Sunday, July 31, 2011

Lady Finger Cheesecake with Balsamic Macerated Strawberries

Having friends who love cooking as much as you do are amazing. Not just because you're guaranteed a good meal when you visit their house, but also because they'll share the yummy recipes they use with you! My friend Nicole (who introduced me to the incredible Toffee Dip) had myself and a few other of our girlfriends over a few weekends back. The meal was delicious, of course, but the dessert... to die for cheesecake. We all begged for her to share the recipe and needless to say, we were all thrilled when we realized that the recipe did not include any baking. A no bake cheesecake that tasted incredible and was impressive? Yes please!!

I adjusted the recipe slightly, as I did not have vanilla extract on hand but did have a whole vanilla bean. But, if you're without vanilla bean, you could easily use 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.

Then I decided that the cheesecake needed a topping. Nicole served hers with cherry topping but I decided to get a little crazy and go for strawberries... but not just any strawberries. Balsamic Macerated Strawberries. These were amazing and impressive to my dinner companions and paired so very well with the sweet and smooth cheesecake.

Make this and I promise you'll re-think ever making a traditional cheesecake ever again.

Enjoy :)

Lady Finger Cheesecake with Balsamic Macerated Strawberries

For the cheesecake...
3 packages of lady fingers
4-8 oz packages cream cheese, softened
1 pint heavy whipping cream
1 cup sugar
1 whole vanilla bean, stripped

Mix cream cheese, sugar & vanilla. Set aside. Whip heavy cream until stiff. Combine whipped cream with cream cheese mixture.
Line spring form pan with lady fingers (bottom and sides) spread 1/2 of cream cheese filling. Put another layer of lady fingers and then spread on rest of mixture. Refrigerate over night. Top each piece cut with strawberries and serve.

For the strawberries...
1 container of strawberries, hulled and sliced in four pieces
1/4 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Place the strawberries in a bowl and sprinkle with sugar, tossing to coat. Refrigerate overnight.
30 minutes before serving, pour balsamic vinegar over top and toss. Serve over cheesecake (or eat straight from the bowl - I won't judge you).

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