This is a delightful strawberry cheesecake recipe that is more like a mousse than a dense fridge cheesecake. The filling is dolloped onto a fabulous nut crumble base and finished off with a drizzle of strawberry syrup and slices of fresh strawberry.

strawberry cheesecake with nut crumble

It originates from executive chef Phil De Villiers from 54 on Bath in Johannesburg. His is a way more elaborate and sophisticated dish that is made with elderberries, layered with meringues, honeycomb, vanilla jelly and served with strawberry filled ricotta dumplings on the side. They serve this in the fabulous Level Four restaurant at the hotel. I dumbed the recipe right down to ensure it was super easy to achieve for the home cook and left out the extra components (sorry Phil). I used strawberry syrup because it so happens I made it recently. Also, elderberries are not available in South Africa at all.

If however, you want to get all fancy pants and live in a place where elderberries are easy to come by, I found this lovely sounding recipe to make elderberry syrup. You will have to put it through Google translate, but it looks so pretty.

Strawberry cheesecake

I was lucky enough to stay at the fabulous 54 on Bath two weeks ago while up in Johannesburg for a Family wedding. Utter luxury.

Before your stay, they email you a checklist of things you might or might not like including a pillow menu. I mean how divine. I can only really sleep well with down under my head, so this is what I ordered. They do almost everything possible to ensure that the bed you sleep in is the most comfortable it can be. With super high thread count cotton sheets and puffy down duvets, you will want to make sure you spend quite a bit of time there.

Luckily I did.

Chic, modern, sophisticated and luxurious. A boutique hotel island in the bustling Rosebank CBD.

54 on Bath, Johannesburg

Breakfast is served in the Level Four restaurant and pool deck and hot dishes are a la carte. There is also a continental breakfast buffet, but I opted for the eggs benedict (with smoked salmon) which was delicious.

The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and supper and has a champagne bar right next door.

Level Four Restaurant,54 on Bath, Johannesburg

Level Four Restaurant,54 on Bath, Johannesburg

54 on Bath

breakfast buffet at 54 on Bath

Level Four Restaurant,54 on Bath, Johannesburg

Level Four Restaurant,54 on Bath, Johannesburg

Level Four Restaurant,54 on Bath, Johannesburg

54 on Bath, Johannesburg

The hotel is literally bolted onto the newly renovated Rosebank Mall, so it’s a matter of walking down a passage and you arrive in the middle of it. As my old stomping ground, I was excited to check out the new developments.

54 on Bath, Rosebank, Hotel , Johannesburg

The foyer of the hotel is stunning and glitzy. Residents can have tea and coffee there during their stay. Or high tea. It’s also a bar and a great place to meet people.

Other super impressive things about 54 on Bath:

  • Free wifi and parking for all guests.
  • The burger from room service was one of the best burgers I have ever eaten.
  • The tea and coffee station in the room is uber impressive with a mini Illy pod machine. A selection of coffees is paired with various Lindt chocolates, and there is an array of premium teas too.
  • The water pressure is so intense they put a warning on the bath which fills up quicker than you have ever seen a bath fill up before. Ever. This also means the shower is awesome.

54 on Bath, Rosebank, Johannesburg

* Disclaimer ~ My stay at the hotel was complimentary.

Strawberry cheesecake

The recipe makes a little more crumble mix than is required, but just sprinkle it on other things or eat it with a spoon. It’s totally the best crumble I have ever tasted.

Recipe – makes 12 individual portions

Strawberry Cheesecake


Strawberry cheesecake with a nutty crumble

Strawberry cheesecake

Strawberry cheesecake with a nutty crumble recipe

  • Author: Sam Linsell


Nut crumble

  • 250g flour
  • 170g butter
  • 110g macadamia nuts
  • 110g almonds
  • 110g Demerara sugar
  • 1/2t vanilla extract


  • 125g crème fraîche
  • 225g Philadelphia cheese
  • 100g icing sugar
  • 150ml Strawberry Syrup (plus extra to garnish)
  • 250ml cream
  • 3 leaves Gelatine
  • Fresh strawberries for garnish



To make the crumble topping, preheat the oven to 160°C/Gas mark 3. Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until the mixture is the texture of breadcrumbs. Spread out the crumble on a baking tray and bake for 30-40 minutes, being sure to stir the crumble mixture every 10 minutes. Remove when the mixture is golden brown and set aside to cool.

For the cheesecake, soak the gelatine in a bowl of cold water for about 5 minutes, and use a little bit of the cream and melt the gelatine over a double boiler. Set aside to cool.

Mix together the crème fraîche, cream cheese, sugar, and strawberry syrup (I used an electric stand mixer with a whisk attachment). Put the cream in a separate bowl and whisk until stiff. Gently fold the gelatine into the cream mix and gradually fold the stiff cream into the cream cheese mixture little by little until completely combined.

To assemble the cheesecake, spoon out a layer of crumble at the bottom of your serving glass and top with a good dollop of strawberry cheesecake mix. refrigerate until ready to serve.

Decorate with a drizzle of strawberry syrup and a few slices of fresh strawberries.

Keywords: Strawberry cheesecake, nutty crumble, recipe


strawberry cheesecake with nut crumble

I look forward to connecting with you again in the future.

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  1. One word. Decadent. Is 54 on Bath the ex Grace Hotel?

  2. Sam

    Hi Susan. yes its the former Grace Hotel

  3. What a lovely gastronomical tour! I am going to look at it again in slow motion and in detail!

  4. Hi Sam
    Gelatene is not kosher any suggestions to replace it.

    When is your book hitting the stores


  5. Sam

    Hi Alan, you could just leave it out. It gives it a big of stability, but thereere is enough dairy in this to keep it firm. When mixing, mkae sure all hte cream and cheese etc is cold. Its seriously delicious. Also I only used 100g almonds (SA pack size).

  6. Sam

    Hi Janice – so glad to hear. I love me some crumble too #texture 🙂

  7. Hi, this hits my weak spot : ) On my ‘to do’ list for this weekend ’cause luckily I have half a tub of leftover creme fraiche available. Could you help with the equivalent quantity of powdered gelatine as I don’t have the leaf variety? Thanks!

  8. This strawberry cheesecake looks fantastic; I am drooling for your recipe right now.
    and yes, I do love “our food stories” blog, too

  9. This does look very divine I especially like the crumble as it can also be easily converted into a topping for a fruit crumble.

  10. Sam

    Thanks Meeta. The crumble is so nutty and not very sweet. Its my new favourite thing and perfect on top of fruit.

  11. Sam

    Thanks Thalia, Ive been drooling all over your food lately. You are doing the most delicious things
    Sam x

  12. Pingback: Lemon cheesecake | Drizzle and Dip

  13. Absolutely tasty! Best cheesecake I’ve ever had ????

  14. Sam

    Thanks Leila – I so agree with you, its my all time favourite now. Did you see the version I did with lemon curd (fairly recent post) – also stunning. So many variations here. Thinking passion fruit curd or even raspberries

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