This cheesecake’s classic combination of strawberries and chocolate balances the bitterness of cocoa with the sweetness of the fruit. Add to that the richness of mascarpone and the crumble of a traditional Scottish shortbread crust, and you’ve got a truly indulgent – and seasonal – dessert.
Ready time: 40 minutes
2½ cups crumbled shortbread cookies (about 265 grams)
1 unbeaten egg white
6 ounces (175 grams) bittersweet chocolate
¾ cup mascarpone
¼ cup whipping cream
12 to 14 medium unblemished strawberries, cut in half lengthwise
¼ cup red-currant jelly
1 tablespoon sweet wine or sherry
Preheat oven to 350 F. To make the base of the tart, process shortbread cookies in a food processor into fine crumbs. Mix egg white into crumbs. Pat mixture into a 9-inch springform pan.
Bake for 8 minutes or until crust is set but still tender. Set aside to cool.
To make the filling, melt 2 ounces of chocolate over low heat and brush over base and sides of pastry. (You may not need the full 2 ounces.)
Melt 4 ounces of chocolate over low heat in a small pot, stirring frequently. Once chocolate is melted, remove from heat and fold in mascarpone and cream until smooth and fully incorporated.
Pile the chocolate-mascarpone mixture into the shortbread shell. Place strawberries in concentric circles over the chocolate. If not serving immediately, refrigerate until just before needed.
To make the glaze, melt red-currant jelly with sweet wine or sherry in a small pot over low heat. Brush glaze over strawberries. Do not refrigerate again at this point, as glaze may run. Cut cheesecake into slices and serve.