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Dessert recipe: AVA strawberry swirl baked cheesecake

This strawberry swirl baked cheesecake dessert has been shared by Masterchef 2019 runner-up, Jilly McCord.

45 mins
Published: July 10, 2020

Use a 20cm springform tin.

Heat oven to 175C fan.

The mixture will work best if the ingredients are at room temperature – so take your cream cheese, eggs and soured cream out of the fridge.

For the strawberry swirl
Take 2/3rds of a punnet of strawberries and place in a pan with a heaped tablespoon of caster sugar.

Heat gently until the strawberries have begun to break down and release their juices.

Blitz this mixture and pass through a fine sieve.

Taste the sauce for sweetness – it should be still quite tart, but add more sugar if necessary, or lemon juice if too sweet.

Set aside.

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For the biscuit base
Blitz or crush the digestive biscuits
Melt the butter and combine with crushed biscuits and 20g of the caster sugar.

Press into the springform tin, making sure you do so evenly.

The cheesecake will be cooked in a water bath, so now wrap the bottom and sides of the tin in tinfoil to ensure the water does not seep
into the cheesecake.

Bake the biscuit base for 7 minutes in the oven and remove and leave to cool.

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For the filling take the cream cheese and whip with a hand blender to get rid of any lumps and ensure it is light and fluffy.

Add the remaining sugar and mix again.

Now add the eggs and egg yolk one at a time until combined.

Add the vanilla essence, lemon zest and soured cream.

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Mix all ingredients together, but don’t overmix at this stage.

To Bake
Place the tinfoil wrapped cake tin in a larger roasting tray with high sides (this will allow you to bake the cheesecake in a water bath later).

Now add the cream cheese mixture on top of the biscuit base and make a smooth top.

Take the strawberry sauce and add little teaspoon dollops of the sauce on the top of the mixture.

Take a skewer of small knife and swirl the sauce in circular motions through the mixture, trying to create a nice pattern for the top.

You should only use about half of the strawberry sauce and could retain the rest for when you serve.

Boil your kettle and add the boiling water to the roasting pan, aiming to reach about halfway up the side of the tin.

The cheesecake can be baked without a water bath, but is likely to crack.

The water bath ensures even cooking and a much better finish.

Bake the cheesecake in the oven for 40-45 minutes.

It should still have a wobble in the middle when it has finished cooking.

Now open the door of the oven and let the cheesecake cool slowly.

Once the oven has cooled, remove the cheesecake and let it cool further in the fridge until you are ready to serve.

To Decorate
Time to be creative! Slice some of the remaining strawberries and place on top of the cheesecake.

You can also add other decorations – I have used some crystallised rose petals – take some rose petals from your garden (making sure you have not used any pesticides), brush them with egg white and dip in caster sugar.

Place on a baking rack and allow to dry out overnight or ideally 24 hrs.

Serve with a drizzle of the remaining strawberry sauce.

strawberry swirl baked cheesecake


  • 250g digestive biscuits
  • 125g unsalted butter
  • 600g full fat cream chees
  • 150ml soured cream
  • 170g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • AVA strawberries – 1 punnet
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
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