Recipes, Techniques

Cheesecake with Raspberry Coulis

There are explosions of colour wherever one turns ones head, as spring has finally arrived… bees are buzzing happily as they fly from flower to flower, birds are chirruping in the high branches and the air is warm and tangy from the sweet scent of the flowers…

African Kingfisher (Democratic Republic of the Congo)
African Kingfisher (Democratic Republic of the Congo)

There’s no better moment than on a warm spring afternoon to make a rich and creamy cheesecake, served with raspberry coulis and fresh strawberries… a combination of sweet and sour flavours, and a beautiful range of colours and fragrances that will make you jump with glee!

There are so many different variations for cheesecake that it quite makes ones head giddy.. I decided to try my hand at two different recipes, although both recipes are for the “basic cheesecake”. The first one is for an ” oven baked” cheesecake, the second one only needs “chilling”. You will notice a difference in colour, texture and taste, but I find them both absolutely divine! For those of you who are cheesecake-lovers, you’re in for a real treat!

I hope you enjoy making (and of course eating) these cakes…

Recipe

Cost ++
Difficulty ++

Ingredients

  • 200g speculoos biscuits  (graham crackers or crisp wholewheat biscuits)
  • 100g melted butter
  • 300g cottage cheese (or cream cheese)
  • 300g Philadelphia cheese
  • 3 large eggs
  • 100g icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of natural vanilla essence (or powdered vanilla)

Preheat the oven to 180°C (356°F), or 160°C (320°F) for those of you who own a powerful oven that heats well (If the cake isn’t cooked enough you can always leave it in for an additional 10 minutes or so) – Grease a 25cm baking ring and reserve for later (A round baking tin that opens which makes it easier to unmould the cake once baked).

In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese (or cottage cheese) and Philadelphia cheese together so that the combination is light and creamy, then add the sugar and vanilla essence. Incorporate each egg one at a time, and mix again until well combined. Cover and set aside while you prepare the biscuit mixture.

In another bowl, empty the biscuits and crush them until they become powder, then add the melted but and mix until well combined. The biscuit mixture will be quite sticky and moist.

TIP: You can either use an electric beater or fold the biscuits carefully in a tea towel and crush them with a rolling pin (the second version makes larger chunk).

Put the biscuit mixture into the round baking tin and pat down using a fork until compact. Then, pour in the liquid mixture, making sure you leave a good 2-3 cm so it doesn’t overflow during baking. Bake for 1h if your oven is on 180°C, or 1h10minutes if your oven is on 160°C. The cheesecake will come out a pale yellowish colour and will have a custard like consistency. Leave to cool completely before attempting to remove it from its mould. Once the cheesecake has cooled off completely, cover it in tin foil and put it in the fridge for an additional 2h before serving.

Pour a few spoons of raspberry coulis over a thin slice of cheesecake and serve with a bowl of fresh strawberries. This cheesecake is best enjoyed with a large cappuccino or a strong espresso. For the tea lovers among you, I’d suggest enjoying this desert with a cup of Earl Grey or Darjeeling tea.

For those of you who love the taste of cream, here’s a variation of the “basic cheesecake”, which is made with mascarpone and whipped cream. In this deliciously creamy recipe, the cheesecake is not baked, but instead it must chill in the fridge for over 8h, and is best served as fresh as possible. I made both versions,  but couldn’t decide which I liked best, as they were both scrumptious… I ended up eating far too much cheesecake!

Recipe

Cost ++
Difficulty ++

Ingredients

  • 150g melted butter
  • 200g speculoos biscuits  (graham crackers or crisp wholewheat biscuits)
  • 600g mascarpone
  • 30cl liquid creme (minimum 30% fat), to be whipped with an electric beater for 4 minutes
  • 150g icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoon natural vanilla essence (or powdered vanilla)
  • The juice of a freshly squeezed lemon + zest

Grease or line a 25cm round cake mould (one that can be opened on the side, so that it’s easier to unmould) and reserve for later. Chill the cream in the freezer for 15minutes prior to whipping it.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the mascarpone and vanilla, then add the lemon juice and icing sugar and continue mixing until fully incorporated. Pour the cream into a second bowl and whip it for 4 minutes or until it becomes firm yet souple. Slowly fold the whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture until completely combined. The mixture must be less dense and light.

Crush the biscuits into small crumbs and add the melted butter. Pour the mixture into the cake round and pat down with a fork so that the mixture becomes quite hard and dense. Then, add the cream mixture. Cover with tin foil and chill in a cold fridge for 8h to 12h. This cheesecake will come out whiter and will be far richer than the first recipe. Serve cold with a raspberry coulis and a few fresh strawberries.

TIP: The first cheesecake will keep for about 3 days in a cold fridge. The second cheesecake is more delicate and will only last about 2 days. Don’t forget to cover your cakes so they stay as fresh as possible!

I hope to see you here again next week, for more exciting recipes. Have fun baking!

Special thanks to Geneviève Leboudec Collet for her beautiful wildlife photos..

 

Cécile.

 

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