Strawberry Jelly Hearts Cheesecake

It was the kiddo's 6th birthday yesterday and I have been cracking my head on what cake to make for him since December!

For the past 4 years, we have celebrated his birthday at his school and this year was his final year as a preschooler. Wow, looking back (at the photos) brought back lots of memories. For his 2nd birthday, I baked a strawberry shortcake for family celebration and individual strawberry cupcakes for his school celebration. For the 3rd birthday, I baked my first ever rainbow cake (which was a white-cake recipe). For the 4th celebration, I moved on to rainbow fruit shortcake (using a genoise sponge recipe) which has since become my main baking order item. And last year, his 5th birthday, a simple red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting and Decor-It-Yourself Vanilla and Chocolate Cupcakes for his school celebration, which turned out to be a big hit with his classmates.

Now, this year, I ran out of ideas. Should I stick to the same old cakes that I've been baking, like rainbow and ombre cakes or try new recipes? I see that Korean strawberries are in season; the strawberries are pretty good-looking and going for quite a good price ($3.80 a punnet which is cheaper than last year!). Initially thinking of strawberry shortcake or ombre cake but feeling kind of lazy to bake :p


Finally the lazy mama decided on a no-bake Strawberry Jelly Hearts Cheesecake! Well, the kiddo loves cream cheese and strawberries, this cake looks pleasing to the eye, and very easy to serve. Each kid will get fair and square piece of cake (pun intended) with 3 different flavours and textures along with a strawberry heart! Woohoo!

This cake used to be very popular in SG few years back. I've made it back then at a different dimension, so this is a good time for revision as well. The cake is 9" by 9", with 25 strawberry hearts. To serve his school of 40 children plus teachers, I made 2 cakes over 2/3 days (celebration on Friday, first cake on Wed/Thu, second cake Thu/Fri). While this cake is quite easy to make, time management is the key here in order for the cake to set properly.


First up, prepare the tray. In order to have a smooth full cake (without the necessity to trim the sides), I used a 9" square pan with removable base. Wrap the removable base with aluminum foil, and line the sides of the square pan with clear film (sold in a thick roll at Phoon Huat).

* For my first cake, I forgot to line the sides of the pan and had to run a knife along the sides of the cake when unmolding the cake from the pan. It still works out fine, just not as smooth.

** A normal baking pan (without removable base) should work fine as well, just have to line the base and sides of the pan with foil and be extra carefully during unmolding because the cookie base of the cake is heavy.



Ingredients (A) - Cookie base
  • 150g unsalted butter
  • 300g digestive biscuits
Next, prepare the cookie base.

Heat unsalted butter over hot water bath till melted and let it cool down. 

For the cookie base, I use digestive biscuits. Just place the biscuits in a ziplock bag and crush/roll using a rolling pin till the texture resembles coarse sand. Alternatively, grind the biscuits using a food processor. The texture of the cookie base will then turn out finer. I prefer the cookie base to have slightly more crunch.

Add the melted butter into the crushed cookie and mix well.


Transfer the crushed cookie mixture into the square pan and use a bench scrapper to level the cookie base evenly.

Then I use a lapis press to press the cookie mixture firmly to compact the cookie base. Repeat several times till base is solid and compact. This is important to hold the entire cake together.

Transfer the pan into fridge to chill.


Ingredients (B) - Strawberries and cream cheese
  • 25pcs strawberries 
  • 4 tsp gelatin powder
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 250g cream cheese
  • 50g icing sugar
Meanwhile, prepare the strawberries. Korean strawberries tend to be smaller, so I bought 3 punnets (for 2 cakes) and select the plumper and bigger strawberries. If the strawberries are too small, the heart-shape may not be apparent after submerging the strawberries into the cheese filling.

Wash and pat dry the strawberries. Half them and use a heart-shape stamp to cut the strawberries. You can use a knife to cut a v-shape at the top of the strawberries but I prefer the stamping which makes the heart-shape more uniform. I love munching on the scraps while stamping the hearts :p

Place the cut strawberries on a piece of kitchen towel and cover with another piece.


Next, the cream cheese filling. First, melt gelatin powder (the fish one from Phoon Huat) with boiling water and let the mixture cool down.

Then, place the cream cheese and icing sugar in mixing bowl and cream till light and fluffy. Add the cooled gelatin liquid into the cream cheese mixture slowly and mix till well-blended.


Sieve the cream cheese mixture to remove any lumps. Remove the cookie base from the fridge, use a fork and gently poke 9 holes in the base.

Pour the gelatin cream cheese filling into the cookie base.

Place the strawberry hearts into the cream cheese filling, pushing them gently downwards. This is also important step because while making sure the heart-shape is still visible, the strawberries must be embedded properly otherwise they may float up after the jelly layer is added.

