Sunday, June 12, 2016

Zebra Berry Cheesecake!

Last week my friend asked me to bake something for her boyfriend´s birthday. We discussed all the options focusing on a cake with chocolate or one with fruits. Finally, we went for a cake featuring berries. This was a logical option now that the berry season started all over Spain and all sort of fresh berries are readily available. Moreover, I love the taste of berries in cakes and my friend couldn't agree more! 

Instead of a regular cake, like a sponge flavored with a filling of berries, I suggested to my friend to make cheesecake. A cold and creamy cheesecake would be perfect now that summer has officially arrived in Spain and Madrid is slowly heating up. 

I played around with my usual cheesecake recipe, and mixed 2 batters to create a beautiful layered or zebra look. The cake was such a hit that I decided  I deserved one just for myself. I did show some restrain and shared few pieces with my close friends. 

The recipe is simple, I baked it in a 15 cm springform pan to get a high result.  You can use an 18 cm pan or even a 23 one if you want a flatter cake. Always adjust the baking time when you change the size of pan that was used for the recipe. 

For this cheesecake you need:

The base:
  • 50 g caramel cookies and 50 g digestive cookies 
  • 20 g melted butter 
  • 1 tsp coconut sugar or brown sugar
To prepare the cookies place them in a zip-lock bag and pass a rolling pin over them as many times as you need until you end up with coarsely textured crumbs.  Add the melted butter, sugar  and  mix well. Place the cookie mixture in a springform pan that is greased and covered with parchment paper. Press the mixture to cover the bottom. You can create a rim at the edge of the pan if you want, though I didn't. Bake in a preheated oven (180 C) for 8 to 10 min.  Set aside and cool.

For the cheesecake mix:
  • 600 g cream cheese at room temperature
  • 3 large eggs at room temperature 
  • 120 g Greek yogurt (or thick yogurt, or sour cream)
  • 130 g sugar
  • 1 tbsp flour 
  • 25 g caramelized biscuits spread (Lotus Biscoff)
  • dash of salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon (or to your liking)
  • 1/2 tsp of kirsch (optional)
  • 3 to 5 tbsp of berry coulis (recipe follows)

In your mixer bowl, add the cheese and mix on a low speed with the paddle attachment for 2 to 3 minutes. Then add the sugar, the Biscoff spread, yogurt, cinnamon and flour and mix again until well blended and no lumps are visible. Add the eggs one by one and keep mixing on a low speed. Finally add the salt, kirsch and vanilla and mix a bit. 

Divide the batter in 2. To one batch, add the berry coulis but don´t add too much or else you will end up with a runny batter. 

To get the zebra effect, add 2 tablespoons of the white batter, then two of the berry batter  and so on. Ever so slightly tap the pan or shake it to flatten the batter.

Bake in a preheated oven (150 to 160 C). 

Usually it's customary to wrap the spring-form pan with aluminum foil and place it in another pan filled with warm water and then bake for the required time that is usually for a pan of this size one hour to one hour and a half (oven-dependent).  This bain-marie method of cooking is needed to bake your cake at a gentler heat to avoid surface cracks.

What I do is different though. I put in the middle layer of the oven a pan and fill it with warm water then place the cheesecake pan over a cookie sheet and put both over the pan. This creates  a steamy environment in my oven and allows the cheesecake to cook all the way through while retaining a smooth creamy texture and most importantly with no surface cracks whatsoever.

After one hour, turn off your oven, shake the tray, make sure the middle is still a bit wiggly and leave the oven door cracked open for another half an hour to an hour. 

Let the cake cool completely before you put it in the fridge overnight. 

For the berry sauce or coulis:
  • 300 mixed berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, cherries, blackberries and I also used cranberries)
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • half vanilla pod or 1 tsp of vanilla extract
Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and let them simmer for few minutes over a flame until the fruits are soft. Mash them well then and pass them through a sieve to get rid of the seeds.

You will have sauce than the cake requires. Use the remaining sauce to cover the top of the cheesecake and decorate as you  wish! 

Now you´re ready to taste a luscious and creamy dessert with the amazing tangy addition of the berries! Everybody will love it, I can guarantee it! 
Check my other cheesecake recipes here and here

No comments:

Post a Comment