Blueberry Mousse Cheesecake

Since returning from my travels, I’ve been getting back into the swing of baking slowly – a few cookies to take into the office here, using up an old box of cake mix there – but nothing too extravagant or challenging.

I decided it was time to step it up a notch for my mum’s birthday, with this blueberry mousse cheesecake.

She’s not a cakey-cake sort of person, and definitely prefers fruit desserts to chocolate, so a fruity cheesecake seemed ideal (not to mention that it’s my favourite thing to bake).

I made a sponge base, because I think it’s a nice change to biscuit sometimes, a fairly standard fail-safe new york cheesecake recipe, and then a slightly more troublesome blueberry mousse on top.

I wanted to make the mousse without gelatine because it scares me a little, so decide to try a sort of fake mousse with melted white chocolate and whipped cream, which I’ve used to fill cakes before.

To give it the blueberry flavour and colour, I boiled down a pack of frozen blueberries and strained to make a coulis, then added this in – half into the melted white chocolate and half into the cream, for no reason other than I didn’t know which way would work best.

After pouring the mousse on top of the cheesecake I started to have doubts about whether it would set, so scraped it off, added more melted white chocolate, whipped it up some more and put it back. I really needn’t have done that, as left overnight it would have set up just fine, but lesson learnt I suppose.

I decorated the cake with the leftover blueberry coulis, and it looked rather nice I think.

My mum liked it, and even had a second slice for breakfast, and my dad and step dad seemed to like it too. I’d like to have another go and make a raspberry one to perfect the mousse, and I think you could come up with some great combinations if you changed up the flavour of the cheesecake as well.

Note – I made a 6″ cake because there were only going to be four of us eating it, but you could totally double up to make a 9″ one and the method would be exactly the same.

Blueberry Mousse Cheesecake

For the base:

  • 50g butter
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 40g self raising flour
  • 10g desiccated coconut

For the cheesecake:

  • 300g cream cheese
  • 100g caster sugar
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 75ml creme fraiche

For the mousse:

  • 300g frozen blueberries
  • 150g white chocolate
  • 150ml whipping cream

To make the base, beat all the ingredients together until smooth then pour into a greased and lined 6″ round tin. Bake at 180 degrees for 20 minutes, or until risen and golden. Leave to cool in the tin, then remove and level the top – you only want the sponge to be about 1cm thick.

For the cheesecake, beat the cream cheese to soften then add the sugar and lemon zest and beat to combine. Add the lemon juice and vanilla and beat; then the eggs and beat; then finally the creme fraiche. And beat.

Put the sponge back in the bottom of the tin and pour the cheesecake mixture on top. Bake at 170 degrees for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 120 and bake for another hour. I always have a tray on the shelf underneath with about an inch of water in, this creates steam and helps to stop the cheesecake cracking. After baking, leave in the oven to cool, then transfer to the fridge.

To make the mouse, start by heating the blueberries in a saucepan until all the juices have been released and it’s starting to thicken. Blend either in a food processor or with a stick blender, then pass through a sieve to get rid of any lumps.

Melt the white chocolate and leave to come to room temperature. Whisk the cream until it’s lightly whipped. Add a couple of spoonfuls of cream into the chocolate to loosen it, then add the chocolate back into the cream and fold in gently. Add the blueberry coulis a few spoonfuls at a time until you get a good flavour and colour, taking care not to add too much in case the mousse becomes too runny, and remember to keep some back for decoration.

Remove the cooled cheesecake from the tin, then line the tin with cling film and put it back in. This is a thousand times easier to do with a loose bottomed tin so you can keep the cake on that. Pour the mousse on top of the cheesecake and spread level, then leave in the fridge overnight to set.

When you’re ready to serve, gently lift the cake out of the tin, remove the cling film and transfer to a serving plate. Drizzle the remaining coulis on top and make it look all pretty, then you’re done!

 

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Blueberry Bluebird Cake

While I haven’t been doing a lot of general baking recently (brownies, cupcakes, cookies etc) I have done quite a few cakes for special occasions, which I’ve really enjoyed as not only does it mean they’re out of my kitchen and I can’t eat them all myself, but it’s also given me a chance to try out some different types of decorating.

Back in June, the Cornwall Clandestine Cake Club held a meeting in Truro, the town where I live, at a small cafe/cake shop called The Baking Bird.

The theme, naturally, was ‘free as a bird’, which could either be interpreted as being free to make whatever you want, or as I took it something with a avian link.

It took me quite a while to decide what to make, but in the end I decided to go for a bluebird theme, with a blueberry flavour to match.

