This week we have one of Nancy Birtwhistle's recipes to share with you lovely lot! Nancy will be at our Markeaton Park 'Big Bake' event in June, so why not try one of her delicious recipes in the comfort of your own home?

Today we are sharing Nancy's 'Chocolate and Strawberry No Bake Cheesecake' with you and we must say that it looks beautiful! 


 Image (C) Nancy Birtwhistle -

Image (C) Nancy Birtwhistle -


For the base

60g butter

200g Plain chocolate digestive biscuits

50g toasted chopped nuts

A good pinch ground star anise


For the filling

250g Mascarpone cheese

150ml double cream

2 eggs separated

125g caster sugar

3 gelatine leaves

3 tbsp dried strawberry powder mixed with water to make a paste or 4 tbsp thick strawberry puree (the type you can buy to pour on ice cream etc)


23cm loose bottomed cake tin base lined with greaseproof paper.

Fresh strawberries for decorationand chocolate curls

Make the base by melting the butter in a medium saucepan then adding the nuts and the biscuits which have been crushed and the star anise.  To crush the biscuits I put them in a freezer bag then break the biscuits using the end of a rolling pin.

Transfer the crumb mix into the bottom of the cake tin and smooth it down with the back of a spoon.  Chill whilst you make the filling.

To make the filling :-

In a bowl cream together the mascarpone cheese and double cream which has been whisked to soft peaks. 

Put the gelatine leaves in a jug of water and leave to soak.

Over a pan of simmering water whisk the egg yolks with 80g caster sugar until you have a mix which is thick and straw coloured.  Put egg yolks and cheese mix together.

Whisk the egg whites until stiff and use the remainder of the sugar.  Fold the egg whites into the mix of egg and cheese.

Take the gelatine leaves from the water and drop them into a small pan and heat very gently until all is dissolved.  Do not allow to boil.  Stir this into the cheesecake mix.  I then add the fruit puree but stir just a couple of times so that you have a ripple effect running through the mix.

Turn the mix into the prepared tin and smooth over.    Put the whole lot into the fridge and leave for several hours but preferably overnight.

To decorate :-  this is where you can really go to town if you want to.  Fresh fruits, chocolate curls, a little thickened strawberry puree drizzled over, dredge of icing sugar – lots of possibilities.

I will have decorated mine with a strawberry glaze which is simply 100ml fruit puree and 100ml sugar syrup mixed together and 2 gelatine leaves added.  This is poured over the cheesecake when it has set. Pour the glaze over just to cover – you may only need about 100ml.  Leave to set for an hour or two then decorate with fresh fruit and chocolate trimmings.

If you want to find out more delicious recipes from Nancy Birtwhistle, then be sure to visit her website by going to You can also find out more about our 'Big Bake' events by visiting our Markeaton Park page or our Newstead Abbey page.