Friday, 28 August 2015

Bilberry & White Chocolate Baked Cheesecake

A rich, creamy & flavoursome baked cheesecake which contains a hidden layer of seasonal fruit.  The white chocolate mixture is layered up with a fresh bilberry mixture which brings a lovely colour contrast and extra flavour to this well loved dessert.

This recipe for a baked bilberry & white chocolate cheesecake dessert is constructed in such a way as to bring colour contrast when served.

Yes!  It's dessert week on GBBO (2015)!  Three cheers for desserts! 

I have such a sweet tooth.  When Mr E & I eat out he will often order two desserts on the pretence that we have will have one each, but in reality they are both for me; and yet I wonder why my waistline is increasing!  So when GBBO's Dessert Week was televised I was found sat glued to the TV screen, watching the fabulously delicious desserts being created.

This recipe for a baked bilberry & white chocolate cheesecake dessert is constructed in such a way as to bring colour contrast when served.

GBBO's dessert week (2015)  saw the bakers being challenged with Crème Brule for their Signature Dish, a technical bake set by Mary of a  Spanish Windtorte (which is actually Austrian!), and a 3 tier cheesecake for their Showstopper.  I really was in a quandary as to which bake I should attempt!  Over the past 3 weeks I'd been selecting the bake which we would enjoy the most; but this week I would enjoy all three (I say I, as Mr E really isn't a dessert person)!  This week it actually crossed my mind to make all three bakes!  Yes, really!

How to make a layered baked cheesecake like this Bilberry and White Chocolate one.

No doubt it's abundantly obvious that we decided to attempt to make a baked a cheesecake.  I adore cheesecake.  I had a 3 tier design and flavour combo in mind and a clear idea as to how I would stack it, but coming back to reality making a 3 tier cheesecake for our 8 legged household, 4 of which belong to our feline friend, such a bake simply wasn't practical.  So as a nod to GBBO, we scaled back the cheesecake to a single one tier bake.  Our cake clearly hasn't got the same 'WOW' factor as those in the bake-off tent, but we're more than happy with the outcome and, most importantly, the taste.

Bilberry & White Chocolate Baked Cheesecake Recipe

Now, I had envisaged making a raspberry & white chocolate cheesecake, but since stumbling across some bilberries growing wild above Haworth on a day prior to my bake, those raspberries morphed into bilberries.  I spent half  an hour picking as many of the beauties as I could.  These little berries are so much smaller than their cousin, the blueberry, and sweeter too.  Just remember, the bilberry pie isn't called 'mucky mouth pie' for no good reason - the colour of my fingers after picking them and the stain on one of our wooden spoons is testimony to that!

Post Script: since posting this recipe, one or two people have commented that they are unfamiliar with bilberries and not too sure what they look like.  I should have included a picture of the bushes and the berries, sorry!  Here are a few links to information about bilberries and where you can either pick them or buy them as they're not often found in supermarkets, but if you can't get your hands on any bilberries blueberries will work just as well.




So about our cheesecake.  The cheesecake is baked, as stipulated by Mel & Sue, consisting of a biscuit base topped with a standard mix of cream-cheese, soured cream, eggs and melted white chocolate.  It 'hides' a layer of bilberry coulis, (thickened with a vegetarian gel in the hope that they wouldn't sink), in the centre and is topped with a bilberry jelly decorated with white chocolate swirls.  My idea for some pretty chocolate work sadly didn't come to fruition due to a lack of skill (note to self, practice your chocolate work!)  The cake itself is seriously yummy.  It's rich, creamy and flavoursome sat upon a beautiful biscuit base.  It really has been enjoyed by family and friends, as well as your truly.

How to make a Bilberry & White Chocolate Baked Cheesecake, with a hidden layer of purple bilberries

Now, having never made a baked cheesecake before, despite loving them so much, I have done some reading about them during the past few days.  I've learnt that baked cheesecakes can easily crack.  To reduce that risk I found several recommendations, such as baking it in a water bath; running a pallet knife around the edge of the cake after baking; allowing it to cool in the oven after baking; and to reduce the oven temperature early in the bake as stipulated in all of Eric Lanyard cheesecake recipes in his book Home Bake.  I carried out all four of those tips in the hope that our baked cheesecake would emerge from the oven crack-free.  Whether it was a little dose of luck or perhaps good management, our Bilberry and White Chocolate Baked Cheesecake was completely crackfree, not even a hairline fracture could be seen!  

