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Four Berry Danish Cheesecake

Four Berry Danish Cheesecake

I got invited to a picnic a few weeks back and was in charge of bringing the dessert. I wanted something that wasn't going to be too messy to eat and that would travel well for the hour-long commute on the train. After a search on the web I came across this recipe from Piece of Cake which caught my eye with the beautiful colors of the berries. I loved the fact that it was half cake and half cheesecake. The bottom layer is a delicious butter cake, which is then topped with juicy berries and covered with a cheesecake layer. It has a delicate lemon taste and screams summer. If you're not a big cheesecake fan because they can be heavy and maybe sickening, then give this recipe a try. I can't wait to make it again.

For the cake layer:

3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
7 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the berry cream cheese layer:

1 8-ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons cornstarch

12 ounces mixed berries (I used a mixture of cherries, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries).

 

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease an 8 inch springform pan with cooking spray or butter.

2. For the cake layer: Into a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the egg until well-blended. Reduce the speed to low and stir in the dry ingredients. Stir in the milk and vanilla. Finish folding the batter by hand and spread into the prepared pan. Bake until the edges of the cake are just set, about 15 minutes (the center will still very soft and nowhere near done–we’re just parbaking the cake layer here. Cool for about 5 minutes.

3. While the cake layer is baking, make the cheesecake layer: In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese together with the lemon zest and vanilla on medium-high speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Add 1/2 cup sugar and beat until lightly and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time until well-blended. Give the batter a good stirring by hand to ensure that everything is incorporated.

4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the remaining tablespoon of sugar and the cornstarch. Add the berries and toss gently to combine. Sprinkle the berries evenly over the parbaked cake layer. Pour the cheesecake batter over the top. Bake until the cake is puffed and lightly golden, and the center is set, 45-50 minutes. Let cool completely, at least 2 hours before serving. Serve chilled or at room temperature with a dusting of confectioners’ sugar.

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