Karen Wright writes: Last weekend I was booked at Trentham Gardens near Stoke-on-Trent for The Great British Food Festivals.
My biggest dilemma is always deciding what to make on stage.
There are several factors to consider – holding the audience’s attention, the practicality of making a dish with limited facilities and achieving the wow factor.
I think people like to see something with a bit of pizzazz.
I also like to make things that look difficult to do but are actually easy enough for anyone to try.
With the weather forecast set to be warm, I decided that my first demo would not involve an oven at all!
I plumped for a delicious no-bake cheesecake.
For the base I used a food processor to whizz up 300g of dark chocolate digestive biscuits.
I poured in 140g of melted butter and then pressed the mixture into the bottom of a 20cm loose bottomed tin. I lined the tin with some acetate strip which I bought online.
For the filling I whisked together 500g of full fat cream cheese, 130g icing sugar and 300ml double cream.
When it was very thick, I stirred through a couple of tablespoons of lemon curd. I made my own on stage but shop bought is fine.
I sliced some strawberries lengthways and placed them all around the side of the tin and then covered everything with the filling.
For the topping I cooked 300g strawberries in a pan with 150g sugar.
When the strawberries were very soft I sieved everything into a jug resulting in 250ml of clear strawberry juice.
I returned this to the pan and brought it back to the boil.
I then added one tablespoon of arrowroot and a half teaspoon of agar-agar which had been mixed to a slurry with a little cold water. This instantly thickens the liquid.
I removed it from the heat and allowed it to become quite cool before pouring it on the top of the filling.
Chill yours in the fridge overnight – I obviously had to take one I’d made earlier with me.