I’m a little obsessed with superheroes. But I don’t see why anyone shouldn’t be. Spiderman can climb the tallest of buildings. Ironman has a vast collection of costumes. Batman drives a fancy car. Thor lives in outer space. Captain America is a soldier who fought during World War II. They’re also all in impeccable physical form. What’s not to like? There’s a superhero to celebrate just about any occasion—and Captain America (his title says it all) does a flawless job commemorating the 4th of July.
Here’s a cheesecake that not only symbolizes the superhero, but also helps celebrate Independence Day. It’s garnished with fresh fruit because there’s no reason anyone should use artificial coloring when you can use the real stuff.
While I love a regular cheesecake which is tall and creamy, this one is just as enjoyable and you don’t need to bake it. What’s more is that you don’t need to wait a long time before eating. The filling has a mousse-like texture that’s almost velvety—it’s smooth, creamy and perfectly balanced by the buttery crust. The white chocolate brings a flavorful sweetness and a squeeze of lemon juice adds a slight tang along with the cream cheese. Topped off with berries, you’re set for dessert on July 4th.
Prep Time: 3o minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: About 2 ½ hours
1 1/4 cups crushed graham crackers or digestive cookies
3/4 stick softened butter at room temperature
2 tablespoons granulated sugar (optional)
10 oz. cream cheese at room temperature
7 oz. white chocolate
1 cup whipping cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
For the topping:
1 banana, sliced thinly*
Fresh/frozen raspberries (optionally chop them)- around 1 1/2 cups*
Blueberries – around 1/2 cup*
8-inch wax paper circle
* you can use any white fruit you like, such as lychees, pears and apples instead of bananas. You can also use strawberries instead of raspberries and blackberries instead of blueberries.
1. In a food processor, blend the graham crackers (and sugar) until smooth.
2. Add the butter and continue blending until the mixture resembles wet sand.
3. Press the mixture evenly at the bottom of a 8-9 inch springform pan or any other circular dish, and set aside.
4. Melt the chocolate either over a double boiler or in the microwave in 15 second increments until smooth.
5. In a bowl, whip the whipping cream until you get soft peaks and set aside.
6. In another bowl, mix the cream cheese until smooth. Add the white chocolate and mix slowly to incorporate.
7. Gently fold in the whipped cream until everything is combined.
8. Add the vanilla extract and lemon juice and continue to mix.
9. Pour the mixture on top of the base and spread evenly.
10. Refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight to set.
11. To decorate, place the 8-inch wax paper circle in the center and gently trace with a toothpick.
12. Remove the circle and raspberries between the edge of the cheesecake and the traced circle. You can also just place two raspberries side by side to make 1 inch instead of using the wax circle.
13. Arrange the banana slices on the periphery of the traced line, next to the raspberries to make 1 inch.
14. Arrange another layer of raspberries to make 1-inch on the other side of the banana slices, so that the banana ring is surrounded by raspberries on both sides.
15. Using the toothpick, draw a star in the center where no fruits are yet.
16. Place the blueberries around the star in a circle (see photograph).
17. Fill the star with banana slices that have been halved.
18. Serve immediately before bananas begin to brown.
Loosely adapted from Nigella Lawson’s Cherry Cheesecake recipe.
This post was originally published on Hot Chocolate Hits.