I simply can’t resist cheesecake! I mean, who can, right? And, I have to say, this Berry Cheesecake proved an absolute winner!
Almost all of my cheesecakes, since starting this blog, have been baked ones. Somehow they seemed more sophisticated and, more importantly, my sister – a cheesecake connoisseur – declared baked cheesecakes to be far superior.
Well, I’ve got news for her! Of all the cheesecakes I’ve made, this one – a no-bake Berry Cheesecake – garnered the most accolades from the rest of my very discerning foodie family. We loved the silky cheesecake itself, with its combination of cream cheese and tangy Greek yoghurt. That, and the tart berry compote which was both layered throughout the middle of the cheesecake and swirled over top. If I could bury my face into any dessert, it would have to be this one!
I found the recipe in New Zealand’s Food magazine (June/July 2016, Issue 89). But, boy or boy, it had some major editing mistakes in it, mainly with the fruit compote. Firstly, while it mentioned jam in the ingredients, it didn’t mention it anywhere in the directions. Gelatin was supposedly added in twice into the compote and once into the filling, but was only listed once in the ingredients. It was a mess… It took me a while before I figured out what was intended – some guess work was needed with amounts, but in the end it all got sorted out.
I’ve made this cheesecake twice now. The first time, given the lack of directions in the recipe, I simply made the compote the usual way – on the stovetop, with a little added cornflour (corn starch) for thickening – then layered it through the middle, drizzling the remainder over top when I served it. The second time, I experimented with adding gelatin to the compote, which is what the recipe obviously intended. I’d never used this technique before, but it ended up working really well. The compote sets to a soft jelly-like consistency, and while it isn’t quite as vibrant looking as fresh compote, it does make cutting and serving so much easier and less messy.
It might have been a bit of a mission to figure this recipe out, but now I have I’m absolutely convinced it’ll remain on a rotating dessert cycle! Enjoy!
BERRY & VANILLA CHEESECAKE
For the crust:* (see gluten-free version in notes section)
- 8.8 oz plain biscuits (you can substitute gluten-free biscuits if you prefer)
- 4.2 oz butter, melted
For the berry compote:
- 7 oz frozen mixed berries
- 1 tsp gelatin
- 1/4 cup berry jam
For the cheesecake:
- 17.6 oz cream cheese
- 1 cup caster sugar, superfine
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 2 tsp gelatin
- 1/4 cup cold water
- 1 cup Greek-style natural yoghurt
For the crust:
- Blend biscuits in a food processor until you have fine crumbs. Add melted butter and pulse until mixture comes together. Press mixture over the base of a 23cm (9 inch) springform cake tin, then chill.
For the berry compote:
- Thaw berries and place in a small saucepan. Sprinkle over the 1 teaspoon gelatin and over a lowheat, warm gently to dissolve (you shouldn't spot any grains left in the liquid). Stir in the jam. Putaside. (NB: You don't need to sieve the mixture).
For the cheesecake:
- Beat cream cheese and caster sugar until smooth and creamy.
- Place the water into a small dish and sprinkle gelatin over top and let it swell for 5 minutes. Then warm (either place the dish into a small bowl with enough boiling water to come half way up the sides of the dish, or microwave on high for about 15 seconds) and stir until the gelatin dissolves. Let the gelatin cool to room temperature, but make sure it doesn’t set.
- Beat gelatin mixture along with the yoghurt into the cream cheese mixture.
- Pour about half of the cream cheese mixture over the biscuit base, then dollop some of the berries and syrup over the top (you don’t need to cover the whole surface).
- Top with the remaining cheesecake mixture and level it off with an offset spatula. Swirl over the remaining berries and syrup.
- Place the cheesecake in the fridge, lightly covered with foil or plastic wrap. Chill for at least 3 hours or overnight.
- When ready to serve, slide a spatula around the edges of the cake tin and carefully remove the sides of the tin itself. Place the cheesecake on a serving platter. I piped some whipped cream around the edges.
- Store leftovers in the fridge.
Ingredients:1-1/4 imperial cups* (156g) gluten-free flour of choice2 tablespoons icing sugar (confectioners’ sugar)1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract1/2 cup (115g) cold butter, cubed Method: In a small bowl, combine the flour, confectioners’ sugar and vanilla. Cut in butter until crumbly (alternatively, place ingredients into a food processor and pulse until crumbly and mixture sticks together when pressed between fingers).Press onto the bottom of prepared pan. Place on a baking sheet. Bake 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely on a wire rack. * I find that I always need to add more butter – I generally have to add about 20g more butter (i.e. 4.7 oz/135g). However, it depends on what type of flour you use, so start with the basic recipe and adjust as needed.