Everyone who has been following the blog for a while knows that I rarely make desserts and I never make cake. There are two reasons for this: 1) I don’t really like sweets, 2) Cake and pastry making is an exact science and seems tedious and boring to me. My family has accepted this and when they get tired of the crumbles, panna cottas and mousses I do make, they make their own cake/cookies/pies.
This is so nerve wracking for me! I lack confidence and am always sure that something will go wrong. I made this cheesecake because Steve, the fishmonger, has been asking me to make it for over a year. I imagine he must have had it somewhere in the U.S. It’s funny, France seems to sell an awful lot of Philadelphia cream cheese. I don’t know what they do with it but it’s in the supermarkets. Anyway. I looked for the easiest, Kraft, old school cheesecake recipe on line and found one that wouldn’t have me jumping through hoops. I’ve never seen graham crackers in France, although they do sell a Dutch cookie called speculoos that is similar but sweeter. I didn’t want to use those, so I just chose a plain, butter cookie called Petit Beurre.
The gariguettes, the Cadillac of French strawberries, are in season and I reasoned that if I screwed the cake up, I would just top it with the gariguettes and Steve would like it ;)
This turned out okay and I’ll probably make one for the family when they arrive. Hit the cheesecake link above for the recipe. The topping is made with about 1 1/2 lbs of strawberries, half made into a compote and the other uncooked half stirred in.