Berries and Cream Cake

Berries and Cream Cake 14

Fair warning: Ode to friendship ahead. Things are about to get mushy. Maybe even teary. There’s no sayin’. You have been warned.

Bombs away.

This little cake here was born last week, to celebrate the birthday of one very special person. 25 years of shared summer adventures, cups of tea, hikes into unsuspectedly nudist corners of the countryside, vicious games of Clue and Hotel, fried eggs, French fries, mosquitoes, sunburns, swimming pools, and cheese (in no particular order).

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but my first memory is all of 20 years old, of wee Annie on her bike with little side wheels and a helmet, all curls and freckles. The nineties were a glorious riot of adventures, imagination, sleepovers and berry picking.

The latter was probably among the best things summer had to offer. After two months of running endlessly wild and free in the forest and continuously soaking up sun and water and laughter in the pool, September brought a bounty of blackberries, tumbling into our purple-stained little hands like so many little jewels.

It was utterly pure, unconfined bliss.

Those golden days shaped a friendship that has withstood the harshest tests of time. The blackberry brambles have dwindled, the unexplored paths in the woods left for the next generation of adventurers to discover – but to me, we remain unchanged. Eternally eight years old, conquering the world together. Some things never fade. Some memories are forever young. An inspiration, then and now, an unerring, unfaltering source of courage and solace.

There are no words. Years upon years of endless conversation, deep into the night, and now there are no words that will suffice.

Let’s leave it at thank you.

To summer, and friendship. They’re all your really need in life.

Berries and Cream Cake 15

Berries & Cream Cake

Servings: well, I could eat it alone, but let’s say 8

Prep time: 25 minutes, plus overnight cooling

You will need:

  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup berry preserves
  • 2 1/2 cup blackberries, when in season, or raspberries or blueberries, when not
  • 230 gr, or 8oz, Neufchâtel cheese
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup cream
  • slices of pound cake, enough to cover the base of your cake pan twice over

Berries & Cream Cake 1

Combine the 1/3 cup of water, honey and lemon zest in a small sauce pan. Heat while stirring to dissolve honey, then set aside to cool. Add lemon juice.

Berries and Cream Cake 7

Combine the 1/4 cup of water, preserves and berries in another sauce pan. Cook over medium low heat until it begins to thicken. Set aside to cool.

Berries and Cream Cake 10

Beat the cheese and sugar together.

Berries & Cream Cake 2

Berries and Cream Cake 3-side

Beat the cream until until stiff peak form, the gently fold into the cheese mixture.

Berries and Cream Cake 8

Cover the bottom of your cake pan with a single layer of pound cake, cutting up piece where necessary. Sprinkle half the lemon-honey mixture onto the cake. Top with half the berry mixture, then cover with half the cream mixture. Repeat.

Berries and Cream Cake 9-side

Refrigerate over night (cover with plastic wrap to avoid cracks… I didn’t 😦 ).

Top with fresh berries to serve.

Enjoy 🙂

Berries and Cream Cake 13

Green Velvet Cheesecake Cake with Marshmallow Cream Cheese Frosting

Green Velvet Cheesecake Cake 12 So St. Patrick’s Day exploded all over my closet-sized kitchen. I have green food coloring in the most impossible of places – including under my fingernails. I’m the Wicked Witch of the West. I’ve got Irish beer overflowing from my fridge and cabinets. A leprechaun is soaking comfortably in my sink, and I can’t get rid of him. He says he wants cake. I know better than to cross a leprechaun. So I made cake. Let me rephrase that. Remember those Red Velvet Cupcakes we made for St. Valentine’s? Well I made two layers of green velvet cake and put and entire cheesecake in between, because, what the hell, that’s why. I smothered it all in marshmallow cream cheese buttercream frosting for good measure, and also topped it with sprinkles, because, you know, sprinkles. Golden Fudge Truffles 6 And then, after my kitchen was all nicely covered in food coloring, sprinkles and marshmallow fluff, I decided to go in for the kill and made these ridiculously easy two ingredient chocolate fudge truffles, and I just went ahead and made them golden to keep my leprechaun happy. Note that the cake is the epitome of over-indulgement, and the truffles whomever still stands after eating the cake. So go ahead, eat cake, eat chocolate, and get drunk. ‘Tis the season, after all. Happy St Patrick’s Day to you all – a bit ahead of time 🙂 – and may all things green, Irish and lucky be with you.