The cheesecake itself was delicious.  It was creamy and packed with flavour and colour.   Knowing now that baked cheesecakes aren't too difficult I'll certainly be making another.

Bilberry & White Chocolate Baked Cheesecake

The only thing I wasn't as happy with (other than my chocolate work) was the edge of the cake.  It simply doesn't look liked a baked cheesecake edge, through trust me it is baked.  I think this is down to the preparation of the cake tin.  Many recipes I came across didn't seem to line or grease the sides of the tin, so I didn't.  This meant that when the pallet knife was used to loosen the cake from the sides of the tin it interfered with the edge a little.

Bilberry & White Chocolate Baked Cheesecake



So let's get to it and bake.


Bilberry & White Chocolate Baked Cheesecake     Yum

Yield: 1 cheesecake 
Serves: 10 -12 good slices
Difficulty: Easy - Moderate
Freezable: Sorry, untested
Time: hands on time about 45 minutes; plus 60 - 65 total bake time; plus cooling time.

You will need:

1 x 20cm spring form cake tin
Greaseproof Paper
Tin Foil
little Butter / Margarine for greasing the tin
Electric Beaters (ideal, though not essential)
Roasting Tin large enough to sit the cake tin in
Piping Bag, or small 'piping bag' made from greaseproof paper

For the Biscuit Base

220g Digestive Biscuits
70g Unsalted Butter, melted

For the Cheesecake Body

600g Cream Cheese, full fat & good quality
150g Sour Cream
Zest of 1 Lemon
2 large Eggs, lightly beaten
100g White Chocolate, melted

Bilberry Layer and Top

250g (approx.) bilberries (or any other soft berry)
8 tsp (approx.) Icing Sugar
1 x sachet Vegetarian Gelling Powder (for about 1 pint of liquid)
3 - 4 tbsp. Water
30g White Chocolate, melted

How to make it:

1.  Pre-heat the oven to 170c / Fan 150c / Gas 3.

2.  Prepare the cake tin.  Grease and fully line your cake tin with greaseproof paper.  Cut a strip of tinfoil.  Sit the cake tin in the centre of it and draw the tinfoil up the sides of the tin, scrunching it around the sides to secure (the tinfoil needs to come atleast halfway up the side of the tin.)  This will help prevent any water creeping into the cake tin from the water-bath

3.  Make the base.  Crush the biscuits either in a food processor or encase them in a clean tea towel (perhaps in two batches) and use a rolling pin to crush them well until they are a sandy consistency.  Pour into a mixing bowl.  Add the melted butter and mix until all of the biscuits crumbs have been coated.  Tip into the prepared cake tin and smooth out.  Press it down with the back of a teaspoon to compact the mixture.  Place into the oven and bake for 10 minutes.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool.  Keep the oven on, set at the same temperature.

4.  Meanwhile prepare the fruit mixture.  Place the washed berries with the icing sugar into a small pan with the water.  Place over a medium heat and allow to cook, stirring periodically.  Turn off the heat after about 5 minutes and divide the mixture into two.  One half will be added as a layer to the body of the cheesecake (keep the berries in this half), the other half will be used for the top.   

5.  Make the cream-cheese body.  Place the cream-cheese into a large bowl and beat with the electric beaters (or by hand with a wooden spoon) on a slow setting for 1 or 2 minutes.  Add the sour cream and lemon zest and beat again.  Add the eggs in two stages, beating well after each addition.  Pour in the slightly cooled melted chocolate and mix again.  Pour 1/3 to 1/2 of the cheesecake mixture onto the biscuit base carefully trying to avoid disturbing the biscuit crumb.  Level the mixture out.

