Recipe: Strawberry jelly hearts

I really should have made these when strawberries were in season! Now Korean strawberries are $8 per box when they used to be $4.

Korean strawberries are pretty oddly shaped so we had to do quite a bit of trimming to get them to what I wanted them to look like.

The recipe is from liangze’s aunt (twice removed), and is pretty simple to make. It’s a bit like the amish ribbon cake, with jello and cream cheese and a layer of graham cracker crust instead of lime jello.

Here’s the recipe:

Cheesecake base:
110g digestive biscuits(about 8 biscuits) or graham crackers, pounded into fine crumbs in a ziploc
40g melted butter (Actually I ‘agar’ the amt of biscuits and butter. About 1 pack of graham crackers (there are 3 packs in one honey maid box) with a knob of butter, about 2 tbsp)
(I added about 2 tbsp of brown sugar. Caster sugar’s fine, I just couldn’t find it)

250g cream cheese, soften at room temperature
50g icing sugar
1 tablespoon gelatin powder
50ml boiling water
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 box Jelly crystal (strawberry flavour)
1 cup (250ml) boiling water
1 cup cold water
1 box of strawberries, cut into heart shapes

1. Mix biscuit crumbs & melted butter together and press firmly with the help of a spoon onto the base of a 18cm cake tin. Chill for 30 minutes.
2. Place gelatin powder and boiling water in a bowl. Heat a pot filled with some water until just simmering and place the bowl inside the pot. Dissolve gelatin and boiling water in the bowl. Keep warm.
3. With an electric mixer, beat cream cheese , icing sugar and vanilla essence until smooth & creamy. Blend in gelatin solution and mix well. The mixture got a bit clumpy after that, but got creamier with some high speed mixing.
4. Pour the cheese mixture into the cake tin. Layer the strawberries on the cheese mixture. Chill for at least 3 to 4 hours. <– This is extremely important to set the strawberries into the cream cheese so they don't start floating when you pour the jelly mixture in.

5. Dissolve the strawberry jelly crystal (I use Tortally brand, think Jello will work just fine) in the cup of boiling water, followed by the cold water. It is important that the “cold water” is not just room temperature water (for Singapore), but actually chilled water. You can also use room temperature water but add 1-2 ice cubes to chill it. This lowers the temperature of your jelly solution so that it doesn’t dissolve some cheese bits and cause those to speckle your jelly solution which can look pretty gross. Pour the jelly on the cheese mixture. Let it set before removing from the cake tin.

Everyone liked it, although I don’t really see why – the vanilla is artificial, and so is the strawberry jelly :S The graham cracker crust was pretty good though – Szeling was so kind as to import 3 boxes of graham crackers from me when she last got a shipment from VPost. And all this was just because the last time I baked a nutella tart I was complaining that my parents had thrown away a box of expired graham crackers I had gotten one of my friends to bring for me from the States!

I don’t like cheesecake so I didn’t eat any of it. Haha. Also mine is super flat because I made it in a 9″ springform pan, which started to leak once the jelly solution was poured in :S I placed a large plate underneath the springform pan so the jelly wouldn’t flow all over my fridge, and midway through setting the jelly, emptied the plate on top of the cake :P Quite a mess – obviously do not make this in a springform cake pan.

EDIT: The pictures have been updated to show the results in a 6-7in removable base ban. It’s not a springform, the removable base is more like a chiffon tube cake tin – the base of the tin is a removable metal disc which I wrapped with baking/tracing paper (NOT wax paper) and built the cake on top of it. No jelly leaks this time, and it turned out pretty high with extremely well-defined layers. I also sprayed the inside of the tin liberally with PAM.


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