I didn’t write down the exact recipe, but I based it on several ‘blue velvet’ cake recipes I found online, with fresh blueberries added in to the batter, a lime sugar syrup brushed over the sponges, and a layer of cheesecake in the middle (that came from this recipe).

To finish it off, I made a white chocolate buttercream and decorated it with fondant icing cut out birds, in three different shades of blue using templates I drew and cut out myself.

The blue velvet sponge didn’t turn out quite as I’d hoped – I think I had the wrong shade of blue food colouring and it was more green than blue – I really loved the flavours and the addition of the cheesecake layer, and I thought the decoration worked well too – people could at least tell it was meant to be birds!

I have quite a few more fancy cakes to post, which I’ll try to do interspersed with actual recipes, but hopefully the photos will help if you need some decorating inspiration!

Blueberry cheesecake brownies

Along with the peanut butter cup rocky road, which went down a storm, I also made these blueberry cheesecake brownies for my American-themed party last weekend.

The original idea was something red, white and blue, so I thought that red velvet cheesecake brownies with a few blueberries thrown in would do the job perfectly.

Unfortunately, I seem to be incapable of making a red velvet anything that actually turns out red.

This time I used Dr Oetker gel colouring, in the past I’ve tried liquid food colouring and even beetroot for a natural version, but nothing seems to produce the vibrant red I’m after. If anyone has any top tips of the best colouring to use, please let me know, I am determined to crack it one day!

Anyway, despite being more mahogany than red, I was actually quite happy with these – the brownie layer was fudgy, the cheesecake layer was distinct, and the flavours all worked well together.

An added bonus of making these is that they reminded me just how amazing blueberries are to bake with, so you can expect to see a few more blueberry treats coming soon!

Blueberry cheesecake brownies (adapted from Foodtastic Mom)

For the brownie layer:

  • 115g butter
  • 55g dark chocolate
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 2 tbsp red food colouring
  • 120g plain flour
  • 1/2tsp salt

For the cheesecake layer:

  • 225g cream cheese
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 100g blueberries

Start by melting the butter and chocolate together in a small bowl. Beat the eggs, sugar, vanilla and food colouring together until light and fluffy, then add the chocolate butter mixture and beat until combined. Sift in the flour and salt, fold into the mix, and then spread into an 8×8″ square tin, greased and lined.

For the cheesecake layer, beat the cream cheese, sugar, egg and vanilla together until smooth, then pour over the brownie mix. Sprinkle the blueberries evenly on top, then bake at 180 degrees (160 fan) for about 35-40 minutes, or until the cheesecake has just set but still has a slight wobble. Leave to cool completely, then slice into bars and keep in the fridge until serving.

Lemon blueberry cake

Lemon Blueberry Cake

The inspiration for this cake came from a Clandestine Cake Club event I was hoping to attend, but ended up being postponed to a date I couldn’t make – I had already made the sponge before I found out so I thought I might as well carry on and bring it into work instead!

The theme was to bake a cake inspired by art, and I was planning to recreate Van Gogh’s Starry Night in cake form. I chose lemon and blueberry because I thought the inside would reflect the colours of the icing, plus it’s a combination I love anyway.

I thought a Starry Night cake might be a little OTT for my colleagues, and so instead I had my first go at ‘ombre’ style graduated colour, going from pale yellow in the centre to a bright sunshine yellow at the edge.

For a first attempt I was pretty impressed with how it turned out! I used a lemon buttercream with added white chocolate, which I find makes a better textured icing than regular buttercream and is a lot easier to work with.

The juicy bursting blueberries inside looked and tasted exactly how I imagined. I’m sad I didn’t get to share this cake with everyone at Cake Club, but it’s a recipe I would definitely make again, and an icing technique I look forward to experimenting with more.

Lemon Blueberry Cake (adapted from Domestic Adventure)

  • 150g butter
  • 270g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 2 lemons, zest and juice
  • 210g plain flour
  • 20g cornflour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 150ml semi-skimmed milk
  • 200g blueberries, fresh or frozen

For the icing:

  • 75g butter
  • 225g icing sugar
  • 50g white chocolate, melted
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • Yellow gel food colouring

Start by beating the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy – because there’s quite a high ratio of sugar to butter I found I needed to add a splash of the milk to bring it together but you might not find that necessary. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, then the lemon zest and juice. Sift together the flour, cornflour powder and add to the mixture in thirds, alternating with the milk, so it’s – flour, milk, flour, milk, flour.

Whisk the egg whites until they stand in peaks, then fold into the cake mix a third at a time. Make sure no white bits are left but be careful not to overmix. Finally fold the blueberries through the batter and spread into a greased and lined 8″ round cake tin, and bake for 45 minutes – 1 hour at 170 degrees, or until nicely golden, springy and a skewer comes out clean.

