Welcome to my blog, through which I hope to be able to share my experiences of gluten free cooking, baking, experimenting and eating.
When my daughter was diagnosed (age 6) with Coeliac Disease, our world of eating changed overnight. From breads, pastry and pasta to cakes, biscuits and puddings.......... suddenly most of what we knew was 'off the menu'. I think I must have tested every available gluten free product on the market, seeking out replacements to try and keep things as normal as possible. I was disappointed to find that what was available was often dry, crumbly and flavourless.
Not one to shy away from a challenge, I decided to turn my kitchen into a laboratory, turn all I knew about cooking on its head and start creating!

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Blackberry-Coconut Chocolate Nobble Cheesecake


This cheesecake is amazing! Fresh, creamy, ethereally light, beautifully fruity, wonderfully coconutty and the prettiest colour I have made in a while!

I created it for a competition I have entered, which is being run by DS Gluten Free who make baked goods for gluten-avoiders. The rules are simply that the dish has to feature a DS product. I'm not expecting to get anywhere, but the recipe is so delicious, I thought I would share it with you anyway.


One of my favourite DS products are their Milk Chocolate Nobble biscuits. I love them because they are not only coated in chocolate decadence, but they have a crisp wholesome biscuit base which is shot through with little flakes of coconut. And there lies the inspiration..... Coconut!


I have recently started using a lot more coconut products in my cooking after I had been drawn to the attention of its possible nutrition and health benefits. The range of coconut products is so varied, that it seems there is a product for pretty much every stage of the baking process.... oils and spreads to replace butter, milk and cream to replace traditional dairy, coconut palm sugar instead of traditional refined cane sugars and of course, pieces of coconut - desiccated, flaked or cubed, to add texture and flavour.


This cheesecake uses three coconut elements to draw out and enhance the flavour from the biscuits, with amazing results. The additional desiccated coconut simply adds extra coconut texture and taste, but the use of coconut oil in making the biscuit base seems to make it extra crisp and crunchy, creating a fantastic contrast with the cheese-cake 'filling'.

And what of that 'filling'? If you have never used coconut cream in a cheese cake before, then I urge you to try! It adds a lightness that I have never experienced in a cheesecake..... ever! It is like a cloud.... moussey, light, fluffy, almost virtuous.......


This cheesecake is also seasonally fresh..... foraged blackberries used to make a beautiful purple puree which flavours and tints the 'mousse' and forms the base of a home-made jelly glaze topping to add extra blackberry depth and beautify my offering.

The chocolate already on the biscuits, which mingles with the nuts and coconut in the base is just enough to provide a cocoa-hit without overpowering the rest of the dessert.


The overall result is sublime. Full stop.

I am offering my cheesecake to a couple of challenges this month in the hope that it will get a wider viewing (it is that good).


Simple & In Season (I think this may be my third offering for September) being guest hosted by Franglais Kitchen on behalf of Ren Behan. The blackberries are beginning to slow down now, or disappear into the tummies of the local bird-folk, but if you are quick you may still be able to bag a few from the hedgerows.


Shop Local with Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary. I know its another blackberry recipe, but they are so local, abundant, fresh and yummy, that they really need to be consumed liberally!


Four Seasons Food with Lou at Eat Your Veg (and Anneli at Delicieux). For September the challenge has got 'fruity'. Fruit, chocolate, coconut..... this diamond of a dessert has a bit of everything......


And finally Love Cake with Ness at Jibber Jabber. I'm not sure whether this technically classes as a 'cake', but given that the name is in the title, I'll chance my arm on this one! Ness has asked us to think of 'something new' with the start of the school year........ Using coconut cream in cheese cake is certainly new to me, but quite a revelation.

And so I unveil - My Blackberry-Coconut Chocolate Nobble Cheesecake.



Blackberry-Coconut Chocolate Nobble Cheesecake

Ingredients

Chocolate Nobble Biscuit Base
90g coconut oil
300g (2 packs) DS Milk Chocolate Nobbles (gluten free) - crushed 
30g mixed chopped nuts
10g desiccated coconut

Blackberry Puree (makes 300 ml)
450g blackberries
2 tablespoons golden caster sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Cheesecake filling
5 leaves gelatine (or equivalent vege gel)
250 ml blackberry puree (taken from above)
300g Mascarpone cheese
85g icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
250 ml coconut cream - chilled
250 ml double cream

Blackberry Jelly Glaze
approx 50 ml blackberry puree (from above)
approx 25 ml water
1 tablespoon caster sugar
1 leaf gelatine (or equivalent vege gel)

