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Cheesecakes are the latest fad around here. Everyone’s talking about them, everyone’s ordering them on coffee dates, everyone’s looking up recipes to try them at home but it is definitely not everyone’s cup of tea to go out there, bake a great cheesecake and get it right every time. And this is where these no-bake versions will seem almost Godsent so that you can actually have your cake and eat it, right away. These no-fuss mini cheesecakes, from Tastes Lovely, have the usual buttery crumb crust paired alongside a light, creamy filling and topped with a good measure of homemade blueberry sauce. Assembled in small Mason jars, they can be made days ahead so that you can open your fridge and reach for one whenever you need to have cheesecake without even having to turn the oven on.

MINI BLUEBERRY CHEESECAKES

Ingredients:

For the Blueberry Sauce

650g fresh blueberries

1/4 cup cold water

3 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon corn starch

1 tablespoon lemon juice

For the Crumb Crust

2 cups graham cracker crumbs

1 tablespoon white granulated sugar

1/2 cup butter, melted

For the Cheesecake Filling

1 1/2 cups heavy cream, cold

450g cream cheese, room temperature

1 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt

1 cup confectioner’s sugar

Method:

  • For the blueberry sauce, heat a saucepan over medium heat. Reserve 1/2 cup blueberries for garnish.
  • Add remaining blueberries, water, sugar and cornstarch to the saucepan. Mash with a potato masher.

  • Cook for about 4 minutes until the sauce has slightly thickened. Remove from heat to allow it to cool.
  • Stir in lemon juice and set aside. Once it is room temperature, cover and keep in fridge until required.

  • In a medium size mixing bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs and sugar and stir it to combine.
  • Slowly drizzle in the melted butter with 1 hand, and stir to combine with a fork using the other hand.

  • When well mixed, it will look like wet sand. Spoon 2 1/2 tablespoons of crumb mixture into each jar.
  • Press the crumbs in an even layer at the bottom of the jar using medium pressure and set them aside.

  • For the filling, beat the cold heavy cream on high speed until stiff peaks form for about 3 to 5 minutes.
  • In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese, Greek yogurt and powdered sugar.

  • Start at low speed, slowly increase to high as sugar gets incorporated. Beat for 2 minutes until creamy.
  • Add in half of the whipped cream to cream cheese mixture. Then add other half of the whipped cream.

  • Gently fold in so that it stays somewhat light and airy else it will be too thick once it cools in the fridge.
  • To assemble, spoon about 1/3 cup of the cheesecake on top of graham cracker crust in the mason jars.

  • Spoon about 2 tablespoons of the blueberry mixture on top of the cheesecake. Cover jars with the lids.
  • Refrigerate for at least one hour so that they firm up. Top cheesecake with fresh blueberries and serve.

Mini Blueberry Cheesecakes

If you love dense, buttery cakes with lots of flavor, this rich cannoli pound cake from Stellina Sweets is definitely gonna make it on your hit list. The cake will rise tall with a lovely cracked top if you bake it in a narrow loaf pan so be sure you do just that. The combination of pistachios, chocolate, citrus zest and ricotta cheese may take you a while to get there, especially if you are using raw unshelled pistachios as it might take well over an hour to shell, chop and roast before you can add them to the batter.

I dare say that you will be nicely rewarded for every ounce of hard work you put in as the finished cake tastes amazing and smells heavenly. Since I’m not familiar with the famous Italian cannoli – a deep fried, crisp cylindrical shell, filled with sweetened ricotta with the ends dipped in a mixture of chocolate and pistachios, which I hope to try at some point –  I cannot honestly say whether the pound cake version matches up to the authentic stuff but I would urge all of you to go ahead and make it anyway so that you can be your own judge.

CANNOLI POUND CAKE

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups (190 grams) all-purpose flour

1 cup (170 grams) mini chocolate chips

1/2 cup (60 grams) pistachios, chopped small

1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar

Finely grated zest of 1 orange

Finely grated zest of 1 lemon

1/2 cup olive oil or vegetable oil

1 tablespoon sweet marsala wine

1 cup (250 grams) whole-milk ricotta cheese

2 large eggs, at room temperature

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 or 2 pinches allspice

Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

Method:

  • Place rack in the center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Spray a 8 x 4½” pan with nonstick cooking spray.

  • Line the pan with parchment paper, such that it overhangs on the long sides, and spray the parchment.

