Berry Passion Cheesecake

I’ll admit I’m pretty proud of this one.  It’s a bit more impressive looking than what I’ve made lately, and it tastes amazing! The cheese part of the cake is creamy and has a delicate lemon flavour dotted with bursts of raspberry while the top layer has a tart fruity bite to it.

Truthfully, I don’t have a lot of experience working with gelatine, powdered gelatine in this case, which I find can be a little tricky.  I think it’s a bit difficult to get rid of the lumps before it’s cool enough to use. It might be cheating, but I like to add more powdered gelatine and then remove the lumps of gelatine once it’s cooled enough to use.  I haven’t added any extra gelatine to the ingredients below but I think I added less than half a teaspoon.

olive oil cooking spray
250g Nice biscuits
125g unsalted butter, melted

500g light cream cheese, at room temperature
½ cup caster sugar
300ml light thickened cream
1 tablespoon lemon juice
300g frozen raspberries

3 teaspoons gelatine powder
¼ cup boiling water
2 passionfruit, halved
¼ cup caster sugar
1 tablespoon cornflour
¼ cup water

Release the base from a 20cm round springform pan. Lightly spray the base and sides of the pan with oil then line with baking paper.

Break up and process the biscuits in a food processor until finely crushed. Add the melted butter and process until combined. Transfer to the prepared pan. Use the back of a spoon to spread and press the biscuit mixture firmly over the base and most of the way up the side of the pan.

Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 30 minutes to chill.

Use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese and sugar in a medium bowl until smooth. Add the cream and beat until well combined.

Place the boiling water in a small heatproof bowl. Sprinkle with gelatine and use a fork to stir until it dissolves. Set aside for about 10 minutes to cool.

Add the gelatine mixture and lemon juice to the cream cheese mixture. Beat until combined. Fold through half of the frozen raspberries. Pour into the prepared pan and quickly smooth the surface.

Cover and place in the fridge for 4 hours or over overnight to chill.

Once the cake is nearly, or has set, defrost the remaining raspberries and process in a food processor until smooth. Press through a fine sieve into a small saucepan.

Stir in the passionfruit pulp and extra sugar.

Combine the cornflour and water in a small bowl. Add to the pan. Stir over medium heat for 2-3 minutes or until the mixture boils and thickens. Set aside to cool to room temperature. Pour over and spread evenly over the top of the cheesecake.

Place in the fridge for 1-2 hours until set.

Rocky Road Bark

For the Christmas just gone by, I tried to be a little smarter with my hamper making time, and so I chose to make Rocky Road Bark instead of plain old Rocky Road.  Bark is another simple yet effective gift food which lends itself to many variations. Another that I like is dark chocolate with roasted hazelnuts and craisins.

Rocky Road Bark

150 g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
150 g milk chocolate, broken into pieces
2 cups mini marshmallows
1 ½ cups pecans, toasted & roughly chopped
1 cup raspberry lollies, halved


Line a tray with baking paper and set aside. Melt the milk and dark chocolates together a microwave-safe bowl in the microwave.  Heat on high for 30 seconds bursts, stirring in between bursts until melted and smooth.

Stir in 1 & 1/2 cups of the marshmallows, 1 cup of the pecans and 3/4 of the raspberry lollies. Scrape the mixture onto the tray and spread out with a spatula to approx 2cm thickness. Sprinkle the remaining marshmallows, pecans and raspberry lollies over the top, gently pressing them into the chocolate to adhere.

Refrigerate the bark until completely firm, which is about 2 hours. Break or cut into chunks for serving.

Raspberry Rocky Road

Here is the other successful recipe from a Christmas gone by, Raspberry Rocky Road.  I love rocky road but just hate glace cherries and I much prefer to use raspberry lollies.  There are plenty of rocky road recipes – and they’re all easily adaptable – but I like this one in particular because it makes a nice big slab of rocky road, which makes for an attractive and decadent gift item.  My brother always requests this and so I sometimes make some just for him.

Raspberry Rocky Road

750 g milk chocolate
350 g marshmallows, halved
50 g white choc chips
100 g turkish dellight, cut into a 1cm dice
50g raspberry lollies, halved
¼ cup slivered almonds
½ cup shredded coconut


Line base and sides of 26x16cm lamington pan with baking paper.


Melt 300g milk chocolate in microwave, stirring often, until it’s smooth.  Pour into the base of the prepared pan.  Arrange half of the marshmallows over the top.  Next scatter over the white choc chips, turkish delight, raspberry lollies, half the almonds and half the coconut, filling in any gaps.



Scatter over the remaining marshmallows.


Melt remaining milk chocolate in the microwave, stirring often, until it’s smooth.  Pour over two thirds of the melted chocolate, covering the marshmallows evenly.  Use a small spatula to gently mix and allow chocolate through the layers.


Scatter with the remaining almonds and coconut, pressing down gently to stick to chocolate.  Chill for at least 2 hours to set.


Cut into bars or squares to serve.

Jelly Cheesecake Slice

I’d like to write something about this slice being one of my childhood favourites, but I can’t because I never had this as a child.  I first made this slice at the request of a work colleague (who’s childhood favourite it is).  I don’t make this one too often, as it’s a bit time consuming due to each layer requiring refrigeration, but when I do and take it in to work it gets snapped up pretty quickly!

Jelly Cheesecake Slice

125 g Morning Coffee biscuits, broken into pieces
80 g butter, melted
375 g cream cheese, softened
½ cup caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
200 ml cream
2 tablespoons boiling water
2 teaspoons powdered gelatine
85 g packet jelly crystals

Line base and sides of a 16cm x 26cm slice pan with baking paper.

Process Morning Coffee biscuits in a food processor until it becomes crumbs. Add melted butter and process until combined. Press into base of lined pan. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm.

Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth. Gradually beat in cream.

Place water into a small bowl. Sprinkle over gelatine. Stir with a fork until gelatine dissolves. Set aside to cool slightly. Beat gelatine into filling until combined. Pour filling over base. Refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours or until set.

Make jelly, following packet directions. Set aside to cool to room temperature. Pour into a shallow dish. Refrigerate for about an hour or until jelly starts to thicken to the consistency of thickened cream. Pour jelly over cheesecake.  Refrigerate for a further 3 hours or until set.  Cut into squares to serve.

Chocolate, Hazelnut & Nougat Roll

I do like to make fiddly treats.  Something that you can really get your hands into.  This roll/slice definitely falls into that category.  I think it would have been helpful to have latex gloves on hand, but I made do baking paper and a spatula to shape the chocolate mixture in the log shape.  I was very happy with the way this turned out and I think I will include it the little gift basket I put together for Christmas each year.

Chocolate, Hazelnut & Nougat Roll

170 g unsalted butter, at room temperature, chopped
¾ cup caster sugar
1 cup good quality cocoa powder, sifted
200 g hard nougat, chopped into small pieces
100 g savoiardi (sponge finger biscuits), chopped into small pieces
100 g white chocolate, chopped into small pieces
1 ½ cups hazelnuts, toasted, skins removed, roughly chopped

Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Fold in cocoa, then stir in nougat, savioardi, white chocolate and hazelnuts until well combined.

Place a 30cm-long sheet of foil on a work surface and top with a sheet of baking paper. Spoon chocolate mixture along one long edge, leaving a 2cm border at both ends. Roll up foil to enclose chocolate mixture and form a log, then twist ends to seal.

Chill for 2-3 hours, until firm.  Slice and serve