We love cheesecake. I’ve never made a “baked” one. To be honest, I’m not entirely sure if I’ve eaten one either, how is It different? I mean I know it’s been baked but in terms of taste? What happens to it? Why would you bake it? There’s no actual cake involved…
Anyway, cheesecake. I’d never have thought of this combination, but we had a lovely store bought one, so I thought I’d give it a go for a valentine’s day dessert (steak for main, obviously!).
I should at this point confess, I have got absolutely no idea what to do with a vanilla pod. I’d never even seen one. But, upon hearing my plan, Hunky Husband said: “there are some vanilla pods in the cupboard, use that instead of essence”. He didn’t follow this up with any instructions and was at work when I made it. So, if my vanilla podding is wildly inaccurate, please forgive, and correct me.
You will need:
- 200g Digestive biscuits
- 100g Melted butter
- 200ml Double cream
- 250g mascarpone cheese
- 100g Caster Sugar
- 1 Vanilla pod
- 100g Fresh Blueberries
Now, you may notice that the mascarpone in the photo is “low fat”. I’m not generally a massive fan of low fat. We need fat. Fat is part of what makes things taste good. So, I’d rather have a smaller portion of full fat, than go low fat. However, I am still in that awful “my jeans don’t fit” phase, so I tried it. It does not work!! I had to start again once I’d tasted it. It’s not awful, but it just tasted like cream once it was all mixed together, not remotely cheese. So, full-fat cheese, please!!
Firstly, mash your biscuits to fine crumbs. You could do this with a food processor, but I like to bash them with a rolling pin. Much more fun.
Then, add the melted butter and mix in, until they are wet fine crumbs.
Tip out into a loose bottomed tin, and press down with the back of a spoon, until you have an even, flat surface. Place in the fridge while you make the topping.
Whisk the double cream until it forms firm peaks, and leave to one side.
Now, attack the vanilla pod. I read online somewhere, in my desperate “what on earth do I do with this stick?!” googling, that if you “massage the pod” it enhances the flavour, and loosens the seeds. So, massage the pod. Then slice, lengthways with a sharp knife. Using the tip of the knife, scrape out the soft black seeds from inside.
I wasn’t sure what to do with them now, so I added them to the cream and stirred in.
Loosen the mascarpone with a fork, then add to the cream and fold in, until it’s smooth. Finally, add the caster sugar. I do this in bits and taste as I go. When I make a lemon cheesecake, I add quite a lot of sugar, but this isn’t as bitter and I didn’t need as much.
Remove the base from the fridge, and pour over the topping. Using the back of a spoon, spread evenly.
Add the blueberries. I took great pleasure dropping them on from about 6 inches, so they sank a little bit. If you wanted it to look neater, gently press them in, at regularly spaced intervals. But I think the messy way looks cooler.
Leave in the fridge to set for at least 2 hours. Overnight is better. Or, just until you catch your toddler in the fridge, picking all the blueberries out.
A rich and creamy Vanilla and Blueberry Cheesecake
- • 200g Digestive biscuits
- • 100g Melted butter
- • 200ml Double cream
- • 250g mascarpone cheese
- • 100g Caster Sugar
- • 1 Vanilla pod
- • 100g Fresh Blueberries
Firstly, crush the biscuits into fine crumbs
Add the melted butter and mix together well
Tip into a loose bottomed tin, spread evenly, and compress using the back of a spoon, until it's a firm base
Place in the fridge
Whisk the cream until firm and set to one side
Remove the seeds from the vanilla pods using a sharp knife
Add to the cream and mix together well
Stir in caster sugar, to taste
Remove the base from the fridge and spoon over the topping, spreading evenly
Lightly place the blueberries on top, so they sink in slightly
Leave in the fridge to set for at least 2 hours