A blog about impressing your guests with a simple, beautiful and indulgent dessert, which you can whip up in just half an hour.
It’s all about the presentation
Food presentation has never been my strong point. I can make a delicious, healthy meal from scraps found at the back of the fridge, but it always looks like mush. No matter how hard I try to replicate the delicate vegetable towers and jus swirls in my cookbooks, my plates resemble school dinners.
So it’s nice to find a recipe which, when presented to a hungry audience, results in actual ooohs and aaaahs. This no-bake cheesecake is one such crowd pleaser.
The inspiration for this dessert is the humble blackberry. The Tween and I picked a kilo of blackberries in our local woods last week. There must be a million blackberries here – bushes bursting with berries as far as the eye can see.
Like all of my lazy recipes, this no-bake blackberry vanilla cheesecake is incredibly simple, comprises few ingredients and can be made in under half an hour. I’ve adapted it from a few different sources, substituting icing sugar – which I find cloyingly sweet – for brown caster sugar. I’ve increased the size of the biscuit base for extra crunch. The tartness of the blackberries takes the edge off.
Here is the recipe for my no-bake blackberry vanilla cheesecake. I hope you like it.
For the cake:
- 200g digestive biscuits
- 100g soft salted butter
- 300g cream cheese
- 40g golden caster sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 250ml double cream
For the blackberry compote:
- 600g blackberries washed thoroughly
- 2 x tbsp golden caster sugar
Start with the compote:
In a saucepan mix the sugar and blackberries and simmer on medium heat while you make the cheesecake. Stir occasionally. After half an hour or so, the blackberries will soften and lose their shape and the sauce will thicken, leaving you with a dark lumpy sauce. Leave it to cool, then transfer to a container and refrigerate until you’re ready to serve your cheesecake.
To make the cheesecake:
Crush the digestive biscuits in a food processor. If you don’t have one, put the digestives into a well-sealed freezer bag and bash the biscuits into crumbs with a rolling pin (great for releasing tension!). In a bowl (or in the food processor if you’re using one), combine the biscuit crumbs with the soft butter.
Press the mixture evenly into a round 20cm springform cake tin and put it in the fridge.
In a large mixing bowl, stir together the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla extract and lemon juice until you have a smooth mixture.
Whip the double cream in a separate bowl and then fold into the cream cheese mixture.
Spoon the cream cheese mixture on top of the biscuit base, and smooth it out evenly. Refrigerate the cheesecake for a few hours or overnight.
When you’re ready to serve this masterpiece, take the cheesecake out of its tin (leave it on the base, just remove the sides) and spread the compote over the top. Let it drip down the sides.
Serve and bask in the glory of your diners’ appreciation.
Do you have a dish which makes people gasp in awe? Please tell me about it, I’d like to try it! And please let me know if you give this recipe a go. I would love to hear if it received the praise it deserved.
You can find more of my lazy recipes here, although most don’t look as appetising as this one.
Much love, Vx