6.  Finish the fruit filling.  Measure the fruit mixture which has been set aside for the filling.  Dissolve sufficient powdered gelling agent to lightly set the bilberry mixture in 150ml of cool water (I found about half a sachet was enough).  Mix  the gelling agent with the berry liquid as per the product instructions.  Once made, pour the berry mixture into a Pyrex jug and cool it by submerging the lower half of the jug in cold water.  Keep stirring the mixture and finger testing the temperature.  Once cool enough to prevent it 'melting' the cream-cheese mixture continue layering up the cake.  (NB avoid leaving this fruit mixture too long as it does tend to set quite quickly once cool).

7.  Layer up the cheesecake. Spoon the fruit mixture over the cheesecake, keeping a boarder of 2cm clear from the edges of the cake tin.  This should mean the internal berries are kept as a surprise until the cake is sliced into.  Carefully top with the remaining cheesecake mixture.  Level off the mixture with the back of a spoon. 

8.  Bake and cool.  Place the cheesecake tin into a roasting tin and place onto the oven shelf.  Pour water into the roasting tin so that it comes half way up the cake tin sides.  Bake for 10 minutes.  Reduce the oven temperature to 140c / Fan 120c/ Gas 1 for a further 40 - 45 minutes.  The cheesecake will still have a slight wobble in the centre when it is ready.  At this point, turn the oven off leaving the cheesecake in the oven for a further 2 hours sat in the water bath.  This will help it cool down slowly and hopefully avoid a crack developing in the top.  After  2 hours remove from the oven and roasting tin.   Once full cold, cover and place in the fridge for at least 6 hours.

9.  Decorate the cake with bilberry 'jelly'.  Strain the remaining berry mixture reserved for the topping to ensure there are no berries remaining.  Measure the volume as before.  Use the vegetarian gelling agent dissolved in a about 100ml of cold water to make a soft set 'jelly' (follow the instructions on the packet).  Cool the berry mixture as before.  Gently pour the mixture over the top of the cheesecake, quickly smoothing it out with the back of a teaspoon as necessary. 

10.   Remove your cheesecake from the tin.  Position the cake tin over a cup and carefully unclip the cake tin, loosening it and revealing the cake.  To avoid the cake tin from slipping when balanced on the cup, you may need somebody to help hold things steady.  Remove the greaseproof paper and place onto your chosen cake stand.

11.  Decorate with melted white chocolate. Pour the melted white chocolate into either a plastic piping bag, or one made from rolled greaseproof paper.  Cut a small amount from the tip of the piping bag and drizzle the chocolate over the top of the cake in your chosen design.

Enjoy!  







This bake has been shared with:


Mummy Mishaps
Great Bloggers Bake Off 2015, co-ordinated by Jenny of Mummy Mishaps, and hosted this week by Michelle of Utterly Scrummy Food for Families

The Bake Off Bake Along, hosted by Ala at This Particular Blog and Amanda at Rhyme and Ribbons

Cuddle Fairy Link up your recipe of the week CookBlogShare





40 comments:

  1. This looks amazing Angela - I love the decoration on the top and the layers look fab! x

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    1. Aw thank you Carrie. I need to practice the chocolate work on top, but I'm really happy with the contrast between the white of the chocolate and the dark purple bilberries.
      Thanks for popping by and commenting Carrie,
      Angela x

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  2. YES! Bob on Mrs! :D I have never had a baked cheesecake, but I will most definitely be trying yours, especially as it's got bilberries in it! Off to pick some later so we can take them to Scotland (I know, saddo that I am, but we all love them). Well done, it looks fantastic! ;)

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    1. :-) thank you Mands. Bilberries are just amazing aren't they, so scrummy. You must have been a girl guide Mands with being so organised to forage for some bilberries to take on your holiday! Nowt wrong with that I say :-)
      Have a great time; and do let me know how you get on with the cheesecake if you try it.
      Thanks for popping by and commenting,
      Angela x

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  3. I love cheesecake and I don't know many who don't and if they don't then I can't associate myself with that kind of negativity. This is a great post and put together so well with all the pictures. Great presentation and thank you for sharing it with #foodpornthursdays. Love seeing you linked up every week.

