Lemon and Blueberry No Bake Cheesecake

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Cheesecake is one of mine and my mom’s most favourite desserts, but I have always been put off from making my own from scratch. This is because recipes I have seen in cooks books and such in the past have always looked a little on the long winded and complicated side. However recently I have discovered the ‘no bake’ cheesecake which is very simple to make. My favourite cheesecake flavour is definatley lemon, but I really love the taste of blueberries as well. So when putting together this recipe I decided that I just had to try combining these two flavours.

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Ingredients

For the Biscuit Base:

  • 100g Digestive Biscuits
  • 50g Granulated Sugar
  • 50g Unsalted Butter

For the Cheese and Lemon Filling:

  • 500g Cream Cheese
  • 150g Icing Sugar
  • Juice of 1 medium Lemon
  • 200ml Double Cream

For the Blueberry Sauce Topping:

  • 300g Blueberries (I used frozen blueberries)
  • 25g Granulated Sugar
  • 2 tbsp Cornflour
  • 50ml Water

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Method

For the Biscuit Base:

1) Start by greasing a 9 inch sandwich tin with butter.

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2) Remove the base of the tin and draw around it onto greaseproof paper. Cut this out and stick it to the buttered side of the base. Measure and cut out a strip of greaseproof paper long enough and wide enough to cover the inside edge of the tin as well before putting the base of the tin back inside.

3) In a large mixing bowl, add the digestive biscuits. Using the end of a rolling pin, gently bash the biscuits until they have completely turned into evenly sized crumbs.

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4) Add the sugar to the crumbs and mix together.

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5) Put the butter into a small saucepan and melt on the hob over a medium heat. Pour this into the crumb mixture and stir in to mix it evenly between the crumbs. Keep the saucepan aside to use later on for the blueberry sauce.

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6) Put all of the biscuit mixture into the sandwich tin. Press it down firmly across the entire bottom of the tin with the back of a spoon making sure that the surface is smooth and even. Place the tin into the fridge.

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For the Cheese and Lemon Filling:

1) In another large mixing bowl add the cream cheese and icing sugar. Cream the two together with a fork.

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2) Cut the lemon in half. Then from one half cut a thin slice. Cut this slice in half and leave them aside.

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3) Squeeze the juice from the 2 remaining halves of the lemon. Add this to the bowl and stir into the cheese mixture.

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4) Then add the double cream to the cheese mixture. Whip this together with a fork for a couple of minutes or so. You will find that the mixture firms up.

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5) Remove the sandwich tin from the fridge. Spoon the cheese mixture on top of the biscuit base.

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6) Spread the mixture out smoothly and evenly with the back of a spoon across the entire sandwich tin. Then place it back into the fridge to set. During this time you can make the blueberry topping.

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For the Blueberry Sauce Topping:

1) Add the blueberries, sugar, cornflour and water to the saucepan.

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2) Put the saucepan on the hob over a medium heat. Keep stirring the mixture together for around 6 – 9 minutes. The blueberries will soften and the mixture will thicken a little into a sauce. You may find you need to reduce the heat a little towards the end, and when you are happy with the consistency, remove the saucepan from the heat and allow it to cool down fully.

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3) Once cooled, remove the cheesecake from the fridge and spoon the blueberry sauce into the middle of it. Spread it out with the back of the spoon, but leave a gap of about 2cm from the edge so that you can see the cheesecake underneath (Any leftover sauce goes great spread onto digestive biscuits).

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4) Finish the cheesecake off by garnishing with with the 2 small slices of lemon that we put aside earlier. Then put it back into the fridge for at least a few hours to set. You could also try freezing the cheesecake and removing it from the freezer about 30 mins before you want to serve it.

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When you are ready to eat it, carefully push the base of the tin upwards and out from the rest of the tin. Then carefully remove the greaseproof paper from around the sides before cutting into it. My whole family really enjoyed this cheesecake, so I hope you all enjoy it just as much. My husband said he even wants me to make the same for his birthday instead of getting him a birthday cake.

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Blueberry Cupcakes

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I’ve been wanting to try blueberry cupcakes for a while. I wanted ones that had both blueberries inside and a blueberry flavoured icing. However I’ve never seen blueberry flavouring before in the shops. From my research online it seemed people either didn’t make the icing blueberry flavoured, or they used some sort of freeze dried blueberry powder. But that seemed a bit expensive and hard to get a hold of for what it was. I knew I couldn’t use fresh blueberries, as that would add too much liquid to my icing. However I noticed that my local supermarket sold dried blueberries. So I decided to give that a go, and I can say that it was quite successful providing you blend the dried blueberries into tiny pieces. Don’t make the mistakes I made the first time around by having big lumps of blueberry get jammed in the end of my piping nozzle lol.