  • Whisk together the flour, chocolate chips, and chopped pistachios in a medium bowl and set this aside.

  • Combine sugar and orange & lemon zests in a bowl and rub zest thoroughly into the sugar using fingers.

  • The mixture will be fluffy and citrus-scented and flecked throughout with bits of orange and yellow zest.

  • Add the olive oil, marsala, ricotta cheese, and eggs; whisk to combine into a fairly homogenous mixture.

  • Sprinkle baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and allspice on top, and whisk to combine everything together.

  • Use a spatula to gently fold the flour/chocolate/pistachio mixture into wet ingredients until just blended.

  • Scrape batter into pan. Bake for 55 to 65 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

  • Transfer it to wire rack and cool cake in the pan for about 15 minutes. Pull parchment up and out of pan.

  • Let cake cool to room temperature on the rack. Dust with confectioners’ sugar if desired for a festive look.

  • The cake will keep for at least 3 days in an airtight container at room temperature. Makes 10-12 servings.

Cannoli Pound Cake

Welcome to our May Bakealong challenge. Each month, we’ll announce a new recipe for you to try, along with helpful tips and step-by-step instructions here on our blog. We invite you to bake this month’s recipe, Berry Blitz Torte, then share a photo of your creation, tagging it #bakealong. Enjoy! May means graduations. And wedding showers. Throw the potential for birthday celebrations in there, and you’ve got all kinds of reasons to bake a cake. Or multiple cakes, if you’re the designated family cake baker.

Most of us have a go-to cake recipe, one we religiously bake for one party or gathering after another. Maybe it’s a chocolate layer cake, like our Favorite Fudge Birthday Cake. Or perhaps a simple pound cake, such as our Lemon Bliss Cake. For me, that signature cake is Berry Blitz Torte. A wonderful mix of tender cake, delicately crunchy topping, and creamy filling layered with fresh berries, it’s a visual stunner with flavor to match. It is easier to make than it looks and there’s no need to polish up your pastry skills; this cake is reachable by any baker.

BERRY BLITZ TORTE

Ingredients:

For the Pastry Cream Filling

2 1/2 cups whole milk

1/2 cup caster sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup cornstarch

3 large egg yolks

1 large whole egg

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 cup heavy cream, whipped

1 1/2 to 2 cups fresh raspberries

For the Cake

1/2 cup unsalted butter

1/2 cup caster sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

4 large egg yolks

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 tablespoons milk

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup All-Purpose Flour

For the Meringue Topping

4 large egg whites

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup sliced or slivered almonds

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon sugar

Method:

  • In a medium saucepan, stir together 2 cups milk, sugar, and salt and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
  • Stir to dissolve sugar. Meanwhile, whisk cornstarch, egg yolks and whole egg with remaining 1/2 cup milk.

  • Whisk some hot milk mixture into egg yolks to temper yolks and prevent them turning into scrambled egg.
  • Pour egg and milk mixture back into simmering milk, pouring through a strainer to capture any bit of egg.

  • Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly with a whisk. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
  • The mixture will thicken significantly. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract. Transfer to container.

  • Top it with a piece of buttered plastic wrap and refrigerate the filling until it is cool, for up to several days.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease two 8-inch round cake pans and line it with baking parchment.

  • To make the cake, beat together the butter, sugar, salt, and egg yolks until well combined. Beat in vanilla.
  • Add milk, baking powder, and flour and beat; batter will be stiff. Spread the batter into the prepared pans.

  • Using an electric mixer or stand mixer with a whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until they are foamy.
  • Gradually add 3/4 cup sugar and continue to beat till the meringue is smooth, glossy, and somewhat stiff.

  • Spread meringue on cake batter. Sprinkle almonds over the meringue. Dust the top with cinnamon sugar.
  • Bake the cakes for 30 minutes, until the almonds are lightly browned. The cakes will puff up significantly.

  • Remove the cakes from oven and allow them to cool for 15 minutes. Carefully loosen the edge of each cake.
  • Gently turn out on a rack to cool completely. Now remove pastry cream from refrigerator and stir it gently.

  • To assemble cake, place one of the cake layers, meringue side up, on a serving plate. Spread with the filling.
  • Add a layer of fresh berries. Top with the second cake layer, meringue-side up and serve cake immediately.

KAF May Challenge: Berry Blitz Torte

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PrerrnaMirchi
Mauritius

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