Let the tray sit at the counter for 30 mins (to set the strawberries and cream cheese slightly), thereafter cover and transfer the tray into the fridge to chill for 3-4 hours.


Ingredients (C) - Jelly
  • 3 boxes Tortally brand Strawberry crystals
  • 350ml boiling water
  • 350ml cold water
An hour before the strawberry and cream cheese layer is ready, I prepare the jelly. I use 3 boxes of the Tortally brand jelly strawberry flavour, add hot water to the jelly crystals and stir till dissolved. Then add cold water and mix well. Let the jelly mixture cool down completely which takes about an hour. Stir the mixture once in a while as some jelly may set and sink at the bottom.

Once ready, remove the tray from the fridge and gently pour the jelly into the tray. Use a toothpick to remove any air bubbles. Cover and transfer the tray to the fridge to chill overnight.

Finally the unmolding!

With the removable base and clear film at the sides of the pan, it's quite easy to unmold the cake, simply push the base upwards. Unwrap the aluminum foil from the metal base, place the entire cake over a 11" square board and gently slide the metal base out. Peel the clear film from the sides of the cake gently. Lastly, wrap the aluminum foil around the 11" square board.

Overall, the sides remain quite smooth (except for some edges as I was careless when unmolding), I didn't have to trim the cake.


Strawberry Jelly Hearts Cheesecake
(makes one 9" x 9" cake)

Ingredients (A) - Cookie base
  • 150g unsalted butter
  • 300g digestive biscuits
Ingredients (B) - Strawberries and cream cheese
  • 25pcs strawberries 
  • 4 tsp gelatin powder
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 250g cream cheese
  • 50g icing sugar
Ingredients (C) - Jelly
  • 3 boxes Tortally brand Strawberry crystals
  • 350ml boiling water
  • 350ml cold water
Steps
  1. Prepare a 9" square pan with removable base. Wrap the removable base with aluminum foil, and line the sides of the square pan with clear film.
  2. Prepare the cookie base. Heat unsalted butter over hot water bath till melted and let it cool down.
  3. Place digestive biscuits in a ziplock bag and crush/roll using a rolling pin till the texture resembles coarse sand.
  4. Add the melted butter into the crushed cookie and mix well.
  5. Transfer the crushed cookie mixture into the square pan and use a bench scrapper to level the cookie base evenly.
  6. Then use a lapis press to press the cookie mixture firmly to compact the cookie base. Repeat several times till base is solid and compact.
  7. Transfer the pan into fridge to chill.
  8. Prepare the strawberries. Select the plumper and bigger strawberries. Wash and pat dry the strawberries.
  9. Half them and use a heart-shape stamp to cut the strawberries.
  10. Place the cut strawberries on a piece of kitchen towel and cover with another piece. Set aside.
  11. Prepare cream cheese filling. Melt gelatin powder with boiling water and let the mixture cool down.
  12. Place cream cheese and icing sugar in mixing bowl and cream till light and fluffy.
  13. Add the cooled gelatin liquid into the cream cheese mixture slowly and mix till well-blended.
  14. Sieve the cream cheese mixture to remove any lumps. Remove the cookie base from the fridge, use a fork and gently poke 9 holes in the base.
  15. Pour the gelatin cream cheese filling into the cookie base.
  16. Place the strawberry hearts into the cream cheese filling, pushing them gently downwards.
  17. Let the tray sit at the counter for 30 mins, thereafter cover and transfer the tray into the fridge to chill for 3-4 hours.
  18. Prepare the jelly. Add hot water to the jelly crystals and stir till dissolved, then add cold water and stir to mix again. Let the jelly mixture cool down completely. Stir the mixture once in a while.
  19. Once ready, remove the tray from the fridge and gently pour the jelly into the tray. Use a toothpick to remove any air bubbles. Cover and transfer the tray to the fridge to chill overnight.
  20. Unmold the cake by gently pushing the base upwards. Unwrap the aluminum foil from the metal base, place the entire cake over a 11" square board and gently slide the metal base out. Peel the clear film from the sides of the cake gently. Lastly, wrap the aluminum foil around the 11" square board.
The boy is pleased with his cake and finished one piece of it in no time.


Happy birthday to my kiddo!

4 comments:

Unknown said...

Dear Mag

Thank u so much for your post, it's so clear n detailed n I m more confident now to make this cake!

Grace

daydreamer said...

Hi Grace,
This is a party favourite, give it a try!

Anonymous said...

Hello,
thanks for the detailed recipe. I tried replicating it today with a removable pan as well, but the last part with the Tortally Jelly completely leaked through the base out of the pan *boohoo* :(

May I know if you had a hack to prevent the leak?

thank you!

daydreamer said...

Hi,
You might want to use aluminum foil to wrap the outer pan as well?

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