Can you believe it?
My little blog is turning one this week, how crazy is that? I honestly have no idea where the time has gone… truly I don’t! Somewhere in this past year I got up the guts to start this little idea I had and share my stories, recipes and life adventures with you. And what an adventure this year has been… I mean who’s life wouldn’t be with a crazy 16 month old running around destroying the place.
It’s been a big year for us as a family too. Not only did we have the obvious birth of our son and found our ‘forever home’ but we had lots of big ‘adult’ decisions to make too regarding our income and the house we were going to build. Lots has happened, most of it good, so I am truly grateful for that.
I guess the next big question is ‘What’s next?!’.
Well A LOT is the simple answer. There are family holidays and birthday celebrations, a new home to finish building and of course the fun of decorating it and making it ‘ours’. There will be a second birthday party and talks of second babies. There will be a big family Christmas and all of the DIY, decorating, baking and fun that comes with it. There will be more collaborations with more awesome women, and new businesses to hear and talk about it. There will be a farm to build up; veggie patches to plant, orchards to cultivate, chickens to hatch and gumboots to get dirty.
There are some truly awesome things on the horizon and I cannot tell you how blessed I feel to have them coming our way. What I feel even more blessed to have is you, my readers. It’s so lovely to see so many of you swing by for a visit each week and to hear how you’re getting along with my recipes and DIY. I love your feedback and encouragement with our build and I get a kick out of hearing your motherhood stories too.
So please, if you will, stay with me on this journey and let’s see where it takes us! For now though I thought I would send us down memory lane with my very first blog post and my very first self written recipe, it seems only fitting with a beautiful array of berries hitting the market shelves as we speak. So here it is…. the always delectable, can’t screw it up, No-Bake Berry Cheesecake!!
No-Bake Lemon Berry Cheesecake
There is something about the zingy pop of lemon and sweet burst of fresh berries that really lends itself to summer lunches and balmy barbecue’s. So the minute the local berries hit the supermarket shelves I find a reason to make this cheesecake!
Prep Time: 15 minutes approx.
Fridge Time: 2-3hrs Minimum
80g Melted Butter
1 Cup crushed Sweet Plain Biscuits (I make this gluten free by using GF Arrowroot biscuits. 2 packets should do you)
1 Cup Sour Cream
500g Cream Cheese – Room Temperature
3/4 Cup Caster Sugar
1/4 Cup Boiling Water
3 Tsp Gelatin Crystals
1 Tbsp Finely Grated Lemon Rind
1/4 Cup Fresh Lemon Juice
2 Cups of Mixed Berries or Fruit of Choice
50g Lindt 70% Dark Chocolate for drizzling
1/4 Tsp of Solid Coconut Oil (Optional)
Grease and line a 20cm Springform pan and set aside. (A layer of grease paper on the bottom of the pan with edges hanging out will make removal a piece of cake!…)
Using a food processor blitz biscuits until crumbly then slowly add melted butter. Combine until biscuits start to come together and clump. Turn out into the lined springform pan and press firmly down to create the base. Place pan in fridge until firm, or if you’re like me and are a mite impatient whack it in the freezer for 5 minutes….. DO NOT leave it in any longer, or it will get so hard you wont be able to cut it!
Note: – This amount will make a basic layer across the bottom of the pan. If you want your biscuit base to go up the sides of the cheesecake, as pictured, then you will need to double the amounts of biscuit and butter.
Now cut up your cream cheese into blocks and place into food processor, wipe it out before you do this obviously. (If you are again like me and you forgot to pull your cream cheese out to let it drop to room temperature you can zap it in the microwave for a few seconds until it is just soft.)
Blitz cream cheese until smooth. While this is blitzing go ahead and mix your gelatin crystals with the boiling water and stir vigorously until fully dissolved. Then add the sour cream, sugar, dissolved gelatin, lemon juice and lemon rind to the cream cheese and blitz for another 5 minutes or so. You really want to make sure you blitz this well. To ensure it is place a small amount of mixture between your thumb and fore finger and smoodge it around, if you can feel little crystals in the mix it’s likely the sugar or gelatin hasn’t been dissolved. (Trust me it’s not nice when the gelatin isn’t properly mixed through!)
If you haven’t already done so pull your base out of the fridge and pour your mixture onto the biscuit base, then give it a quick tap on the bench a few times to displace any air bubbles. Take 1/4 cup of your choice of fruit and sprinkle over the top, pushing slightly on the fruit to sink them down into the mix. Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate for a minimum 2 hours. Really the longer the better! I normally aim for over night just to ensure the cheesecake is totally chilled and set.
Pull out an hour or so before serving and top with remaining fruit. Piling it high!
Then melt the chocolate over a double boiler until 3/4 of it is melted. If the chocolate is looking a little thick you can add a tiny dollop of Coconut oil to loosen it up. Now remove it from the heat and stir until it’s combined an melted fully. Take a fork and drizzle it artfully over top. You can use as little or as much as you like… but personally there is no such thing as too much chocolate!! Return to the fridge until ready to serve, this will ensure the chocolate has that lovely SNAP when you bite into it!
Now prepare to hear ooooh’s and aahhhhh’s as you serve this at your next gathering. It really is a spectacular dessert and I can’t recommend it enough. If you plan on serving it at a picnic or such plan to have it in a chiller, esky or with several ice bricks on and around it before hand. If you let the cheesecake drop in temperature too much it will start to destabilize and turn mushy.. not a big problem but it changes the consistency a fair amount.
So there we have it. This fabulously easy cheesecake really is delicious! Will you be giving it a go this weekend?
To celebrate my little blog turning one I want to hear from you, my readers!! What things would you like to see more of over this next year? Do you have a recipe you’d like me to try out or perhaps something you want to convert to gluten free and you just don’t know how! I honestly would love your feedback so please take a second to either drop me a line via email or swing by Facebook and join the conversation. I can’t wait to hear your thoughts.
Ciao….. now I’m off to find me some birthday cake, it seems only fitting doesn’t it? 😉