One year ago on May the Cheese Be With You: Cream Cheese Pancakes

Other cream cheese recipes: Carrot Cake, Chocolate Peanut Butter Muffins, Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Bites, Cheesecake Chocolate Mousse, Apple Cheese Danish, Old Style Cheesecake, Cookies and Cream Cheesecake Bites, Raspberry White Chocolate Cheesecake

Green Velvet Cheesecake Cake 8 Green Velvet Cheesecake Cake with Marshmallow Cream Cheese Frosting

Servings: a gazillion

Prep time: 2 hours

You will need:

For the cheesecake:

  • 1 cup, or 250gr, cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoons sour cream, or cream with a dash of lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon cream

For the cake:

  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cups vegetable oil of choice
  •  3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk, or cream with a dash of lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon green food coloring

For the frosting:

  • 1 cup, or 250gr, cream cheese, softened
  • 5 1/2 tablespoon of butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups marshmallow fluff
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • green sprinkles, to garnish

Green Velvet Cheesecake Cake 16 Cheesecake: Beat the cream cheese with the sugar until nice and light. Beat in the egg, then add the sour cream and cream and mix until smooth. Green Velvet Cheesecake Cake 1 Pour into a small, round, greased pan, and bake on medium for about 40 minutes, or until set and only slightly jiggly. Let it cool completely, then remove from the pan and place in the freezer. Now please take a few moment to appreciate the beauty and perfection that is this cheesecake. Green Velvet Cheesecake Cake 3-side I mean, please. Green Velvet Cake: Mix together the flour and cocoa powder. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients, and pour in the  oil. Beat the sugar into the oil. Beat in the egg. In a small bowl, combine the vinegar and baking soda. Prepare for some fizzling. Add this mixture to the liquids, along with the buttermilk and food coloring. Finally, incorporate the flour and cocoa powder, and beat gently until well incorporated. Pour the batter into a small cake pan, the same size and shape as the one you used for the cheesecake, and bake for 30 minutes on medium, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Set aside to cool completely. Green Velvet Cheesecake Cake 2 Green Velvet Cheesecake Cake 5 Frosting: Use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese with the butter. Green Velvet Cheesecake Cake 7 Add the marshmallow fluff, then, gradually, the powdered sugar, and keep beating until light and fluffy. Assemble: Remove the cooled cake from its pan. Trim off the top if it puffed up, so that you end up with a flat top. Using a long, sharp knife, cut it half lengthwise. Remove the cheesecake from the freezer and place it between the two layer of cake, thus: Green Velvet Cheesecake Cake 6 Now frost, frost, frost this baby like there’s no tomorrow. Go ahead, go wild. It’s St Patrick’s Day, and sipping Irish cream on the rocks is so passé. Finally, sprinkle away with any green sprinkles you have at hand. If you have no sprinkles – gasp – you can also sprinkle with cocoa powder. Green Velvet Cheesecake Cake 15 And that’s that. Keep in the fridge until time to serve. But watch yourself – a rogue leprechaun just might get into your fridge next Tuesday.

Green Velvet Cheesecake Cake 13   Bonus recipe: Golden Fudge Truffles

Golden Fudge Truffles 5 Disclaimer: This recipe contains no cheese, but it’ll rock your world anyway.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Servings: anywhere from 10 to 25, depending on the size of your molds

You will need:

  • 1 cup chopped semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • edible gold paint

Golden Fudge Truffles 1 Place the chopped chocolate in a medium saucepan. Pour the condensed milk on top. Golden Fudge Truffles 3 Let’s get a close up of this, because man, this is heaven. Golden Fudge Truffles 2 Place the saucepan over low heat, and slowly melt the chocolate into the condensed milk, stirring often. Golden Fudge Truffles 4 Once smooth, allow the mixture to cool completely before rolling it into little balls and pressing into the desired molds. Allow to harden for a few hours before removing. Paint with edible gold paint and allow color to set for another 30 minutes. Set out for leprechauns to eat. Golden Fudge Truffles 8 Or enjoy them yourself 🙂

Clara