Individual Strawberry Cheesecake Tarts – all the rich, smooth and creamy goodness of a cheesecake sandwiched between a chocolate ganache-smothered piece of buttery pastry and fresh, sweet strawberries. Even I – someone like me who would never ever ever choose a tart off a dessert menu ever ever ever (extra evers for emphasis!) – struggle to stop at one when these tarts are made.
By the time you’re reading this, my -gulp- mother-in-law will be nicely settled in, ready to enjoy spending a fortnight with us. That’s right – an entire fortnight. We just sent My Official Treat Taster’s sister (aka my drinking buddy) packing less than a week ago and now his mother’s here. Although this time I don’t really mind. Because the sooner she gets here, the sooner we get to go on holiday, yay!
I could say the sooner she gets here, the sooner she leaves and then the sooner we go on holiday, but there is a small chance she might read this so I better not. Whoops, too late.
Anyway, I’m almost 100% positive you didn’t visit Pink Recipe Box today to hear me moan about my family, so let’s get back to the food. All jokes aside – these tarts are quite photogenic, aren’t they?
I usually struggle a bit with food photography, but I’ve just checked my image folder and I have six different images to upload for this single recipe, so they must have come out well! Either that or I’ve named the same image five different ways. You never know with me.
I’m not sure what it is with me tonight, but I can’t seem to keep on the subject of food. Maybe it’s a mixture of being over-worked, under-slept and the fact that I’ve already written over 7,000 words today. For the rest of the post I promise I’ll try and stick to the subject of food. Sound good? Let’s see how far we get before I veer off track again…
From the beginning of spring through until the end of summer, the shops and markets where I live pile up punnets of fresh, juicy strawberries just waiting to be smashed up with ice and made into strawberry margaritas, delicately chopped and placed on top of a delightful pavlova, or finely sliced and used to decorate more decadent desserts like these Individual Strawberry Cheesecake Tarts.
I absolutely love cheesecake and can’t get enough of it, but My Official Treat Taster can take it or leave it. Personally, I can’t imagine anything better than sitting down to an entire dish of velvety smooth cheesecake and devouring it on my own. But then again, he likes weird things like sardines, anchovies and Pot Noodles, so what does he know?
On the other hand, some things he would give his left and right arms for are buttery, flaky pastry tarts and sweet, ruby-red strawberries. So combine cheesecake, a pastry base and fresh strawberries which something we both love – rich and creamy chocolate ganache – and we’ve got a recipe we both fight over. Luckily these tarts come in individual portions so we can have one each.
Strawberry Cheesecake Tart
for the crust
- 100 g all-purpose flour
- pinch of salt
- 50 g sugar
- 25 g cold butter cubed
- 25 g cold lard cubed
- 2 tablespoons cold water
for the ganache
- 100 g chocolate
- 80 g heavy cream
for the cheesecake filling
- 250 g at room cream cheese
- 200 g white sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- fresh strawberries sliced length-ways
- Begin by making the crust. Preheat the oven to 180C/355F and combine the flour, salt and sugar in a medium-sized bowl. Add the butter and lard and rub in with your fingers until the mix resembles breadcrumbs.
- Starting off with just 1 tablespoon, pour in tiny amounts of water and mix until a good dough forms. Add more water if the mix is too dry.
- Knead the dough for a few minutes on a lightly-floured surface before rolling out to about a 1cm thickness. Sprinkle flour over your tart pans then cover it with your dough. Trim the edges and try to make it as neat as possible.
- Blind bake the tart crusts for 20 minutes or until golden-brown.
- Whilst the crust is baking, make the chocolate ganache. Break the chocolate into squares and place them in a small bowl.
- Heat the cream in a saucepan over a medium heat and pour it over the chocolate when it begins to boil. Leave for 5 minutes before mixing together to ensure all the chocolate is completely melted.
- Spread the chocolate ganache over the base of the slightly cooled tart cases and refrigerate until set.
- To make the filling, mix together the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla extract. Spread on top of the chocolate ganache and top with the sliced strawberries. Leave in the fridge for another hour or so until set.
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