I thought I was going to be spending my summer blogging away to my heart's content with nothing to do but bake and blog. Time has just been disappearing though, because for some reason I seem to have been far busier than I intended. Not that I'm complaining by any means, as being busy and having a full diary is what I like! But I've missed baking! Anyway, the other day I finally found my way back to the kitchen and set myself the challenge of cooking up something with gooseberries. Why gooseberries, I hear you ask? I have asked my Dad this same question on several occasions, because he is the one to blame for the influx of gooseberries we have growing in our garden. And the task seems to have fallen on me to come up with a dish that can be made from them. Personally, I would have probably chosen to grow anything but these odd little berries if I had the choice, but apparently they are easy to grow as we just keep finding more and more in the garden every summer. Sour, unattractive and often forgotten about, this fruit doesn't really have a lot going for it, but after a bit of searching I eventually came upon this rather wonderful recipe for a gooseberry and elderflower cheesecake. It is even low in fat (if a cheesecake can ever be low in fat that is!). Bonus. And perhaps my opinion has been swayed so I can in fact thank my Dad for making the decision to grow these odd little berries. Because when put with the right ingredients and given something sweet, gooseberries can possibly be made into the perfect desserts.
Speaking of desserts, I came across this quote the other day in a café which made me smile.
"Desserts is stressed in reverse...coincidence?"
I am utterly convinced that this is no coincidence at all and desserts were invented purely to take away our stresses! How brilliant would it be if all it took was a dessert to make us feel relaxed and stress-free?! If only... Although actually, as I'm sure I've mentioned before, baking and eating is enough to put me in a better mood instantly. So on that note, get baking and try this delicious gooseberry and elderflower cheesecake!
Gooseberry and Elderflower Cheesecake (serves 6-8)
10 Digestive Biscuits
60g Melted Butter
250g Light Cream Cheese
150g Icing Sugar
1tsp Vanilla Extract
3tbsp Elderflower Cordial
1 Sachet Powdered Gelatine
350g Gooseberries (topped and tailed)
2dsp Sugar (or to taste)
2tbsp Elderflower Cordial
- Crush the biscuits in a blender until they resemble fine bread crumbs.
- Mix with the melted butter.
- Spoon into a greased and lined cake tin and place in the fridge for an hour to chill.
- Whisk together the quark, cream cheese, icing sugar and vanilla.
- Put the cordial in a heat-proof bowl and heat in the microwave until hot it starts to bubble.
- Sprinkle the powdered gelatine over the top, leave for a minute or so and stir until it dissolves.
- Add this to the cheese mixture and stir thoroughly.
- Pour into the cake tin and place in the fridge to set for a couple of hours or overnight.
- For the gooseberries, place the berries in a small pan with the sugar.
- Heat until they start to burst and release juice.
- If there is too much excess liquid, drain it off as it doesn't want to be too watery.
- Stir the berries so they are a bit squashed and not whole.
- Add the elderflower cordial and taste - it should still be sharp but not too sour.
- Leave to cool, then chill the mixture in the fridge.
- When ready to serve, spoon the berries over the cheesecake mixture, sprinkling some flaked almonds over if you like and enjoy!