Sunday, 15 September 2013

Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth

Vanilla Cheesecake with a Blackberry and Mint Compote 

I try to eat as healthy as possible, but when it comes to desserts, chocolate – or anything sweet come to think of it – I just can’t resist. My all time favourite is cheesecake. If there’s cheesecake on the menu, that’s it I’ve got to have it! You’d think that I’d be a pro at making them but I’ve got to admit I have NEVER made a cheesecake before! This is an absolute first for me and I hope you like this recipe. 

My garden has been overflowing with blackberries so I decided to make use of the last few by making a vanilla cheesecake with a blackberry compote. This recipe is so unbelievably easy and quick to make, meaning there is no particular skill required! Anyone (and I really mean anyone) can make this incredibly delicious dessert either for an occasion or simply because you fancy a bit of cheesecake – which was the case for me! This will make 6 individual cheesecakes, but alternatively you can make just one larger one (bear in mind the cooking times will differ).

Start off by making the compote. This can even be made a couple of days before so if you get a bit bored after this part you can always save it in the fridge and continue to make the cheesecake a couple of days later! I picked all the blackberries I could find and also the mint that’s growing too. 

I Am Wearing
Top – Zara, Skirt – Zara, Wellies – Hunter
Heat the blackberries, icing sugar, lemon juice and water in a pan and boil for three to four minutes. Let this cool, then cover and leave in the fridge. Easier than you thought, ey?!

Now on to the cheesecake. Preheat the oven to 180°C and grease the individual tins. It’s time to crush the biscuits! Place the digestives in a bag (I just used a large sandwich bag) and cover with a tea towel. Take your rolling pin and bash them as much as you like until they are crumbs – also a great anger relief. 

Mix the biscuit crumbs with the melted butter and spoon into the base of the tins. Make sure to press down with the back of the spoon so that the base is firm and solid. We definitely do not want a crumbly base!

In a large mixing bowl add the cream, eggs and caster sugar. Remove the seeds from the two vanilla pods and then also add to the bowl and mix. Real vanilla pod seeds are so fragrant and taste amazing, but if you can’t find any you can use vanilla essence instead. 

Now add the cream cheese. I decided to use Light Philadelphia to minimise the calories and fat content but feel free to use full fat if you prefer! Beat the mixture until it is silky smooth.  

Pour the mixture into the tins over the biscuit bases, and bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven. After the 30 minutes, turn the oven off but leave the cheesecakes there to bake out for around 10 minutes further with the oven door open. Don’t they look delish?! The cheesecakes will then need to cool down on a cooling rack. 

While they are cooling, roughly chop the mint and mix into the blackberry compote that you made earlier. Serve the cheesecakes with a drizzle of the scrumlicious compote with a sprig of mint on the top for prettiness… Voila! The perfect, easiest cheesecake you have ever made. 

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