23 May 2010

The Fastest Dessert You WIll Ever Make

Recently, I received a flattering invite from the fabulous Mardi at Eat.Live.Travel.Write., asking me to join in the fun for Hay Hay its Donna Day.  Denise at ChezUs, who organizes this monthly challenge group) announced Mardi had won April's HHDD event, and therefore gets to host May's challenge, and she selected Blackberry Cheesecake Pots.  It wasn't a hard decision to join in the fun - I love cheesecake (or pretty much anything with cream cheese) and I love blackberries - it's a win-win situation!

I will admit, I've seen Donna Hay Magazine on the racks at the bookstore, but I've never picked one up.  I think it's because I've heard she's been referred to as the Aussie Martha Stewart, and, well, I'm kinda Martha'd out  (don't get me wrong, there are a tonne of wonderful ideas in her magazines, and I admire her shrewd business-sense, but I just wish she'd give more credit to her talented staff and ease up a bit).  Shame on me for judging Donna so quickly on such a comparison, inflicted on her by others.  I've learned my lesson though; now that I've tried out one of her recipes, I think I'll have to pick up a copy and give her a shot.  For one thing, this is definitely the quickest recipe I have ever made!  I swear, it takes longer to scoop out a bowl of ice cream - "I don't have time, so I'll just pick up a dessert at the grocery store" has now become nothing more than a weak excuse.  It's also delicious, and ridiculously versatile - you could make this recipe with just about any seasonal fruit you happen to have on hand.  In fact, once I discovered that this dessert took longer to read than in did to make, I proceeded to whip up another batch using the bright red strawberries I had on hand - and it was equally delicious.

So then I got to thinking, what if you didn't happen to have any fruit on hand?  Or what if you weren't in a fruit-dessert kinda mood?  Well, a quick trip to the grocery store for more cream cheese and I was ready to rock in my cheesecake pot extravaganza.

First up (actually third up at this point), was my no-fresh-fruit-on-hand scenario.  I added a 1/2 Cup (125g) of cherry jam to the cheesecake base mixture.  The result?  YUM.  It's absolutely delectable and has a much more intense fruit flavour than the fresh fruit versions.

Finally, I went ahead with the not-in-a-fruity-kind-of-mood scenario, and replaced the fresh fruit or jam with 1/2 Cup (125g) of Nutella.  Another tasty flavour option has been discovered.  mmmmmm....good stuff.  If you're one of the few people on the planet that don't love the taste of Nutella, you can switch it out for an equal amount of room temperature chocolate ganache, and you'll end up with a lovely 5-minute chocolate cheesecake.

So if you find yourself in a pinch because of last minute dinner guests, or you just want to enjoy a fabulous dessert that takes little to no effort, then this is the recipe for you.  You can whip this up as soon as you receive the phone call or walk through the door, and it can firm up in the fridge while you cook and enjoy your dinner.  Voilà!  Elegant dessert is served!

Oh - and if you really want to see how to turn this into a dessert that will wow your guests, head on over to Jamie's blog Life's A Feast... yes it took her more than 5 minutes to prepare, but it was definitely time well spent!

So here you go: simple, elegant, delicious and ridiculously quick to prepare:

Donna Hay's Name-Your-Flavour Cheesecake Pots
serves 4, but is very easily doubled

1 Cup (250g) cream cheese
1/4 Cup (55g) superfine sugar (aka "berry sugar" in Canada)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 Cup (60ml) whipping cream
and 1/2 Cup (125g) of any one of the following:

  • fresh or frozen berries of your choice
  • jam or fruit preserves
  • chocolate ganache (room temp)
  • Nutella (room temp)

In the bowl of a food processor, blend cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and cream together until smooth.  Add in about 1/2 of the berries and process until just crushed, using 1-second pulses.  Spoon into 4 small 1/2 cup dishes and refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm.  Serve with remaining fresh berries.

Give this recipe a try and let me know what flavour you made!


Cynthia said...

Thank you for sharing this amazingly easy and delicious looking recipe! I can't wait to try it out! Great post :)

Betty Bake said...

oooh delicious - this looks gorgeous. i want to try this.
thanks for the great post


Kitchen Butterfly said...

The different pots look delish......love each and everyone of them

Barbara Bakes said...

I made this for dessert tonight. Can't wait to eat it. I may have to make your Nutella version next. Great photos!

Jamie said...

Oh yum and how wonderful of you to offer us these three versions! This really is a super delicious and fast dessert and I loved it! We all did! And I tell you, once I made the chocolate sheet cake the rest was a snap! Thanks a billion for highlighting my dessert! But I want to taste yours! And your pictures are beautiful!!

Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite said...

FABULOUS!!! I love what you did and that you took it and made it your own!!! That's what I love about Donna's recipes :-)

Alicia said...

Yum!! This looks incredible!

Erin said...

Hi! This looks delicious. I know I will love as I am obsessed with anything cream cheesy haha. Just a question, I only have granulated sugar on hand. Will that work? I don't want to make a trip to the grocery store.

Leave-Room-for-Dessert said...

Hi Erin! You bet, granulated sugar will work just fine. I find berry sugar is only slightly finer, and I've substituted them before without problems. Enjoy!

Anonymous said...

I have put granulated sugar in the blender to make it more fine, it worked well. Can't wait to try this dessert! Thanks. I found you on StumbleUpon.

Chez Us said...

Oh, I had thought of different berry types to mix in this recipe but did not even think of nutella. I cannot wait to try this version.

Thanks for participating in this round of HHDD!

dhan said...

I really like smoothies,

katharine @ agirlinmadrid.com said...

This looks amazing Julia! YUM.

Silvia Jacinto said...

Eating is really one of my hobby i mean part of my life and cooking is my passion. I also love going to a place and at the same time taste their delicious and most wanted food.I want to taste something that is new to my palate. Thanks for sharing your article with us.



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