05 September 2015


If you read my blog post about my recent holiday in Italy (here), you saw that I made a cheesecake with the blackberries I picked up from the side of the road.

And here it is, guys. So vibrant and flavourful. It makes me want to bake another one right now. It's simply delicious.

To bake it from scratch you will need:

- 200g rich tea biscuits (known as 'bolacha maria' in Portuguese)
- 100g melted butter (either salted or unsalted. I make all my biscuit base crusts with salted butter. It enhances the sweet flavour)

Cream part:
- 300ml heavy cream (here you can change the type of cream for one that suits you the most. My mother-in-law doesn't digest lactose very well so I used lactose-free cream to make my cheesecake. Just keep in mind it needs to have an high percentage of fat so you're able to beat it properly)
- 200g cream cheese
- 397g of condensed milk (basically, a whole can of it)
- 50ml hot milk (or hot water)
- 2 envelopes of unflavoured gelatin powder OR 8 unflavoured clear gelatin sheets
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Top part:
- 200g blackberries (you can swap your berries for pretty much any kind of pulpy fruit you want)
- 150g sugar
- 45g of strawberry gelatin (which is more or less half an envelope [85g] of flavoured gelatin. You can adapt your gelatin flavour to your fruit, basically. If you want to be more precise you can replace the strawberry flavoured gelatin with raspberry or mixed berries ones)
- 150ml water
- blackberries for garnish

Put your biscuits in a zip-lock bag and smash them into very small crumbs, almost sand-like. Melt your butter in the microwave and add it to the biscuit mixture. Pour it into a springform pan and make sure the whole bottom is fully covered with the mixture. Put in the fridge to cool it down while you prepare the rest.

Top part:
In a pot, place your berries (or other fruit) and the sugar and let it simmer slowly (stirring occasionally) for at least 30 minutes, until all the fruit has broken down. Reserve.

In a measuring jug, put 150ml of boiling water and the gelatine together. Mix until the gelatin has dissolved. Strain your fruit pulp into a cup and add it slowly to your gelatine mixture, always mixing it. Reserve.

***While the fruit is on the stove, prepare the cream part***

Cream part:
Start by beating your cream until it forms soft peaks. Then add the cream cheese and incorporate everything really well. Do the same with the condensed milk. Then add the vanilla extract and mix again. Mix your gelatin powder with the hot milk and stir until it dissolves completely (if you use the gelatin sheets, make sure you soften them up in cold water for 5 minutes before adding them to the hot liquid). Incorporate the gelatin slowly with the white mixture and stir all the time so the gelatin doesn't solidify on contact.

After you have all parts done it's time to assemble. Remove your base from the fridge and add the cream part. Let it refrigerate for 30 minutes. Then add the top part and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.  Be careful when you add your top part on top of the cream. If it's still warm it will melt parts of the white part and you'll get bits of white in your red top. Drop it slowly and around the pan. Open the springform pan before serving.

Decorate as you prefer and serve on a plate. I put the blackberries just after I added the top part to my cheesecake so the gelatin would solidify around them.

Any questions you might have about the whole process, just ask ;)


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