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Ingredients

For the Cupcakes:

  • 300g Self Raising Flour
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 225g Caster or Granulated Sugar
  • 14 tbsp Corn or Sunflower Oil
  • 4 tbsp Milk
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla Essence
  • 200g Frozen or Fresh Blueberries

For the Icing/Frosting:

  • 250g Unsalted Butter (softened to room temperature)
  • 600g Icing Sugar
  • 80g Cream Cheese
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla Essence
  • 100g Dried Blueberries
  • Lilac and Baby Blue Gel Food Colouring

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Method

For the Cupcakes:

1) Preheat the oven to 180°C or Gas Mark 4.

2) Sift the flour into a bowl and add to it the baking powder, salt and sugar.

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3) In a separate bowl, add the oil, milk, eggs and vanilla. Whisk everything together.

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4) Gradually add the dry mixture to the liquid mixture and beat together until everything is evenly mixed.

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5) Add the blueberries to the mixture and fold in gently with a spoon in order to avoid damaging them too much.

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6) Line a muffin tin with cupcake cases and spoon between 2 – 3 tsp into each case making sure you get some blueberries into each. You want the cases to be around 1/3 to 1/2 of the way full as the mixture will rise while cooking.

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7) Put them into the top/middle of the oven for around 25 – 30 minutes. Test that they are cooked using a toothpick. If it comes out clean then they are ready. Afterwards remove them from the muffin tin and leave them on a wire rack to cool. I found the easiest way to remove them whilst still hot was to poke a toothpick down the side in between 2 folds in the cases, and then use it to pry the cupcake onto its side to that I could grip it and lift it out.

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For the Icing/Frosting:

1) Sift the icing sugar into a bowl. Add the cream cheese and vanilla essence. Cut the butter into smaller pieces and add to the bowl as well.

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2) Cream everything together fully into a paste using a fork.

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3) Add your dried blueberries to a food processor/blender and process very well so that no large lumps of blueberry remain as this will clog up your piping nozzle. This step is highly important if you are planning to pipe pretty rose shaped onto your cupcakes. I found the easiest way to blend it up was to add a few tablespoons of the icing mixture to the food processor. This seemed to stop the blades from just pushing the blueberries around rather than chopping them up.

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4) Add the resulting blueberry paste to the bowl with the rest of the icing mixture and cream together well until everything is evenly mixed.

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5) I wasn’t quite happy with the resulting colour of this icing so I added a little lilac and baby blue gel food colouring. This step is completely optional. But if you do use the colouring make sure you mix it in evenly.

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6) You are now ready to pipe your roses onto your cupcakes. To do this you need a specific piping tip. The one I used is called a ‘Wilton 2D Tip’. You can find these easily online (I got mine on Ebay for a couple of quid).

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7) Set up you nozzle in a piping bag. Fill your bag with some of this icing and get it ready for piping.

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8) It is actually quite simple to pipe the roses. Hold the piping nozzle upright above your cupcake. Start in the centre and then work your way outwards in a spiral until the entire cupcake is covered. Move your arm rather than your wrist while doing this as you do not want the angle of the nozzle to change. You can find plenty of videos on the internet that demonstrates this.

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9) Repeat this for your remaining cupcakes, refilling your piping bag as necessary. Don’t worry if you mess any cupcakes up. You can gently scrape the icing off with a table knife and reuse it to try again. If you do happen to get your nozzle clogged up with some blueberry pieces, you can use the prong of a fork to try and pull it through. Just be careful to not bend your nozzle out of shape.

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I love all things blueberry flavoured, and these cupcakes are easily one of my favourite. I hope you enjoy making and eating them as much as I did.

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Blueberry Milkshake

My brother got me a propper smoothie maker for Christmas, which is so much more efficient than using the hand blender that I used to use. Even though it’s not really the weather for smoothies, it hasn’t stopped me from trying it out. This one uses blueberries, some semi skimmed milk and a couple of spoons of vanilla ice cream. However if I were to make this again I would probably use less blueberries as it went a bit too thick in the end.

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