-professional to achieve. “I know you’re all busy” he said, “so I thought I would just demonstrate a couple of ideas which are simple, easy, and quick for anyone to do” Throughout the audience a relieved and hearty cheer went up!

This cheesecake was one of those ideas, and, indeed, it is, literally, as well as metaphorically, a piece of cake….

Dan suggests using strawberries to decorate this cake “because they are light and not too sweet, but obviously you can use whatever is to hand.” Strawberries are classic, but I think a mix of fruit might also look a bit more interesting. This is quite a sweet recipe so use fruit which is a little sharp.

Recipe for Dan Hargreaves’ Useful Cheats’ Cheesecake

Serves about ten

NB – the crust is best made the day before

  • 250g cheapest digestive biscuits (you can also add some chopped nuts – which can be quite nice)
  • 100g melted butter
  • 600 ml double cream
  • 280g cream cheese
  • ½ tbsp. icing sugar
  • Juice and zest of a lime (this sets the cake)
  • 300g strawberries
  1. Put the digestive biscuits in a freezer bag and bash to make rough crumbs.
  2. Empty into a mixing bowl and add the melted butter – mix.
  3. Line a removeable base cake tin with baking paper – grease both sides.
  4. Line the lined base with the biscuit base mixture.
  5. Put in the fridge.
  6. Using the same mixing bowl in which you made the base whisk together the cream, the cream cheese, the icing sugar, and the lime juice. Keep whisking until it’s thick.
  7. Fill the cake tin with the mixture, scatter over the lime zest, and leave to set overnight.
  8. The following day, just before you are due to serve, turn the cake out onto an attractive plate.
  9. Cut the bottoms off the strawberries, slice, and use to decorate the cake artfully.
Dan Hargreave's useful cheesecake recipe
Dan Hargreave's useful cheesecake recipe
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