Monday, May 7, 2012

Lemon Cheesecake with Berries

These cheesecakes are really yummy and easy! Plus you can have fun deciding how to layer and decorate them!

For the base:
- 8 digestive biscuits
- 90g caster sugar

For the cheesecake:
- 400g cream cheese
- 90g icing sugar
- Zest of 1/2 a lemon
- Juice of 1/2 a lemon
- 600ml double cream

For the topping:
- Mixed berries (frozen or fresh)
- Caster sugar
- Creme de cassis (blackberry liqueur)
- Lemon juice

1. Break up the digestive biscuits. I put them in a sandwich bag and bash them with a rolling pin.
2. Heat the sugar in a pan over a medium heat. Do not stir it with a spoon or any other utensil, just swirl it around in the pan. 

3. When it has all caramelised, like in the picture above, add the broken up biscuits and stir, like the picture below.

4. Leave this mixture to cool and harden on a plate in the fridge. When you take them out of the fridge to serve them, you might need to break them up again with a rolling pin!

5. Whip the cream, until it is thick and can hold a soft peak when you lift the whisk out.
6. In a separate bowl, mix the cream cheese, icing sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice together. 
7. Mix a large spoonful of the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture, then carefully mix the rest of the rest of the cream. You want to do it carefully so that you don't knock lots of air out of your whipped cream.

The first way that I decorated them was with fresh berries (or frozen berries) and a berry sauce. Heat some lemon juice, creme de cassis and caster sugar in a saucepan, bring it to the boil, then turn the heat down and thicken the sauce up for a few minutes, then leave it to cool. Remember that the sauce will thicken up even more when it has cooled. The berries that I used were frozen, so I defrosted them in the microwave and left them to cool.
To layer it up, spoon caramelised biscuits into the bottom of whatever you are serving it in, I chose margarita glasses, then put the cream cheese mixture on top, followed by the berries, drizzle with some of the sauce and top with more of the caramelised biscuit crumbs.

Or the second way that I decorated them was with a berry compote. Put some frozen mixed berries into a saucepan with some sugar, lemon juice and creme de cassis, heat them up until the berries go from this.... this! The berries should have broken down and the sauce should have thickened up.

I spooned the caramelised biscuit crumbs into the bottom of the glass, then the cream cheese mixture, then the berry compote. I topped it with a few slices of fresh strawberries.

Zoe x

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