3 min Read

Strawberry and White Chocolate Frozen Cheesecake with Basil Sugar

cheesecake topped with strawberries and basil

Recipe and image courtesy of Gavan Knox.


Cheesecake Base
1 1/2 cups Graham cracker crumbs (approx 10 full crackers, crushed)
5 tbsp salted butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp ground cinnamon

Cheesecake filling
5 oz white chocolate, broken into pieces
12 oz full fat cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup icing sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp maple syrup, or honey
1 cup whipping cream
1 lb strawberries, chopped small

Basil sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, torn

Macerated strawberries
1 cup strawberries, chopped small
3 tbsp birch syrup


Cheesecake base
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F

Double line a 9-inch cake pan (with 2-inch-high sides) or spring-form tin. Set aside until needed. Heat a thick-bottomed pan on medium heat. Add the butter and stir until melted.

The butter will start to foam up a bit and then subside. Watch carefully as lightly browned specks begin to form at the bottom of the pan, and the foam starts to turn brown in spots. Smell the butter, it should have a nutty aroma.

Remove from the heat and pour the brown butter into a bowl to stop it from cooking further. Add in the dry ingredients and stir until evenly combined.

Press the butter mixture into your prepared tin. Use the back of a large spoon or measuring cup to press the crumbs into an even layer on the bottom of the tin.

Bake in the preheated oven for 10 mins. After the cooking time remove from the oven and allow to cool fully before filling.

Cheesecake filling
Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water, or in the microwave in 20-second bursts, occasionally stirring until fully melted. Set aside to cool whilst preparing the rest of the filling.

In the bowl of a stand mixer combine the icing sugar, cream cheese, vanilla extract and maple syrup. Beat on medium speed until smooth and silky.

In a separate bowl, whip the whipping cream until soft peaks form. Transfer into the stand mixer bowl with the cream cheese mixture and beat on medium speed until thick.

Pour into the cooled melted white chocolate and beat on medium until combined.

Remove the bowl and fold the chopped strawberries into the cream cheese mixture for a couple of minutes.

Pour the strawberry cream cheese mixture over the crumb base and smooth.

Gently press a layer of cling wrap over the surface of the cheesecake to protect it while it freezes. Place the cheesecake flat in the freezer for 3 hours until lightly frozen. While the cheesecake freezes, prepare the basil sugar.

Basil sugar
In a food processor, pulse the sugar and basil until uniform in colour and nicely green. Store in an airtight jar in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Shake or stir the jar and contents
occasionally to redistribute the flavour. Set aside until needed.

Macerated strawberries
In a bowl, stir to combine the chopped strawberries and birch syrup. Cover and refrigerate until needed. Stir well prior to using.

Remove the cheesecake from the freezer approximately 10 minutes before serving. Run a warm knife under hot water and use to run the rim of the tin to loosen the cheesecake edge. Remove from the tin and garnish with basil sugar and macerated strawberries. Again use a warm knife to slice the cheesecake into portions

If you prefer a more standard chilled cheesecake, remove from the freezer 2 hours before serving and allow to defrost in the fridge prior to slicing.

Cheesecake will keep in the fridge, lightly wrapped in cling wrap, for up to 3 days.

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