A lemony cheesecake with a strawberry topping is the perfect end to a dinner. It also freezes well. Make the cheesecake a few days ahead but don't top with the strawberries until a few hours before.
After baking, it remains in a turned off oven to prevent cracking. I used biscotti but any kind of cracker or cookie crust is fine. Ginger cookie crusts are another favourite of mine.
Ready time: Overnight, including chilling time
½ cup melted butter
1½ cups biscotti crumbs
1 pound (500 grams) block-style cream cheese, at room temperature
¾ cup granulated sugar
4 eggs, at room temperature
2 cups mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
¼ cup lemon juice
Enough strawberries to top the cake (at least 12)
White chocolate drizzle
½ cup grated white chocolate
Line a 9 ½-inch (23 cm) springform pan with parchment paper.
Brush 1 tablespoon melted butter over parchment and sides of the pan. Stir together biscotti and remaining butter in a bowl. Pat biscotti mixture into bottom and slightly up the sides of prepared pan. Chill crust in refrigerator while you prepare the filling.
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Beat cream cheese in a large mixing bowl with electric beaters until softened. Add sugar and beat for about 5 minutes until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in mascarpone until as smooth as possible. Then beat in flour, vanilla, lemon rind and juice.
Spoon the filling into chilled base and smooth top.
Place cake on a baking sheet and bake in centre of oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until firm on the sides and a little softer in the centre. The cake rises like a soufflé but falls back as it cools. Leave oven door ajar, turn off heat, and let cake sit in oven for 1 hour.
Place strawberries in circles (or other presentations of your choice) once the cake has cooled. I like to cut the berries in half and casually arrange them over the top of the cake.
Keep 1 tablespoon chocolate separate. Melt the remaining chocolate on low heat in a heavy pot, stirring constantly. As soon as it is just melted, remove from heat and stir in remaining chocolate. This lowers the heat immediately.
Using a squeeze bottle or the tines of a fork, drizzle chocolate over strawberries.