My page flip wasn’t perfect this week, so I had a couple of options. This was the winning cheesecake (found on page 221) because of the seasonal flavours. Ontario strawberries are delicious at the moment, and I crave citrus when it’s hot outside. I actually had a couple of margaritas on a patio yesterday. El Rey in Kensington Market is the best! The spongecake base seemed odd, as I’m accustomed to a graham crust. This method is inspired by Junior’s Cheesecake in Brooklyn. Their classic New York cheesecake was rated “Best Overall” by the Wall Street Journal. So, there you go.
I can’t believe I’ve gone this many years without a spring-form pan. I found a decent one at my grocery shop as I picked up my missing ingredients. It’s going to be life-changing. After zesting a couple of limes, I beat together most of the sponge ingredients before folding in the meringue. I liked how there was a bit of lime in both the base and the filling, for a bit of extra zing.
The filling called for an impressive 900 grams of cream cheese! While at the grocery store, I realized that most cream cheese products are actually “cream cheese spreads” that have unappealing additives. The same goes for sour cream. I went for the slightly more expensive options, with ingredients that made sense, such as “cream”. It took a while to get the filling to a lovely smooth texture, using both my mixer and hand beater. I poured the giant vat of creaminess onto the baked sponge and I was pleased at how I could see the vanilla bean specks through the cake.
As the cake was baking, I washed and tasted a few of the red strawberries, and sang along to Les Miserables. If you’re a fellow theatre nerd, you’ll appreciate that the only quality soundtrack is the 10th anniversary concert version. My boyfriend got to see the Spanish version of the show in Mexico City today. Once the cake was finished (it took about 10 minutes longer than called for, but my oven is a bit weak), I roasted the strawberries and set everything aside to cool.
I couldn’t help but cut a small slice before the cake was completely cool. With the smell of lime and the drizzle of strawberry juice, it was too tempting. The cake held together nicely when cut, and it wasn’t overly rich. The light quality was a nice surprise as sometimes cheesecakes can be overwhelming. The filling was fluffy and creamy, with just the right amount of lime. I actually prefer the sponge base over other options. This was a proper almost-summer treat!