Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Berries and Cream Cheesecake

Here’s what you need:
2 T sugar
Zest from one lemon
2 T fresh lemon juice
¾ C black berry preserves
¾ C fresh blackberries, plus more for garnish
¾ C fresh strawberries, plus more for garnish
8 ounces room temperature non-dairy cream cheese (Tofutti brand)
¼ C powdered sugar
1 t pure vanilla extract
1 can full fat coconut milk stored in the fridge at least 24 hours
¼ C powdered sugar
½ t pure vanilla extract
24 ounces pound cake, sliced 1/3 inch thick

Here’s what you do:
Make the coconut whipped cream: Make sure the coconut milk has been chilled thoroughly in the fridge for at least 24 hours. Turn the can upside down and open – this will allow all the liquid to easily pour out. Scrape the thick part out and place in a small bowl which has also been chilled for 15 minutes in the fridge. Whip with hand mixer or stand mixer until light and fluffy. (I have read that if you use a brand without guar gum, it will fluff up better. Look in an Asian market.) Don’t be afraid to let it whip up for a good long time. Add ¼ C powdered sugar and ½ t vanilla and whip again. Delicious!

Make the lemon glaze: In a small pot bring 1/3 C water to a boil. Add the 2 T sugar and the lemon zest. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and add the lemon juice. Allow to cool.

Make the berry syrup:  In a medium pot combine ¼ C water, the preserves and the berries and cook over medium heat until thick – about 15 minutes. Stir often. Remove from heat and strain out any seeds. Allow to cool.

Make the coconut cream cheese: Using an electric mixer or stand mixer, mix the cream cheese, ¼ C powdered sugar and 1 t vanilla until light, smooth and fluffy. Carefully fold in the prepared coconut whipped cream.

Assemble the cake:   Arrange one layer of pound cake in the bottom of a 9 inch spring form pan, cutting to fit as needed. Brush with lemon glaze. Spread half of the berry mixture over the cake. Spoon half of the coconut cream cheese mixture over the berries. Repeat this layering process one more time, ending with cream cheese. Cover and chill for at least 4 hours. Remove from spring form and decorate with remaining berries.