When Brasserie Du Vin’s pastry chef, Beth Iwata joined us on the show to talk sweet treats, the phones rang off the hook at the first mention of cheesecake.
And though we’d planned to talk to Beth about all aspects of her training and her areas of particular ease, callers piled on the questions.
What kind of crust is best ? Which fruits to use? Should we swirl blended fruits or add them to the top? What makes it so creamy….you get the picture.
So Beth shared with us her Cheesecake recipe and agreed to come back soon to talk some more about the art of making perfect pastries.
Here’s the recipe, along with photos of the actual version we had in studio.
You can taste Beth’s incredible desserts daily at Du Vin – and on special occasions. Sign up for Du Vin’s newsletter to find out when.
Oh, and to the caller who asked about a cheesecake made with Kai Lychee Vodka? We’re on it!
Brasserie Du Vin
Pastry Chef Beth Iwata
Strawberry-Passion Fruit Cheesecake
Makes one 9-inch cheesecake, serves 10
1 ½ lbs. cream cheese, at room temperature
1 lb. mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
2 ½ cups granulated sugar
1 ½ Tbsp. cornstarch
5 eggs, at room temperature
¼ cup passion fruit puree (or the juice from three passion fruits, if available)
Strawberry Filling and Topping
8 strawberries, sliced into sixths
½ cup sugar, water
Almond Graham Cracker Crust
¼ cup shelled, unsalted pistachios
¼ cup granulated sugar
¼ tsp. coarse salt
1 ¼ cups graham cracker crumbs (finely ground in a food processor)
5 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1. Preheat the oven to 325F. Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil for a water bath. Cover the bottom of a 9 by 2-inch collapsible cake pan tightly with foil to ensure that water will not seep into the pan. Butter or spray the bottom and sides of the pan; set aside.
2. To make the crust: In a food processor, pulse the almonds with the sugar and salt until coarsely ground. Transfer to a large bowl, add the graham cracker crumbs and butter, and mix to combine. Press the graham cracker mixture over the bottom of the buttered pan. Set aside.
3. To make the strawberry filling and topping: On medium-high heat, simmer the strawberries with the sugar and about two tablespoons of water until strawberries are soft. Set aside to cool.
4. To make the cheesecake batter: In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, blend the cream cheese, mascarpone cheese, sugar and salt together at medium-low speed. Add the cornstarch; continue to beat at low speed, while scraping the bowl, until completely smooth. Do not exceed 5 minutes or mascarpone may start to break.
5. At low speed, add in the eggs one at a time, until blended, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Transfer the batter to two bowls, dividing it into two equal parts.
6. Add the passion fruit puree to one portion of batter, blending well. Pour it into the prepared pan.
7. Pour half of the cooked strawberries into the second bowl of batter. Slowly stir it in, leaving it “swirled” in appearance. Pour it on top of the passion fruit layer.
8. Place the cheesecake into a roasting pan. Place the roasting pan in the oven and pour in the hot water to come about ½ inch up the sides of the cake pan. Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes, until the filling is set, but still jiggles slightly in the center. Remove from the water bath, remove the foil and let cool to room temperature. Chill for 4 to 6 hours, or overnight, in the cake pan.
9. To serve, heat the sides of the pan with a gas torch to loosen the cheesecake (or run an offset spatula around the sides). Remove the pan collar. Loosen the crust with a flat metal spatula and transfer the cheesecake to a 9-inch cake circle or large plate. Cut into ten slices. Garnish each slice with the remaining strawberries.
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