Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Blueberry Cheesecake Slice

One of my bestest friends in the whole, wild world is having a baby soon, so on one ridiculously hot day in early Februray I held a baby shower for her.
Em is having a little boy, and I'm super-excited by the prospect of being Aunty Ness. SQUEEEE! I'm totally going to be that cool "aunt" that bakes cupcakes and pays Lego and climbs trees and teaches him to use firearms drive a 4WD and takes him base jumping hiking and teaches him how to treat girls (although I'm sure his parents will have that one covered. Yeah, and in case you couldn't tell from the strikethroughs, Em is probably reading this... hi, Em! *waves*). Of course, before all that happens he will probably throw up on me more than a few times and possibly even make a habit of crying when I pick him up, but I'll try not to take that personally. Phht, kids.
Sorry, just had to get all that excitement out of my system. (Side-note - I've been doing a fair whack of online dating of late, and a few of the guys have successfully stalked Googled me despite my poorly-disguised fake email address, so this is a public service announcement to those ones who may have found my blog: Please don't freak out that I'm excited about my friend's baby, or that I love my housemates' squishy li'l pudding of a kid. Yes, babies are cute and yes, I do want kids... but I don't want them this week, so you can chill out! ;) )
Anyway, one of the ways in which my excitment manifested itself - and you should probably know that it has manifested itself in several ways - was to make everything for the baby shower blue. Blue lollies, blue cake, blue ice cream, blue cheesecake. Em's brother Heath did a fabulous job with blue decorations, too. The savoury food was obviously not blue, because that would have been disturbing, but thanks to Other Ness for providing the delicious, normal-coloured savouries!
I took the base recipe from Taste, but decided that it was nowhere near being blue enough, and the quantities were wrong, so I doubled it and changed the topping. I also made it in a slab pan with quite square sides (which I think is about 22 x 32cm), because I wanted nice, square/oblong servings. Now that I think about it, it's basically a denser, cheesier version of the Aussie classic jelly slice, and gosh it's nice!
Note that, using the tin I used, I ended up scraping about 1/4-1/5 of the mixture out (so, a heaped cereal bowl's worth) to make room for the jelly layer, so you could probably make do quite well with a 3/4 batch of this mix. Even doing a 1/2 batch (which is the whole, original batch) would work, although I'm not certain that the base would be robust enough to hold up.
500g plain, sweet biscuits (i.e. two packs of milk arrowroot biscuits)
250g butter, melted (i.e. one block)
3tsp gelatine powder
1/4c boiling water
1kg cream cheese, softened (i.e. four Aussie blocks of Philly)
1c castor sugar
2tsp vanilla bean paste
600mL thickened cream, whipped (i.e. large container of Pura/Bulla cream)
(Note - I had intended to fold some blueberries through the batter, but forgot to buy them that day, so the batter was plain. Feel free to add some here, though!)
500g-ish box of fresh or frozen blueberries (I recommend roughly chopping at least half of them up, to make it easier to cleanly slice the cheesecake later. Note also that you may not use the whole box if you don't like the look of it, so start by dealing with half and then add more if it feels right)
2tbsp gelatine
200mL boiling water
4-600mL cold water (note that I'm basing my quantities on hazy recollections of the gelatine tin saying 1tbsp of gelatine, 100mL boiling water, top up to 400mL mark with cold, but you should obviously follow the directions on whatever packet you end up using)
Blue food dye
Blueberry essence
(Alternately, you could just puchase blueberry jelly crystals from the supermarket, but apparently I'm not that smart!)
Grease and line tray with baking paper (make sure you get the corners and the sides of the pan where the paper doesn't extend to nice and greasy).
Process/crush biscuits until they resemble fine breadcrumbs. Mix in melted butter until just combined and press into tin. Refrigerate until firm (20mins).
Sprinkle first lot of gelatine over boiling water in heatproof jug. Whisk with fork until dissolved. Set aside to cool (15mins).
Beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth. Gradually beat in gelatine mixture until combined. Fold in whipped cream (this is where I didn't fold any blueberries through and should have, but it turned out fine). Pour most of the mixture into pan, leaving enough room on top for 5-10mm of jelly, smooth top and refrigerate.

Pour boiling water into heatproof jug (I actually used 2 separate, 500mL jugs as I don't have a 1L one), sprinkle gelatine over the top, let it soak for a minute and whisk with a fork until dissolved. Continue to whisk and add 4-600mL cold (room temperature) water (depending on how thick and rigid you want the jelly layer to be), then colouring and flavouring to taste. Leave to cool fully.

Lightly roughen the surface of the refrigerated cheesecake with a fork.

Lick the fork clean and then put it in the dishwasher so you don't accidentally use it again. Sprinkle cheesecake with blueberries (some chopped, as mentioned above).

You don't want a solid layer of blueberries as it will be difficult to cut and compromise the integrity of the cheesecake layer. You only want just enough to have a couple of whole ones and several chopped bits adorning the jelly on each slice. Gently pour on jelly mix, squash any floating blueberries into the cheesecake so you get a nice, smooth finish, and refrigerate until set.

Cut into oblong slices (I got 30 slices out of this tin), lift carefully out (you might as well know that the corner slice will be totally buggered and the biscuit layer will probably fall off it, but hey, you need to eat the "ugly one" anyway in the name of quality control!) and serve.


Notes - Don't do what I did and add a bunch of frozen blueberries to the jelly - the jelly immediately around the berries will set almost instantly and make it quite tricky to make smooth.

I also recommend cutting the cheesecake with a hot, dry knife (you'll need a jug of boiling water and a tea towel to make that happen).


  1. This looks so delicious, and with the blueberries I can't help but feel it's a tad healthier ;)

    1. Haha, a tad healthier because it has got blueberries sprinkled on top? How optimistic of you. I do like the blueberries sprinkled on like that though, it looks really inviting. Yum!

    2. Haha, yeah, we all have that thought process - a garnish of fruit makes it healthier. Noooo, we're not delusional at alllll ;)


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