• Karen Naylor - i CAN cook

Berry Cheesecake


Chocolate Cake
Berry Cheesecake

So for this beautiful Berry Cheesecake that takes 50 minutes to make plus refrigerations time and feeds 16 people, you will need these ingredients and some equipment.


. 400g (14oz) or 2 packed down cups of crushed digestive biscuits

. 40g (1 1/2oz) or 1/3 packed down cup of brown sugar

. 200g (7oz) unsalted butter

. 2 teaspoons of cinnamon

· 600mls (21oz) of creme fraiche

. 370g (13oz) of cream cheese

. 140g (5oz) or 1 full cup of pure icing sugar

. zest and juice of 2 small or 1 large lemon

· 25g (5 teaspoons) of gelatine powder

. 50mls (5 dessert spoons) of boiling water

. 500g (18oz) frozen blackberries

. 30g (6 teaspoons) of gelatine powder

. 60mls (6 dessert spoons) of boiling water

. 1/2 cup of sugar

. 1/2 cup of water

. fresh raspberries, strawberries and blueberries to decorate


and you will need a 24cm (9") spring form cake pan



If you don't need these detailed instructions and are ready to cook

scroll down to the notes section at the bottom of this page.



1) Firstly - Clear the decks and feed the cat – you can’t begin until you have your house in order. What I mean by that is I have found I always make mistakes when I get distracted or work in a mess. Getting your house in order is so important to successful and happy baking. So

· feed the pets

· make a cuppa

· empty the dishwasher (or load it if you couldn’t be bothered the night before)

· if you have little ones, change their nappy and feed them

· check your mobile and emails if you need to

· make room on your kitchen bench – I learnt the hard way by losing a cake over the edge :( all because I refused to move the fruit bowl

· wipe down the kitchen bench

· place current dishcloth and tea towel in laundry and grab a fresh set

· wash your hands


2) Ok - now we are going to prepare our cheesecake pan

so you need to get out your

. 24cm (9") springform pan

. baking paper

. pencil

. scissors



Separate your springform pan into 2 pieces, pull out and tear off enough baking paper so you can trace a circle around your base plate. So do that and then cut the circle out making sure you cut inside the pencil line. You don't want led in your cheesecake.

Put your springform pan back together and pop your cut baking paper circle inside your pan. Put your baking paper and pencil away and scraps of baking paper in the bin. Keep your scissors handy - you may need them to open new packets later.


3) Next you are now going to prepare your biscuit base

So you need on your bench

. your prepared cheesecake pan

. digestive biscuits

. cinnamon

. brown sugar

. unsalted butter

. a large ziplock bag

. a rolling pin or a meat tenderiser or anything that can crush your biscuits - the biscuits crush easily so with a bit of extra time you can even use your fingers.

. a small microwave proof bowl

. a teaspoon

. a standard coffee or tea cup not a mug or a measuring cup

. a small round glass that has a level base

. a cutting board

. a knife

. a piece of paper towel


Place 400g of digestive biscuits into your ziplock bag. Just eyeball the amount. For example is your packet weighs 450g use 4/5th of the packet. Now measure out 2 teaspoons of the cinnamon and put that in the bag as well. Leave your teaspoon on the bench and place any empty packets in the bin.

Next using your cup fill it a 1/3 full of brown sugar using the teaspoon to pack it down tightly. Then put this in your zip lock bag.

Push down on the zip lock bag to remove the air and close the seal. Use your rolling pin or meat tenderiser to break up the contents of the ziplock bag. I tend to do a bit of rolling and bashing to break up the biscuits. You may also need to release some more air from your bag. Flip over the bag to help get all the large crumbs. Keep going until you have a medium sized biscuit crumb, not too fine though - you don't want it to be powdery.. It is fine to have a bit of inconsistency throughout with the size of your breadcrumbs.



Put away your cinnamon, brown sugar and rolling pin.


Grab your cutting board and knife and place your butter on the board. Open up your butter and you will see marked for you a guide showing 25g increments.

With your knife you can slice through the butter at the 200g guide.

Seal up the unused butter and pop that back into the fridge. With the remaining butter roughly chop this up into 5cm (2") pieces and place this butter into your microwave proof bowl. Use your paper towel to wipe the grease off your hands. Now place this bowl of butter into your microwave and heat for 30 seconds then give a really good stir with the teaspoon. If it is not melted completely after stirring, pop it back in the microwave for 10 to 15 more seconds.

Now carefully pour this melted butter into your biscuit crumb bag and close it up. Then using your fingers mix the butter into the biscuit crumbs by squishing, squashing and rubbing the bag until most of the crumbs are covered in butter.

Pour this bag of biscuit base mix into your prepared cheesecake pan and using your knuckles pressed down the mix trying to make as even layer as you can. Then using your glass further compress this biscuit base. Finally go around the outer edge and using your fingertips try to further compact the edges and level the height out around this outer edge. Wipe your hands with the paper towel. Place your cheesecake pan in the fridge for 30 minutes.