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    1. Ha-ha-ha, think of it this way, when people don't care for cheesecake, it means there is more left for us who adore cheesecake! ;-)
      Thank you so much for the kind words Trista, it means a lot :-) And you're welcome, but thank you for hosting such a great link-up party,
      Cheers for stopping by and commenting,
      Angela x

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  4. ooooh Angela such a pretty cheesecake which just looks scrumptious. i am a pudding person too so your husband is very lovely to let you have his dessert too lol
    thank you for linking up xx

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    1. :-) thank you Jenny. It really was very scrummy I already have ideas for follow up cheesecake bakes!! He's such a sweetheart.
      Thanks for popping by and commenting, and hosting the linkup Jenny,
      Angela x

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  5. It looks great. For me the edge looks great ;)

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    1. Thanks Anca, you're too kind :-)
      Thanks for popping by and commenting,
      Angela x

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  6. I don't know if I've ever tasted Bilberries, I'm not sure if I would recognise them but I must do some research! Great idea #gbbo

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    1. Ooh, Hannah you're going to have to rectify that - they're seriously yummy! They're sooo much nicer than blueberries which are a lot bigger and less flavoursome. They take a wee while to pick any decent numbers because of their size and they can be a little difficult to find on the low growing bushes (they tend to hide under the leaves). Have a look at this link, it is a chat forum about bilberries and gives a few ideas where you can pick them (or even buy them if your not too fussy about jarred ones!)
      http://www.amazon.co.uk/forum/cooking?_encoding=UTF8&cdForum=FxU58WR6J6QX29&cdThread=Tx2IW0VHWP5UCYM
      Thanks for popping by and commenting Hannah,
      Angela x

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  7. Oh Angela the colour of those billberries are amazing! I don't think I have ever tried them before but I am sure going to look for them! Hazel x

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    1. It's such an amazing colour set against the cream of the cheesecake isn't it!
      Bilberries are just amazing Hazel, sooo much nicer than blueberries! You should still be able to find the berries on the bilberry bushes in more elevated positions (moors etc) which is where we found these only 5 days ago. They do take a wee while to pick because of their size, but it's definitely worth it!
      Check out this link, it's to a chat forum. Some of the comments are a few years old but obviously the information still applies.
      http://www.amazon.co.uk/forum/cooking?_encoding=UTF8&cdForum=FxU58WR6J6QX29&cdThread=Tx2IW0VHWP5UCYM
      Thanks for popping by and commenting Hazel,
      Angela x

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  8. Blimey this is a good looking bake! I've also not heard of these berries but am curious now so will look at your links thank you. I'm really impressed that you've made a creme brûlée cheesecake x

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Hannah. Ooh yes, do check out the bilberries, they're sooo much nicer than the blueberry; and don't forget they are free if you find some!
      Thanks for popping by and commenting,
      Angela x

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  9. Coooorrrrrrr blimey !!! This looks so blooming impressive!! BILBERRY! I will have to investigate!
    Happy munching!
    Betty x
    The Betty Stamp

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    Replies
    1. Ooh yes do Betty, they're seriously good!
      Thanks for popping by and commenting,
      Angela x

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  10. I love the deep purple of your bilberry layers in your cheesecake! I too have never had bilberries, I don't think they grow them in our local pick your own farm either. Must find some to try! #GBBOBloggers2015

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    1. Thank you Lucy, it's an amazing colour! I'm intrigued that so many people haven't had been able to try the beautiful bilberry, though I guess it just depends where you live as to if you're able to go and forage for them.
      The berries grow wild really well on acidic soil (I believe) so if you're able to get out and about, you may be able to find some wild ones and therefore get a free harvest!
      Thanks for popping by and commenting,
      Angela x

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  11. I've never made baked cheesecake. I always tend to go for the quick no bake version, but yours looks scrumptious with the pretty purple layer in the middle. #CookBlogShare

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    1. This was my first attempt at a baked cheesecake, and I was more than pleased with how it turned out, especially that purple bilberry layer. You'll have to give one a go some time, granted it does take longer than the chilled no bake cheesecake but they're really yummy.
      Thanks for popping by and commenting,
      Angela x

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  12. For a gal who's never made cheesecake, looks like you've got it! Looks absolutely amazing!! Thanks much for sharing with us at #TryaBiteTuesday. Pinned, tweeted and yum'd your amazing recipe. Hope to see you back next week!

