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No-Bake Mixed Berry Cheesecake Trifle

No-Bake Mixed Berry Cheesecake TrifleIt feels like I’ve been cooking up a storm these days… Because I’m running virtual cooking camp 3x week, it means I have to be organised at least a week in advance with recipes, some of which need tweaking or re-testing and a few of which I am still making videos for as part of a varied programme (1 guest chef a week, 1 live cooking session with me and 1 hybrid cooking session where participants study a recipe and make it with me supervising). All this to say that our menus these days are largely dictated by what the cooking camp will be making in roughly a week!

Our menus are ALSO dictated by our shopping which is still a little erratic and unpredictable these days. With summer berries coming into season, everytime I see them (at the market stand on the corner of our street, on offer in our organic delivery box, walking by a fruit store that doesn’t have a line..) both Neil and I snap them up. We often just eat berries as we sit on the front porch in the morning post walk/ run with a coffee. Sometimes they don’t even make it into the house!

When they DO make it into the house, though, sometimes it’s a case of “Oh my, we have a lot of berries – what can I do with them?” Sure, smoothies are great, so is freezing them for later. But the other week, I found myself with 1. Cream cheese that needed using up, 2. A ton of fresh berries and 3. Leftover ladyfingers. This smacked of a great recipe for cooking camp – easy to get hold of ingredients that could be transformed into a delicious dessert. Who doesn’t love the sound of that right now?

I came up with a kinda sorta no-bake cheesecake-y trifle idea that was easy to execute. I made a couple of different versions – a large one that I delivered to some VERY happy neighbours…

Delivering a No-Bake Mixed Berry Cheesecake Trifle to neighbours(my neighbours are not used to having me around during the summer. I’m typically in Europe – either in Nérac or walking a stage of the Camino… so they are thrilled to be the recipients of my leftovers!)

I also made smaller, individual versions which I thought would be fun for my camp participants to make…

Mini No-Bake Mixed Berry Cheesecake TrifleThe “recipe” feels like a bit of a cheat, it’s so easy (especially if you use store-bought ladyfingers) but I decided to blog it because it’s SO good. Also, un-fussy, easy recipes is what we all need more of right now!

Yield: 6

No-Bake Mixed Berry Cheesecake Trifle

Individual serves of No-Bake Mixed Berry Cheesecake Trifle served in a small glass dish

Easy no-bakemixed-berry cheesecake trifles.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Chill Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 15 minutes

Ingredients

For the berries:

  • 250g strawberries, hulled and chopped into blueberry-sized pieces (roughly 1 heaping cup, once chopped)
  • 125g (1 cup) raspberries, halved
  • 75g (1/2 cup) blueberries
  • Zest of 1 lemon

For the cheesecake layer:

  • 1 cup (250 mL) heavy (35%) cream 
  • 1 (8 oz, 250 g) package brick-style cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (35 g) icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

To assemble:

  • 15-20 ladyfinger biscuits (sometimes called Savoiardi)
  • 1 cup apple juice

Instructions

Prepare the berries

    1. Mix the berries and the lemon zest together and set aside, at room temperature.

    Make the cheesecake layer:

    1. Using handheld electric beaters or a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the cream on high speed until it forms stiff peaks, about 2 minutes.
    2. In a separate bowl, use the mixer (no need to rinse the attachments if you are using hand beaters) to beat the cream cheese with the icing sugar on medium speed until smooth (If you’re using a stand mixer, you’ll need the paddle attachment for this).
    3. Add the vanilla and mix well.
    4. Add the cream, 1/3 cup at a time, to the cream cheese mixture. Fold gently with a rubber spatula after each addition until thoroughly combined.

    Assemble the trifle:

    1. Pour the apple juice into a shallow dish.
    2. Working quickly (the biscuits will fall apart if you leave them in too long!), dip one ladyfinger biscuit into the apple juice then place it in the serving bowl. Line the serving bowl with as many ladyfingers as you need to cover the bottom of the bowl.
    3. Spread the cheesecake mixture over the top of the ladyfingers in a thick layer, covering all the biscuits.
    4. Spread berries over the top of the cheesecake mixture.
    5. Continue to layer the ladyfingers (soaked in apple juice), the cheesecake mixture and the berries until you have used them all up, ending with a layer of berries.
    6. Refrigerate for 3 hours to “set” the trifle (if you can wait that long!)

Now, I know you’re probably thinking that I shouldn’t call this a “trifle” because typically a trifle has custard. So it’s not a trifle proper. But it *is* trifle-like and goes along the same principles, just replacing custard with a creamy cheesecake-y mix. And, it works!

Individual serves of No-Bake Mixed Berry Cheesecake Trifle served in a small glass dishI’d say this is just about the perfect summer dessert. A happy accident of buying too many berries, indeed!

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5 Responses to No-Bake Mixed Berry Cheesecake Trifle

  1. Geoff July 1, 2020 at 23:10 #

    Send some over… these look delish

  2. Mr. Neil July 5, 2020 at 13:56 #

    The individual-portion cups are ideal. Because this is SO good and refreshing on a hot summer’s day…well, having one small cup healthily prevents you from eating a whole big bowl. 🙂

    While Mardi says it may be a cheat – loved it.

  3. Kathryn July 13, 2020 at 10:19 #

    These look amazing! Do you think I could use English shortbread cookies instead of ladyfingers? I’m looking to use them up.

    • Mardi Michels July 13, 2020 at 12:27 #

      Hi Kathryn, You definitely could but I’d break them up so there are cookie “bits” as a layer instead of the ladyfingers…

      • Kathryn Howden July 14, 2020 at 12:10 #

        Thanks! We’ll try that and I’ll let you know how awesome they are. 🙂

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