Put your bowl and glass in the sink and your ziplock bag and paper towel in the bin.

Keep on your bench the coffee cup, teaspoon, chopping board and knife. Wash your hands.

You will have time now to clean the dishes and wipe down the bench.



4) Time to prepare the filling


You will need to get now

. cream cheese

. creme fraiche

. 2 small or 1 large lemon

. gelatine powder

. pure icing sugar

. enough water ready in the kettle when you need to bring it to a boil

. a medium sized microwave oven proof bowl

. a medium bowl or Tupperware container

. a small glass

. a sieve

. a wooden spoon

. a whisk

. a desert spoon

. another teaspoon

. a zester

. a piece of paper towel


Place your cream cheese on the chopping board and slice off 370g - eyeball this amount based on the weight on the packages. Place in the medium sized microwave proof mixing bowl. Put packaging in the bin and wipe your hands on the paper towel.

Put the cream cheese in the microwave for 45 seconds and stir with wooden spoon for 30 seconds.


Place your sieve over the bowl with the cream cheese in it.

Fill your cup with the icing sugar almost overflowing and then place this into the sieve. Gently shake the sieve from side to side and push through any remaining icing sugar with your used teaspoon. Place this teaspoon in the sink. Gently stir with wooden spoon the cream cheese and icing mixture.


Grab your lemon and zester and zest over this mixture. Use the whole lemon being careful not to zest into the white sour pith. Using your cutting board and knife slice the lemon in half and squeeze the juice into the cup that contained the icing sugar. Remove the pips with your fingers and pour this juice into the bowl containing the cream cheese, icing sugar and lemon zest. Gently stir with the wooden spoon for one minute.


Turn on your kettle to bring to a boil.

Put the lemon in the bin and the cutting board, knife, cup and zester in the sink.

With your clean teaspoon, measure out 5 teaspoons of gelatine and place that in your glass. With your dessertspoon at the ready grab your kettle and over the top of your glass measure out 5 dessert spoons of boiling water. Don't worry if you have more or less water. Now stir this with your teaspoon straight away until your have a light coloured liquidy jelly. Pour this into the cream cheese mixture and stir until combined. Put the glass and teaspoon in the sink and put some hot water in the glass and then place the teaspoon in the glass - gelatine can be difficult to clean off.


In the remaining clean bowl place 600g of creme fraiche into it using your wooden spoon. Using your whisk give this mixture a stir to lighten it up, then spoon into the cream cheese mixture. Now using your whisk or wooden, stir this mixture gently until combined.





Remove your cheesecake pan from the fridge and using your wooden spoon place this mixture into this pan.



Then pop this into the refrigerator. This needs to stay in the fridge for a few hours at least. Make a note of the time your cheesecake should be ready to put the berry jelly on.


Put your icing sugar away. Place empty creme fraiche containers and paper towel in the bin. Place bowls, spoon and whisk in the sink. Keep your sieve and gelatine on the bench.


In preparation for your berry jelly topping you need to thaw out your frozen mixed berries, so pop those on the kitchen bench now.


You now have time to do your dishes, wipe down your bench and wash your hands and have a bit of a break.


5) Berry Jelly Topping

So along with your gelatine, sieve and blackberries, you need to get out

. sugar

. 2 cups

. access to water

. a small saucepan

. a teaspoon

. a dessertspoon

. a wooden spoon

. a medium sized bowl

. a paper towel

. some water in your kettle ready to boil


So first off you are going to fill one of your cups half full of sugar and the other cup half full of water. Pour both of these into your saucepan. Take your saucepan, wooden spoon and paper towel over to the stove top and turn the heat to high. Place your wooden spoon nearby on the paper towel. Put your sugar away and your cups in the sink. Go back to your stove top and give your sugar syrup a stir. When your syrup comes to a boil turn the heat down to low and give another stir to ensure sugar has dissolved. Now turn off the heat and bring back to your bench the wooden spoon and paper towel.


Place your sieve over your bowl and pour your defrosted blackberries into the sieve and using your wooden spoon squish through all the fruit. Remember to scrape down the underside of the sieve - that's where a lot of juice is found. Place your sieve in the sink and your frozen fruit packet in the bin.


Turn your kettle on.


Go and grab your saucepan of sugar syrup off the stove and pour this into your fruit juice and stir to combine with your wooden spoon. Put the saucepan in the sink.


With your clean teaspoon measure out 6 teaspoons of gelatine and place that in your glass. With your dessertspoon at the ready grab your kettle and over the top of your glass measure out 6 dessert spoons of boiling water. Don't worry if you have more or less water. Now stir this with your teaspoon straight away until your have a light coloured liquidy jelly. Pour this into the fruit juice mixture and stir until combined. Place your dessert spoon, glass and teaspoon in the sink. Put some hot water in the glass and place the teaspoon in this glass - gelatine can be difficult to clean off.