To make the icing, beat the butter to soften, then add the icing sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add the lemon zest and juice, then the melted white chocolate. If you’re not icing the cake straight away, leave the icing covered on the worktop – if you put it in the fridge it will set too hard because of the chocolate.

Spread a thin layer of icing all over the cake to crumb-coat, then chill in the fridge for 30 minutes to set.

To create the graduated colour effect, start by spreading a small circle of uncoloured icing in the centre on top of the cake. Add a little yellow food colouring to the remaining icing until it’s a shade or two darker, then spread a ring of icing overlapping the inner circle. Add a little more yellow colouring, then spread another circle – repeat, going a shade or two darker each time, until you reach the edge of the cake and it’s a nice bright yellow. Use the leftover icing to cover the sides of the cake, then transfer to a serving plate and cut into nice big wedges!

Blueberry autumn spice cake

When I made my blueberry curd last month, not only was it perfect for the October Tea Time Treats challenge of jams, curds and chutneys, but I also knew it would come in handy for the Best of British blogging challenge, which for October/November is all about Dorset.

Half of my family are from Dorset, and I went to uni in Bournemouth, so I know the area pretty well, but it was actually at a food festival in Plymouth where I discovered my favourite Dorset ingredient – blueberries!

The Trehane family (aka the Dorset Blueberry Company) have a blueberry farm just outside of Ferndown, and as well as selling plants and fruit have a fantastic range of bakery products – I’ve sampled the shortbread, flapjack and lemon tart, and all are fabulous!

I should probably point out that I haven’t been paid to say all this, I really am just a fan! Although sadly the blueberries in this recipe aren’t from the Trehane farm, the recipe is definitely inspired by them.

As we’re well out of summer now, I gave a light sponge cake, studded with juicy blueberries, a bit of an Autumn twist, by adding a spoonful of pumpkin pie spice, which wasn’t overwhelming but complimented the fruit nicely.

The filling is a layer of my blueberry curd, and a layer of blueberry curd buttercream – I couldn’t resist cramming in as much blueberry as possible!

Blueberry autumn spice cake

  • 175g butter
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 175g self raising flour
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 100g blueberries, fresh or frozen
  • 6 tbsp blueberry curd
  • 50g butter
  • 75g icing sugar

To make the cake, cream the butter and sugar together then beat in the eggs, one at a time. Sift together the flour and pumpkin pie spice, then gently fold into the mixture with the blueberries. Divide the mixture between two 7″ sandwich tins, and bake at 170 degrees for about 25 minutes, or until risen and golden.

While the cakes are cooling, make the buttercream by beating the butter with the icing sugar, then stirring in half the blueberry curd. Spread a layer of buttercream on top of one cake, and a layer of blueberry curd on the underneath of the other, then sandwich together. Cut into slices and serve!

The Dorset themed best of British challenge, sponsored by New World Appliances, is being hosted by Karen of Lavender and Lovage. There’s a £50 Amazon voucher up for grabs for one lucky entrant this month, but the deadline is tomorrow so you better be quick!

Homemade blueberry curd

When I saw that Kate from What Kate Baked had chosen jams, chutneys, curds and conserves as the theme for this month’s Tea Time Treats challenge, I knew immediately that it was time to try a new curd recipe.

Not that I don’t like jams and chutneys, but they’re just not as easy to eat by the spoonful as a good curd, and having had success with a traditional lemon curd and a slightly more unusual raspberry curd in the past I was happy to have an excuse to try another flavour.

As luck would have it, my local fruit and veg shop was selling super cheap blueberries the other weekend, £1.50 for about 125g, so I stocked up and decided to use some of them to make this curd and froze the rest (to be used in another recipe which also used the curd – sneak peak below…)

I based this on my raspberry curd recipe, but adapted it to cook the blueberries first so they’d release all their delicious purple juices – I clearly have a bit of a thing about vividly coloured curds!

It worked brilliantly, if I do say so myself, and I can’t wait to try baking with it – if it doesn’t disappear by the spoonful in the meantime…

Homemade blueberry curd

  • 125g fresh blueberries
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 2 small eggs
  • zest and juice of a lemon
  • 50g butter
  • 100g caster sugar

Heat the blueberries with the tbsp of water in a pan over a medium heat, until the berries soften and release their juices, then set aside. Add the lemon zest and juice, butter and sugar to a different saucepan and heat until the butter has melted and sugar has dissolved.

Whisk your eggs in a medium heatproof bowl, then slowly pour in the melted butter mixture, whisking continuously until all the liquid has been added. Pour back into the saucepan then return to the heat, and add the blueberries you set aside earlier. Heat gently, stirring, until the mixture starts to bubble and thicken – it should be thick enough to cover the back of a wooden spoon. Pour into a heatproof jar and leave to cool.

