Monday, June 23, 2014

Berries and Cream Cheesecake – vegan and awesome

Better than any argument is to rise at dawn and pick dew-wet red berries in a cup. Wendell Berry

I was extremely nervous to serve this at a recent dessert party. I don't know if I was more worried about the sloppy appearance or about how much I diverted from the original recipe. Silly me! Every bite was gone and folks raved. Seriously, they raved. 

The original recipe comes from an old magazine and calls for blueberries and full heavy cream and of course dairy cream cheese. See how perfect the professionals can make their cake and their photo look? I made this years ago for a Boy Scout banquet and I remember people raving then also. (Look closely and  you can see I gave it two 5 star ratings.) 

So if you have time to kill and want to bring a most impressive dessert to a party then look no further.

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

Coconut cream straight from the can - Chilled 24 hours
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!

Whip until light and fluffy. 

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.

Prepare all the necessary ingredients before beginning to assemble. Note: the berry syrup is chilling in an ice bath. 

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.

My store bought cake was  pre-sliced, which created layers that were too thick. 

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.

1 comment:

  1. This is a beautiful dessert!! and I am sure that everyone raved. It is so fresh and just perfect. Blessings, Catherine


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