Ok now get your cheesecake out of the fridge and carefully pour this berry jelly over the cheesecake with the help of your wooden spoon. Now place your cheesecake back into the fridge for at least 5 hours or overnight.


Time to put away your gelatine, do those dishes and wipe the bench.


6) Unmolding your cheesecake

You will need

. 2 tea towels and

. 1 medium height sturdy glass (has to be taller than the height of your cheesecake pan)

. a small thin knife


Thoroughly wet your tea towels, then hand wring them out so that they are wet but not dripping and place them in the microwave for 1 minute,

Get your cheesecake out of the fridge and place it on your bench.

Wrap the towels around the outside edge of the cheesecake pan for about 3 minutes.



Remove the tea towels and place the cheesecake on top of the glass making sure it is centered over the glass.

Now just a tad, open up the slide lever and take a look around the perimeter of the cheesecake to see if the jelly is separating from the pan. If not close the slide lever again and using your knife gently slice through where the jelly has stuck.

When you feel that the pan will slide off fully open the slide lever and guide it down to the kitchen bench. It may feel like you are going to break the cheesecake in half - but keep going - it can take a bit of force.

If you are happy to serve your cheesecake on the cheesecake base plate, carefully lift your cheesecake of with your hands and place on the kitchen bench.

If you would like to remove your cheesecake from the cheesecake base plate you will need to then get a thin spatula and get between the baking paper and the cheesecake and carefully lift this off. This can be a bit fiddly but is worth it if you would like to present your cheesecake on a cake plate or pedestal.


7) Voila - you CAN cook...



NOTES

Tips

Unless you have a blender I recommend only using blackberries as they easily squash down into a juice through a sieve. Strawberries, raspberries and blueberries are very difficult to juice - I know as I have tried.


Creme Fraiche is a sort of French version of sour cream. It has a more velvety consistency than sour cream because it is higher in butterfat and it is less tangy. It is also very stable and doesn't split in high temperatures.


You can substitute Creme Fraiche for thickened or whipping cream but you will need an electric mixer (there is too much volume to whip by hand with a whisk). Use 100mls less than the Creme Fraiche amount and whisk until the cream has a fluffy consistency - don't whip it to form soft peaks.


Dietary Requirements

This recipe is gluten free.


Storage Requirements

At room temperature - to ensure this remains food safe, this cheesecake can only remain at room temperature for 2 - 4 hours depending on the temperature of the room.


Refrigerate - This cheesecake can be made up to 3 days in advance for best flavour and texture and needs to be consumed within 5 days of making.


Freezer – this cheesecake is not suitable to freeze because of the gelatine in the jelly.

 


 

BERRY CHEESECAKE RECIPE


Cooking Time- 50 mins Refrigeration time – 3 hrs + 5 hrs Serves - 16


Ingredients


. 400g (14oz) digestive biscuits

. 40g (1 1/2oz) brown sugar

. 200g (7oz) unsalted butter

. 2 tsps cinnamon

· 600mls (21oz) creme fraiche

. 370g (13 oz) cream cheese

. 140g (5oz) icing sugar

. zest and juice 1 large lemon

· 25g (5 teaspoons) gelatine powder

. 50mls (5 dessert spoons) boiling water

. 500g (18oz) frozen blackberries thawed

. 30g (6 teaspoons) gelatine powder

. 60mls (6 dessert spoons) boiling water

. 1/2 cup of sugar

. 1/2 cup of water

. fresh raspberries, strawberries and blueberries to decorate


Method

. Place the biscuits, cinnamon and sugar into a seal proof bag and using a rolling pin crush until fine crumbs form.

. Melt the butter and pour into the biscuit crumbs. Mix until well combined.

. Place the crumbs into a springform cake pan and compact down.

. Put the cheesecake pan into the fridge to set for a few hours.

. In a medium sized bowl add the room temperature cream cheese and icing sugar. Beat together with a wooden spoon until smooth and lump free.

. Zest and juice the lemon and place into the bowl with the cream cheese. Mix to combine.

. Add the creme fraiche and mix until combined

. Dissolve the powdered gelatine in the boiling water and add to the mixing bowl, stirring to combine.

. Pour the cheesecake filling on top of the cheesecake base and smooth.

. Place into the fridge for 3 hours to set.

. Meanwhile squash the thawed blackberries through a sieve into a medium sized bowl.

. Make a sugar syrup using the sugar and water by boiling until sugar is dissolved. Add to the berry juice.

. Dissolve the gelatine in the boiling water and put into the berry juice. Mix until combined.

. Pour the berry mixture on top of the cheesecake and place into the fridge to set for 5 hours or overnight.

. Decorate with fresh red fruit.

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