Last few days have been most amazing. I was lost in the utter romance of beautiful happenings — walks along the coast enjoying this fleetingly exquisite weather, reconnecting with friends after far too long, hot chocolates and scrumptious faloodas, and most exciting of all, receiving the best news of the year that I’m officially back to the corporate world. Ha.
And since December began, it’s been early morning rush and traffic jams, high heels, pink lipsticks, delicate blouses, meetings and spreadsheets, and of course, the overwhelming excitement of new beginnings, and much to look forward to.
How the rest of the months fluttered by, I have no idea, but we are into the end. The end before the beginning. Of another fresh year. And the air is filled with the scent of festivity and goodwill, and a feeling of beautiful happiness. And very soon, as the days gallop into cozy nights, it’ll be time to raise the glasses and toast to new resolutions, new hopes, and new adventures. Are you ready? I am. Oh yes. I. am.
So things have been terribly sporadic around here lately, and (regrettably) posting may continue to be off schedule for a while. I truly miss the connectivity and creativity this space fosters. I’m hoping to strike a balance soon, and everything should be back to normal and I can continue with my weekly schedule. But, thank you for taking a moment to stop by, and most especially for all the lovely emails and comments.
Now, now, let’s talk cake. Cheesecake. The easy and dangerous kind. Dangerous defined as super simple, and super scrumptious.
I was waiting to share this recipe ever since I showed off a picture here and here. But then I got sidetracked with work, work, and much more work.
This is the kind of dessert you’d love having on your holiday table. Really. It has all the right colors of the season, a creamy, smooth texture, is ready in about 15 minutes, tastes like gourmet food, and oozes prettiness. In fact, it’s a little too pretty to eat. Oh baby.
A heavenly combination of creamy white mascarpone—mascarpone is a triple, cream-style, soft Italian cheese—immersed in citrusy flavors, layered on a crispy, crumbly biscuit base, and topped with tangy, saucy fresh berries. It’s the best kind of no-bake cheesecake you’d ever make. Plus it’s eggless, requires no gelatin or china grass, no setting time, and is served in individual clear drinking glasses that can be customized to your guests. Absolutely easy, impressive, and very moreish. The perfect dessert to dress up you holiday table.
The star attraction here is the mascarpone cheese—it’s like this soft and silky cream that literally melts in your mouth. If you are new to mascarpone, be careful not to whip with an electric mixer, or overbeat. The cheese tends to break up easily and turn into a grainy mess—I learned the hard way! Use a spatula to mix in ingredients into mascarpone—works beautifully, and the cheese ends up like whipped cream.
And then there is the berry sauce (topping), which is really, really good. It’s quick and simple to prepare and can be used as a topping for almost everything—waffle, pancake, muffin, ice cream, yoghurt—you name it. It’s so awesomely delicious, it’s my favorite go to recipe to jazz up desserts. I used a combination of blueberries and blackberries for the topping here, and redcurrants for garnish. Feel free to improvise with whatever you have, or like. I did the sauce a little syrupy in this recipe, however feel free to add more cornstarch to thicken to your preference.
So here’s to a holiday season lost in love and beauty and beautiful dreams. I hope you are somewhere cozy, surrounded by loved ones and laughter and pure magic. Lots of it.
Speedy Berry Cheesecake in a Glass
Prep: 15 min
For biscuit base
6 digestive biscuits
2 teaspoons brown sugar (optional)
large pinch cinnamon powder
35g butter, melted
For cream filling
250g tub mascarpone cheese
2 tablespoons double cream
4 tablespoons icing sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
zest of 1 lemon
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon strawberry essence
For berry topping
150g fresh berries (I used blueberry and blackberry)
1 teaspoon cornstarch (cornflour)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons caster sugar
Combine all ingredients for topping in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat for about 4 to 5 minutes until the berries break down and release juice. Leave the berries whole, don’t mash them up. If the sauce is too syrupy, add a little more cornstarch to thicken to your taste. Remove from heat, and set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, place the biscuits in a food processor and process to fine crumbs. Tip in melted butter, ground cinnamon, and sugar, and pulse again to combine. Spoon into four serving glasses, and press nicely to the base.
For filling, whip double cream using an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Place mascarpone in a bowl and fold in whipped cream, icing sugar, lemon juice and zest using a spatula until smooth and combined. Be careful not to use an electric mixer—the cheese curdles up easily.
Divide the mascarpone mixture between glasses and smoothen the top, then spoon over the cooled berry topping. Serve garnished with currants, if you like.
For best results, chill in the refrigerator, wrapped in plastic, for about 2 hours or until cold, or up to 2 days ahead.
Wishing you an impossibly beautiful holiday season and a most wonderful year-end. Stay cozy and safe, and see you soon x