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    Replies
    1. :-) thanks so much Debra on both counts,
      Thanks for popping by and commenting,
      Angela x

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  13. What a fabulous cheesecake Angela, I love the bilberry layer in the middle & such a good idea to use a gelling agent. Thanks for sharing x #CookBlogShare

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    1. Thank you Sarah. Not having made a baked cheesecake before, I wasn't too sure if the berries would sink down or not. I recall some of the fruits in the GBBO cheesecakes bled for the contestants so I wondered if a light set gelling agent to a coulis would help. I was more than pleased with the result.
      Thanks for popping by and commenting Sarah,
      Angela x

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  14. I've never had a bilberry before so now I'm very curious! x

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    1. They're tiny little dark purple berries, which are incredibly yummy! When you have chance, do check out the bilberry related links midway through the post.
      Thanks for popping by and commenting,
      Angela x

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  15. What are you doing to me?? I would adore a slice of this cheesecake right now! This looks and sounds like a perfect cheesecake. Again, thank you so much for sharing this delight with #CookBlogShare x

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    1. Ha-ha-ha :-) I'd have sent you a slice, but it's all been gobbled up - it really was so yummy!
      You're welcome Kirsty,
      Thanks for popping over and commenting,
      Angela x

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  16. That looks so delicious! and I think it looks delicious regardless of the side crust :)

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    1. Thank you Camila, :-)
      Thanks for popping by and commenting,
      Angela x

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  17. Fantastic recipe, great outcome and unusual to use bilberries! This cheesecake looks divine! :) Alice xx

    www.woodenwindowsills.co.uk

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    1. Thank you Alice. The bilberries were just great in it.
      Thanks for popping by and commenting,
      Angela x

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  18. Not sure what you mean about the edge, but when did you use the palette knife? Could it be the marks of that giving a (rather usual!) "roughened" edge? It looks bloody fine from here!

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    1. Yes, your right Claire, I meant to sides of the cheese cake didn't have the usual look of a baked cheesecake. I ran the palette knife between the cheesecake and the tin straight after the bake had finished (and just before it cooled in the turned off oven). I'd read that this stops the cheesecake from cracking as it cools. But as you rightly say, this has caused the roughened edge. Next time I shall fully line the cake tin, which is why I didn't include the pallet knife step in the instructions.
      Thanks for popping by and commenting,
      Angela x

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  19. I've never actually heard of a bilberry before, what is it similar to? I love the look of the cheesecake, with the berry layer in the middle. The decoration on top is also quite elegant.

    Danielle
    thebrummiebaker.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Ha, ha, elegant :-) Thank you. The bilberry is a tiny dark purple berry which looks like a blueberry but is smaller and to me has a much sweeter flavour. They grow wild on low bushes. We often find them whilst walking on the hills where the heather is. I think the season may have finished now (or they've all been picked) as I didn't see any berries on the bushes yesterday when we went for a walk.
      When you have a moment, do check out the links I've got in the post as it shows pictures od the berries etc.
      Thanks for popping by and commenting,
      Angela x

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  20. I feel embarrassed that I don't know what a bilberry is but I am very familiar with cheesecakes and this one looks delicious!! I love the layer youve got running through the middle and the decoration on top makes it perfect for an occasion :)

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    1. Aw, please don't feel embarrassed Ruth x I only know what they are because I'm lucky enough to have been brought up near to where they grow and still live in that area. When I wrote the post, I must admit that I assumed, wrongly, that readers would know what they are. But having done some reading about where they grow etc since other people commented that they didn't know what a bilberry was, I now realised that they don't grow too abundantly. When you get chance check out the 3 links in the body of the post, it shows images etc of the fruit. Though I'm sure you realise not to go foraging for them unless your 100% confident as to what you're picking.
      Thank you so much for the kind comments regarding the cheesecake. It really was very yummy and I definitely will make it again.
      Thanks for popping by and commenting Ruth,
      Angela x

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