A simple and delightful summer dessert. Everyone loves cheesecake in one form or another — here, lavender adds a touch of summer elegance.—Paul Gayler
For the kaffir lime-flavored strawberries
1/2 cup superfine sugar
Zest and juice of 2 limes
6 kaffir lime leaves, torn
1 cup fresh strawberries, hulled
For the cheesecake
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon dried lavender flowers, finely crushed (plus some lavender sprigs for decorating)
1 cup graham crackers, finely crushed
1/3 cup superfine sugar
1/2 pound good-quality cream cheese
1 cup thick-set natural yogurt
3/4 cup heavy cream
8-inch flan ring
Prepare the strawberries
1. Bring the sugar and 1 cup water to a boil, making sure the sugar has completely melted and formed a light syrup. Add the lime zest and juice and kaffir lime leaves and leave to cool. Halve the strawberries, place in a bowl, and pour over the lime syrup. Refrigerate overnight.
Make the cheesecake
1. Melt the butter in a pan, add the lavender flowers, and remove from the heat. Stir in the crushed graham crackers and 2 tablespoons of the sugar and mix well together. While still warm, press the biscuit mixture into the base of the flan ring. Refrigerate for 2 hours to set.
2. In a bowl, beat the cream cheese, the remaining sugar, and yogurt until smooth.
3. In another bowl, whip the heavy cream until half whipped and just holding its shape, then gently fold into the yogurt mixture until amalgamated. Spread the mixture over the lavender crumb base and smooth over the surface with a palette knife.
4. Return to the fridge for 1 hour or until easy to serve. Decorate the cheesecake with marinated strawberries and fresh lavender.
Recipe © 2006 by Paul Gayler.. All rights reserved.