Extra blackberries to decorate

Method

  1. Biscuit Base : Base-line a 9 inch loose-bottomed cake tin (at least 2½ inches/6½ cm deep) with baking paper. Line the sides also by cutting a strip of baking paper (the depth of the tin) and laying against the insides of the tin.
  2. Melt the coconut oil in a medium-sized bowl by gently heating in a microwave set to medium (30 second bursts, stirring between each) or over a simmering pan of water. Add and stir in the crushed biscuits, nuts and desiccated coconut until evenly coated with the oil.
  3. Pour the biscuit mix into the base of the tin and spread into an even layer, gently pressing together with the back of a spoon. Place in the fridge to chill and set.
  4. Blackberry Puree : Place the blackberries and sugar in a saucepan and gradually bring to a simmer, stirring and squeezing juice from the berries against the side of the pan with the back of a wooden spoon. Simmer for about 10 minutes until the fruit softens. Cool and then force the juice through a sieve. Add the lemon juice, stir and set aside.
  5. Cheesecake filling : Whilst the blackberry puree is still hot, place 5 gelatine leaves in a shallow dish and cover with cold water. Leave to soak for 10 to 15 minutes and then drain the excess water.
  6. Mix 250 ml of warm blackberry puree with the gelatine and stir until the gelatine is completely dissolved. If the liquid has become too cool, heat gently over a pan of simmering water or in the microwave to help the process. Once dissolved, set aside to cool at room temperature.
  7. In a separate bowl, beat the cream cheese, icing sugar and vanilla extract together until smooth and well combined.
  8. Add and beat in the chilled coconut cream.
  9. Finally add the double cream and beat until the mixture forms softly whipped peaks (be careful not to allow to become too stiff). 
  10. When the gelatine-puree mix has cooled to room temperature, gently fold into the whipped cream mixture and spoon into the cake tin on top of the biscuit base. Smooth the top and chill for at least 5 hours until completely set.
  11. Jelly Glaze : When the cheese cake is set, mix the remaining blackberry puree with cold water to make up to 75 ml and place in a small saucepan with the sugar.
  12. Heat gently, stirring until the liquid comes to a simmer and the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat.
  13. Soak a gelatine leaf in cold water for 10 to 15 minutes and drain.
  14. Add the gelatine leaf to the warm puree and stir until completely dissolved.
  15. Cool the mixture to room temperature and then either drizzle over the cheesecake to decorate or use to cover the cheesecake with a thin jelly-glaze layer. Any remaining jelly can be poured into small jelly moulds or an ice cube tray, refrigerated until set and then used to accompany the cheese cake.
  16. Chill the cheesecake until the glaze is set and then carefully remove the cake from the tin.
  17. Serve on its own or with cream.
Gluten Free Alchemist © 2013-14 unless otherwise indicated

14 comments:

  1. It truly is beautiful. Wish you luck with the competition, you just never know x

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  2. Oh wow this looks so dreamy. So light and yet creamy and fruity and delicious. The perfect combination of summer (not that we've had much of that) and autumnal blackberries =)

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    1. Thank you Laura. Dreamy is a perfect description! Yes..... Autumn blackcurrant dreaminess!

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  3. What can I say: this is AMAZING! Beautifully presented and surely really really seriously good. It looks like something out of a very good patisserie. And you have made perfect use of blackberries, is season now.
    You stand a good chance of winning here. Good luck xxx

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    1. Thank you Alida. It tasted amazing! Even better knowing that the blackberries were foraged for free!

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  4. Kate- this must be the most beautiful Autumnal cheesecake! All the very, very best with the competition

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    1. Thanks Kate. The blackberries are pretty much at an end down our way now..... so glad I managed to make the most of them!

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  5. Anything with coconut always gets my undivided attention. Love the colour of this - it looks fab

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  6. I love cheesecake and my favourites are always ones made with berries or cherries. It looks so perfect and professional. Thanks for linking up.

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    1. Thanks Ness. Me too! Always a pleasure to link up with Love Cake.

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  7. What a stunning recipe! Best of luck with the competition and thank you for sharing with Shop Local :)

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  8. Oh my this looks outstandingly delish Kate not to mention stunning! I'm a big fan of using coconut products too, but really need to experiment more....next up in a cheesecake maybe! Thanks so much for entering this beauty to September's Four Seasons Food Challenge, and my apologies in taking until now to get around to reading your post.

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