Making [Donna] Hay: Black Raspberry Cheesecake Pots

Monday, May 24, 2010 41 comments

Black Raspberry Cheesecake Pots

"Make hay while the sun shines."
Meaning: Take advantage of an opportunity when favorable circumstances arise, before they quickly change.
Origins: References an agricultural past when farmers had to take advantage of a limited period of good weather to harvest and dry hay for the winter. The earliest record of this proverb appears in John Heywood's 'A dialogue conteinying the nomber in effect of all the prouerbes in the Englishe tongue' (1546): "When the sunne shineth, make hay".

I've spent a good deal of time kvetching about how hard this food-blogging business can be, with its inspiration-free periods, bouts of writer's block and occasional cooking failures. With such a gloomy outlook, it's a wonder I'm still in the game! But even the stormiest clouds eventually part, giving way to sunny days and a brighter perspective - like this week, when clearing skies revealed the perfect conditions for two post topics. Thanks to a pair of lovely blogger friends and the opportunity to join their food and drink challenges, my blog's forecast in the coming days is sweet and refreshing.

A fine day for some Donna Hay-making!

The first ray of sunshine came courtesy of Mardi of Eat.Live.Travel.Write, who is hosting this month's Hay Hay It's Donna Day, a marvelous food blogging event moderated by Denise and Lenny of ChezUs, in which participants make a designated Donna Hay recipe. For those unfamiliar with the personage (as I was), Ms. Hay is one of Australia's most celebrated cookbook authors and editor of her own top-selling, eponymously-titled magazine; she also writes a popular weekly newspaper column, has appeared on television and oversees her own line of house- and kitchenwares. Though she may remind you of a certain Stateside multimedia maven with similar credentials, all it takes is a quick peek at what Donna is serving to see why she is an equally bestselling and beloved international food star.

Now, as the winner of April's HHDD challenge, Mardi had the honor of choosing a dish for the May Hay-Making Day and, bless her heart, she chose a dessert: Blackberry Cheesecake Pots. Needing just five ingredients and a few minutes of preparation, this chilled creamy concoction is the definition of simplicity. But of course, you're in the Noodle house now, where simple is as Tangled does . . .

Black [Rasp]berry Cheesecake Pots
(from a recipe by Donna Hay, with a few tweaks)

In my last post, I mentioned informational cascades, by which people look for guidance for their own actions in the experiences of their peers and role models. The cascade was in full effect when I saw Mardi's announcement of the May HHDD event and this recipe. She had prepared the dessert exactly as given in the original, but noted that the pots took a while to set firmly and suggested using a heavier cream as a remedy. Her experience was a boon to me as I implemented her tip, which did indeed result in a velvety, rich consistency after only a few hours in the 'fridge. 

Finally, I meant to purchase the requisite blackberries at the grocery but was waylaid at the neighborhood farmers' market by an irresistible jar of homemade Black Raspberry Jam. Resistance was futile . . .

Serves 4


250g cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup (55g) caster or superfine sugar
2 Tbsps heavy whipping cream + 1/2 cup whipped cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1-2 Tbsps black raspberry jam (or any favorite fruit jam)

To make:

1. In a food processor, blend cream cheese, sugar, 2 Tbsps heavy cream and vanilla extract until it achieves a smooth, creamy consistency;
2. Transfer cream cheese mixture to a bowl, then gently fold in whipped cream until incorporated;
3. Take 1/3 of the cheesecake blend and add the jam - stir to mix well;
4. Spoon or pipe cheesecake in layers, alternating between the plain and jammy mixtures, into small 1/2-cup dishes. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm.
5. Serve with fresh berries, jam on the side or biscotti. Enjoy!

Thank you, Mardi, Denise and Lenny, for putting together such an enjoyable and delicious event!

Now that you've seen the 'sweet' part of this week's blog forecast, please be sure to return in a few days when I offer up the 'refreshing' portion, thanks to The Diva on a Diet at Beach Eats and her Thirsty Thursday Challenge.


  • The Diva on a Diet said...

    Dearest Noodle, my own blogging forecast has been rather gloomy of late too. I wonder if something's going around? LOL

    That said, who could be gloomy when presented with such a cheerful and luscious looking dessert! I love what you've done with the cheesecake pots and I'll bet the flavor is exquisite! Your pics are amazing, as always, too. Yum!

    Looking forward to your Thirsty Thursday creation and thanks for the shout-out. I'm working on my cucumber themed drink for this week and I'm thinking outside the box just a bit. ;)

    Happy Monday!