This doesn’t make a huge amount of curd, maybe 200g or so, but the recipe could easily be doubled. I left the whole berries in, but if you wanted a smooth curd you could easily filter them out by pouring the mixture through a sieve into the jars.

I am entering this to the October Tea Time Treats challenge, hosted alternately by Kate of What Kate Baked and Karen of Lavender and Lovage – the theme being jams, chutneys, curds and conserves!

Blueberry buckle

I’ve been wanting to make this cake for absolutely ages – so long that the pony actually thought I had made it because I’d talked about it so much.

I was put off to start with by the price of blueberries, but they’ve gone down a bit recently so I finally felt like it wouldn’t be ridiculously indulgent to throw 450g of them into a cake.

Mine definitely doesn’t look as good as the original, I think maybe because my butter was too soft for the streusel so it sort of melted into the cake, but taste-wise it definitely didn’t disappoint.

I guess it’s kind of like a blueberry muffin in cake form, but much moister and with a much higher (better!) ratio of blueberries to sponge.

Warmed up a little it was especially delicious – I’m really sad that it’s all been eaten now so definitely one to make again!

Blueberry Buckle (recipe from Laura’s Sweet Spot)

Streusel:

  • 60g plain flour
  • 65g light brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 55g unsalted butter, cubed

Cake:

  • 180g plain flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 140g unsalted butter, softened
  • 130g caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 450g blueberries

To make the streusel, stir together the flour,sugar, cinnamon and salt and rub in the butter until it forms a breadcrumb-like texture and starts to clump together.

For the cake, beat together the butter, sugar, salt and lemon zest until light and fluffy. Add in the lemon juice and eggs, one at a time, then sieve in the flour and baking powder and fold until just combined. Fold in the blueberries, then spread into a 9″ round greased and lined tin. It might be a bit hard to spread evenly because there are so many blueberries, but it will even out as it bakes.

Sprinkle the streusel over the top in rough lumps, then bake at 180 degrees for about an hour, or until golden on top and a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool before removing from the tin and serving.

Strawberry and blueberry crumbles for two

I am literally obsessed with bargain shopping.

I used to stick to the ‘it’s only a good deal if you really need it’ motto, but not anything and everything that has a reduction sticker on it goes into the shopping trolley.

So naturally, when I found a punnet of blueberries originally £4 for 65p, and strawberries originally £1.50 for 55p, I couldn’t resist.

For the most part they were perfectly fine to just eat fresh, but a few of the strawberries were starting to look a little past their best, so I decided to whip up a couple of quick, individual crumbles for a really easy weeknight dessert.

This is so ridiculously easy that it may become a bit of a regular habit whenever I see bargain fruits, particularly when it’s as miserable and rainy as it has been this week…

Strawberry and blueberry crumbles for two

  • 125g strawberries
  • 100g blueberries
  • 15g butter
  • 30g plain flour
  • 15g demerera sugar
  • 15g rolled oats

Hull and quarter the strawberries, then mix with the blueberries and divide between two small ramekins. Rub together the butter and flour to form a rough breadcrumb-like mix, then stir in the sugar and oats and sprinkle on top of the fruit. Bake at 180 degrees for 20-30 minutes, or until the crumble is golden and the juice is bubbling up at the sides. We had ours with custard but ice cream would be delicious too!

Eton Mess

Meringue. Berries. Cream. How could anyone possibly not like that combination?!

I think Eton Mess might be one of my favourite summer desserts. That’s why when I had a couple of leftover egg whites, and I found a punnet of blueberries reduced to 50p, I knew exactly what to make.

The blueberries were the best I’ve tasted all summer, and the British strawberries were equally delicious. The fact that they survived long enough to make it into the dessert is down to some severe self restraint!

This barely counts as a recipe as it’s so, so simple.

Whisk 2 egg whites until stiff, then whisk in 110g of caster sugar a spoonful at a time. Blob on to a baking sheet and bake at a low temperature, 130-140ish. 30 mins will give you white meringues with a soft marshmallowy centre, an hour will produce crisper, golden meringues, it’s really down to your personal preference but I went for golden crispy.

Break up the meringues into small-ish chunks. Whip 300ml double cream with a little icing sugar, then pile into glasses with the meringue and whatever berries are available. That was my slight attempt to make it look nice, but really all mixed in together and chucked into a big bowl is equally as good!

I also kept one meringue back to make a mini pavlova, as the friendly pony had never have one before. Talk about deprived culinary upbringing!