Summer Delights: Berry-licious Cheesecake
Tuesday, January 2015
As we pass by the height of summer, we see the glut of those delicious seasonal fruits like fresh berries start to dwindle, so now is the perfect time to enjoy them while they’re around and local!
Let’s talk about berries – small and mighty, these juicy friends pack a punch with their reputation for being rich in antioxidants, folate, fibre and vitamin C! The best way to enjoy these sweet morsels is of course, as simply as possible: by themselves, or paired with a dollop of plain low-fat yoghurt makes for the perfect treat! If you’re making the most of these long summer evenings with your social butterfly wings on – sometimes you need to arrive at a friend’s house with more than just a punnet of fresh berries. Enter stage left: this utterly fabulous Berry-licious Cheesecake!
Yes. We said cake. Don’t go overboard now – this cake is for sharing! The base may be chock-full of those good-for-you nuts and we’ve tried to avoid those highly processed sugars, opting for natural sweeteners like rice malt syrup but it still is very much a treat food. As we all know: all things in moderation!
Ingredients - Filling
- 750 g cream cheese (room temperature)
- 2 tablespoons plain yoghurt or sour cream
- 3 tablespoons coconut cream
- 1/2 cup rice malt syrup
- 1 egg
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla powder
- 1 cup raspberries (frozen or fresh) – plus extra to decorate
Ingredients - Base
- 1 cup pistachios (shelled) or hazelnuts
- 1 cup shredded or desiccated coconut
- 1 cup almond meal
- 120 g unsalted butter, softened
- Preheat the oven to 160°C.
- To make the cake base, process the nuts in a food processor until semi-fine. Add the coconut, almond meal and butter and rub with your fingers until it resembles a dough. The nuts will release more natural oil the more they are handled, so continue to rub to reach a good doughy consistency though you may add more butter if required.
- Press the dough with your fingers into a pre-prepared 23cm spring-form tin (lined with baking paper - both sides and base), covering the base and sides to an even thickness and bake for 5–8 minutes until starting to turn golden.
- Remove from the oven and allow the base to cool completely in the tin.
- Whizz your raspberries up in a blender, adding just enough water to make a puree. Transfer your puree to a small saucepan and stir over medium heat until it thickens to a syrup-like consistency. Take off the heat and allow to cool.
- Combine the cream cheese, yoghurt/sour cream, coconut cream, syrup, egg and vanilla powder in a large bowl using a wooden spoon. Be mindful not to over-mix at this point.
- Spoon half the mixture into the cold base and smooth the surface flat. Dot teaspoons of the raspberry puree over the cheesecake surface, then using a skewer, swirl the raspberry over the top of the cheesecake surface.
- Pour the remaining cake mix over and smooth the surface.
- Bake in an oven for 20–30 minutes, until the centre is custard-like.
- Refrigerate for at least 2 hours (this firms the consistency and flavour of the cake) and decorate with fresh raspberries before serving.