Strawberry Jelly Hearts
These are very popular in Singapore and they are pretty to look at and a delight to eat.
They are not difficult to make and are non-bake, so all you need is a whisk and the fridge.
Recipe adapted from a recipe from Tanglin Community Centre cooking class, given to me by my friend, Daphne Tong.
Makes 20 to 24 jelly hearts.
For the crust -
300g digestive biscuits
150g melted butter
For the cheesecake layer -
500g cream cheese (placed in room temperature for 2 to 3 hours to soften)
1 & 1/2 tablespoons gelatin powder
1 & 1/4 cups boiling water
2/3 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
About 10 to 12 strawberries
For the jelly layer -
160g strawberry flavoured jelly
1 & 1/2 cups boiling water
1 & 1/2 cups cold water
Place 150g of butter in a oven proof bowl.
Cover the bowl loosely with cling film wrap or use a microwave oven food cover. Microwave for 30 to 40 seconds at high till butter is melted.
Dip a brush into the melted butter and butter a large rectangular pan generously. I used a 13 X 10 X 2 inch glass pan.
Note: You can line the pan with a large piece baking paper. This will make removal of the jelly hearts from the pan alot easier. And you wouldn’t have to worry about the crust sticking to the base of the pan. If you line the pan with baking paper, butter the baking paper all over as well. For photography purpose, I’ve eliminated the baking paper.
Use digestive biscuits for the base.
Place 300g of digestive biscuits in a food processor.
Process till they become fine crumbs.
Place the crumbs in a large bowl and add the melted butter.
Stir well to combine.
Place the biscuits-butter mixture in the pan.
Using a potato masher or a large glass with a flat surface, pack the mixture tightly into the pan.
Once the crust is made, place the pan in the fridge and chill until ready to use.
Add 1 & 1/2 tablespoons of gelatin powder in a bowl. Use the right amount of gelatin, else the cheese layer won’t set.
Add 1 & 1/4 cups of boiling water to the gelatin powder.
Stir well till all the gelatin has dissolved. Set aside to cool.
Place 500g of cream cheese in a large mixing bowl.
Add 2/3 cups of sugar.
Using an electric whisk, combine the cheese and sugar. The cream cheese must be soft otherwise it will be very hard to mix here.
Whisk till the mixture is light and fluffy.
Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract to the cream cheese mixture.
Add the cooled gelatin mixture a little at a time. Whisk well to combine.
The finished mixture should be a runny smooth liquid. Like a milkshake. If there are lumps, run the mixture through a sieve.
Remove the pan from the fridge. Using a fork, prick holes all over the biscuit base.
Pour the cream cheese mixture on to the biscuit base.
Let the mixture rest in room temperature for about 10 minutes.
In the meantime, cut the strawberries. Cut them first in half. Look for the thicker side and cut lengthwise across it so that each strawberry heart is thick. Then at the top of the strawberries, slice off the white tops with the leaves and cut a deep V in the centre.
Press each strawberry half into the cream cheese mixture. Let the strawberry sink in gently. If the strawberries don’t sink in, they will float up in the jelly layer later.
Space the strawberries 1 inch to 1.5 inches apart.
Cover the pan with cling film wrap.
Place the pan in the fridge. Chill for at least 4 hours or overnight. If the cheese layer is not well chilled, the cheese will disintegrate when the jelly layer is added.
Use strawberry jelly powder to make the top layer.
Place 160g strawberry jelly powder in a bowl.
Add 1 & 1/2 cups of boiling water.
Whisk well till jelly powder has dissolved.
Add 1 & 1/2 cups of COLD water. Mix well.
Ensure that the jelly-water mixture has cooled. If the mixture is still hot, it will melt the cheese layer and cause bits of cheese to float in the jelly layer. Gently pour the cooled mixture over the cream cheese layer.
Pour just enough jelly to cover the strawberries.
Cover with cling film wrap again.
Chill for at least 4 hours.
Use a sharp knife with a thin blade to cut the jelly hearts. Prepare a large jar of boiling water. Dip the knife into the water. Wipe it off and cut. Repeat that with every cut to get a nice clean cut with no crumbs sticking at the sides.
If you lined the pan with baking paper, the crust should not stick to the pan. If you didn’t line with baking paper, set the pan on a hot/warm surface for a few minutes before removing the jelly hearts. The heat will warm the butter at the base and make it easier to remove the jelly hearts.
Cut into nice small pieces of jelly hearts cheese cake.
Store covered in the fridge.
The printable version of this recipe is here -
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