When I was asked to come up with a dish inspired by the Cricket World Cup, I had my choice of countries from Australia to South Africa, India to the West Indies - but to me cricket is synonymous with England.
Cricket is a very English sport, first being played in the south of England in the 16th Century and by the end of the 18th Century it was the national sport of England. With the expansion of the British Empire in the 19th century the love of cricket spread overseas.
Although cheesecake has been around since ancient Greece, the earliest cheesecake recipe was found in an English cookbook from 1390. On this basis, chef Heston Blumenthal has argued that cheesecake is an English invention. So the dish I am making inspired by the Cricket World Cup is a classic English Strawberry Cheesecake.
This easy to make non bake cheesecake is a tasty treat for the family and perfect if you are entertaining. It looks impressive yet does not require a lot of skill. I have used chocolate digestive biscuits but if you are a purist you can use normal digestives. If you are watching the calories use low fat spread, Elmlea double light and low fat cream cheese. If not indulge in full fat everything!
250g milk chocolate digestive biscuits
100g butter (or low fat spread)
600g full fat or low fat cream cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
100g icing sugar
140 ml double cream (or Elmlea double light)
A small punnet of sliced strawberries and icing sugar to decorate
Line the bottom of an 8in loose bottom tin with greaseproof paper.
Put the biscuits in a food bag and bash with a rolling pin until they are crumbs.
Melt the butter (or low fat spread) in a pan or microwave.
Mix the biscuits with the melted butter until all the crumbs are coated and press into the tin, making sure there are no gaps.
Chill in the fridge for an hour.
Empty the cream cheese into a bowl and beat with a wooden spoon until soft.
Add the vanilla essence.
Sieve the icing sugar into the bowl in and mix in until combined.
Add 140ml of double cream (or Elmlea double light) and mix well.
Tip the mixture onto the biscuit base and smooth with the back of a spoon.
Put the tin in the fridge and leave to set overnight.
Top with sliced strawberries and for the finishing touch sieve a dusting of icing sugar over the top.
Serve with cream and a fresh strawberry coulis.
Serve for a very British high tea, with cucumber sandwiches and a long cool glass of Pimms, watching the cricket.
*I was asked by Betfair to take part in the Cricket World Cup Recipe challenge