Monday, September 2, 2013

Classic Cheesecake with Fresh Summer Berry Coulis (a guest post)

This week, I have something a little different and very special! A guest post from the star behind Gastronomical Sovereignty! Kristy and I began chatting on email and plotted this post swap. Check out the berry sweet dessert Kristy made below and head to her blog to see the savory berry galette I made.

Hello darling Young Idealistic Baker readers!!

The first thing that struck me about Beth when I first met her was her generous and kind spirit. She was friendly, candid, enthusiastic and above all else, inspiring. Her love of good food immediately sparked a connection between us and I was honored when she agreed to do a post swap for each other.

While she's a far superior baker than me, our idealistic visions for the goals of our blogs are similar. Positive change in the world for the under-represented social issues we both hold dear. We may be idealistic, but we're making a difference. Or at the very least, trying to and adding several inches to our waistlines in the process. I'm good with that.

Speaking of which - we agreed originally to do galettes. We had both failed miserably at these in the past and saw our post swap as an opportunity for redemption. Or vengeance. Whatevs.

Yeah. I still tanked. That blasted pastry berry tart beat me again. And instead of subject you wonderful people to the horrific mess I made, I opted to become a free agent. And made something else with fresh, seasonal berries instead. That's right. I went rogue. 

For me, the best guest posts are loaded with a ton of succulent descriptions of mouth watering images that create a stir in your loins. Ain't nothing wrong with a little porn... err, food porn. I like me some good old fashioned, ingredient on fork action. And let me tell you - what evolved from Beth’s and my "Say Goodbye to Summer" Berry cook-off was nothing short of orgasmic.

Two words, my friends: Cheese. Cake. (....that may actually be one word).

Considering I'd never made a cheesecake before, I was pretty darn tootin' impressed. Creamy, oozy, sensually cheesy with a crispy arrow-root cracker crust and to top it off, an orgy of fresh, juicy, tender Summer berries. Let me tell ya - if seasonal, organic ingredients raises my temperature, slathering it all in creamy-cheesy-cake could only be described as a lascivious devouring unsuitable for children. Or those with heart problems.


Classic Cheesecake with Fresh Summer Berry Coulis
(printable recipe) - Serves 8

Ingredients for Crust:

  • 175g Arrow-Root (baby) Crackers.
  • 1/4 C Sugar.
  • 1 Tsp Fine Salt.
  • 4 Tbsp Butter, melted.

Ingredients for Filling:

  • 500 g Quality Cream Cheese, room temperature.
  • 250 ml Sour Cream.
  • 3/4 C Sugar.
  • 3 Organic, Pastured Eggs, room temperature.
  • 1 Tsp Pure Vanilla Extract.
  • 1 Lemon for zest.

Ingredients for Topping:

  • 2 Pint Fresh Blueberries, washed.
  • 2 Tbsp Local, Organic Honey.
  • Lil Water.
  • 2 Oz. Berry Liquor (i.e. Chambord)
  • 1 Lemon for juice.
To serve, 1 Pint Fresh Raspberries, washed and well dried.

What to Do:
Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees F and line a 9" springform pan with parchment paper.

First, make the crust. Pulse the crackers in your food processor until fine. Add the remaining ingredients and pulse until combined. Firmly line the prepared springform pan with the mixture, going up the sides as high as you can. Make sure the bottom and sides are even and carefully but firmly packed. Place in oven and bake 12 minutes or until golden and smelling delicious. Remove from heat, place pan on a wire rack and allow to cool completely.

Once the crust has cooled, turn your oven to 325 degrees F and begin mixing the filling. In a large bowl, mix together the cream cheese, 1 Tsp vanilla, sugar, and the lemon zest with a hand mixer on medium-high until creamy and light (approx 3-4 minutes). Make sure to wipe down the sides as you go so everything gets creamed together. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Add sour cream.

Roll some tin foil around the bottom of the pan and 2/3 of the way up the sides. Place in a roasting pan large enough for the springform pan to sit flat. Pour cream-cheese mixture into cooled crust. Fill the roasting pan with boiling water so that it comes halfway up the sides of the cake. Place in oven and bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until the center of the cake still jiggles but looks set.

Turn the stove off and open the door of the oven to allow the heat to dissipate slowly. After 20 minutes, pull the cake from the oven and gently lift the pan from the water bath. Place on a wire rack to cool completely. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours. If you can...

Serve with fresh berries and the blueberry coulis:

To make coulis: Place all ingredients in a medium sized pan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, reduce to a simmer and allow the berries to break open, release their juices and become oozy and gooey. Stir occasionally. After 45 minutes, remove from heat, allow to cool slightly, puree and cool.


Buen Provecho!

Gastronomical Sovereignty
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