  • Manggy said...

    Lol, actually Australian Duncan does a roll-eye thing whenever she gets mentioned, but I ain't mad at her (or him, haha). I have a few of her magazines and I can't deny they're beautiful (if a little blue).
    I love it when you post dessert - these look so pretty, though I may need to eat only a small one to keep my "figger", hehe ;)

  • Daily Spud said...

    While I know of Donna Hay, I can't say that I'm overly familiar with her recipes - but if this is anything to go by, I soon will be! I have also been pondering my own blogging schedule and next up for me is also a drink for Diva's challenge - I'm taking up your call to use cucumber - wish me luck :)

  • gastroanthropologist said...

    Continuing on with your theory - because its a cheesecake pot, looks gorgeous and has black raspberry jam I am absolutely and totally assuming that any dairy intolerance issues are negated.

  • Jeanne said...

    I can't believe how simple this is! Now I really must look into Donna Hay and her recipes. The colors in your cheesecake are beautiful!

  • Chef E said...

    You! just gave me the most brilliant idea for hubby's 50th desserts!

    Uh I am ashamed to say that when I first read this I thought it was a naughty reference- making hay, not sure where I got that from, lol, but it went south and I am back on track!

  • Midge said...

    Ooh! Cheesecake sans crust is a personal favorite of mine. I am thinking of making a localized version of this with wild bignay berries from the northern provinces in place of the black raspberries.

  • The Beancounter said...

    Hello there TN! We now get a weekly dose of Donna Hay on TV... she's one of the celebrity judges in this season's Masterchef Australia...

    honestly though, i haven't tried any of her recipes...but soon will after reading your post..

    you're so right btw, re: inspiration-free periods & bouts of writer's block...i'm having one of those...

  • Lori said...

    These are just beautiful! What a simple way to take care of a cheesecake craving, which I get quite often, I might add. These are definitely going on my summer dessert list.

  • Tangled Noodle said...

    Hi, eveyone! Thank you for all the great comments - I will try to respond to each, although I've been rather lax about that lately . . . 8-(

    I will be online only sporadically for the next few days so I hope you'll bear with me!

  • Mardi Michels said...

    Thanks for playing along Tracey! I am glad to provide you with some inspiration in the form of a gentle push to make a fabulous dessert that I am sure you are not sad to have made acquaintance with! Your version looks amazing - well done!

  • Carolyn Jung said...

    It's true - blogging is both a curse and a blessing. A blessing because it's so freeing and creative. A curse because it's never ending. It just goes on and on, and you can't stop. ;)
    'Course, if I was loaded up with one of these nice cheesecake pots, I'd have enough energy to do at least another month's worth of posts. Dessert to the rescue. ;)

  • Phyllis said...

    5 ingredient/no-bake recipes are just my style! Thanks for sharing a great recipe.
    ps. re: writer's block - I never seem to lack sources of inspiration when it comes to blogging, my biggest problem is that I never get around to writing about most of them (procrastinate much?) :D

  • tasteofbeirut said...

    It comforts me to read that other people find blogging difficult at times! I too have had bouts of discouragement; it is not inspiration that is lacking with me but the implementation!
    Love this delicious looking verrine; it is also better suited for summer and the thoughts of a lighter, more diet-friendly dessert.

  • SKIP TO MALOU said...

    i hear you, keeping a food blog is challenging especially when you zone out... but hey we're still here...

    i can't believe how easy this cheesecake recipe is... it's one of those that would get good raves from guests (and would make them feel like you put a lot of hours doing it), and you're smiling deep inside knowing how easy it was to make...hahah love it!

  • Tangled Noodle said...

    So sorry I haven't been able to reply individually - Mr. Noodle and I are currently on the road, so it's been a bit tough to find a nice chunk of time for some leisurely blog reading and commenting. Once we stay put in one place, I'm hoping to catch up! 8-D

  • Chez Us said...

    Beautiful cheesecakes. I love that you used jam instead of the berries, wonderful idea with so many new ideas for new flavors!

    Thank you for participating in this round of HHDD - it was delicious!

  • debi Shawcross said...

    This is exactly the kind of dessert I crave in the heat of the summer--cool and refreshing!
    As for the blogging thing, when you have other things going on it is very hard to fit it all in and feel inspired. Your posts are always insightful and so well received--keep up the good work :)

  • Trissa said...

    I too find that when I get a case of writer's block or lack of inspiration - I trawl through food blogs and the world looks like a better place once again! That dessert is just gorgeous - truly inspiring.


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