No Bake Mixed Berry Cheesecake Bars


 
No Bake Mixed Berry Cheesecake Bars - delicious graham cracker crust, topped with a silky vanilla bean no bake filling, and finished with a beautiful marbled swirl of mixed berry coulis. perfect No bake, low effort dessert for any time of the year. #nobake #cheesecake #cheesecakebars #mixedberry #coulis
No Bake Mixed Berry Cheesecake Bars - delicious graham cracker crust, topped with a silky vanilla bean no bake filling, and finished with a beautiful marbled swirl of mixed berry coulis. perfect No bake, low effort dessert for any time of the year. #nobake #cheesecake #cheesecakebars #mixedberry #coulis
No Bake Mixed Berry Cheesecake Bars - delicious graham cracker crust, topped with a silky vanilla bean no bake filling, and finished with a beautiful marbled swirl of mixed berry coulis. perfect No bake, low effort dessert for any time of the year. #nobake #cheesecake #cheesecakebars #mixedberry #coulis
No Bake Mixed Berry Cheesecake Bars - delicious graham cracker crust, topped with a silky vanilla bean no bake filling, and finished with a beautiful marbled swirl of mixed berry coulis. perfect No bake, low effort dessert for any time of the year. #nobake #cheesecake #cheesecakebars #mixedberry #coulis
No Bake Mixed Berry Cheesecake Bars - delicious graham cracker crust, topped with a silky vanilla bean no bake filling, and finished with a beautiful marbled swirl of mixed berry coulis. perfect No bake, low effort dessert for any time of the year. #nobake #cheesecake #cheesecakebars #mixedberry #coulis
No Bake Mixed Berry Cheesecake Bars - delicious graham cracker crust, topped with a silky vanilla bean no bake filling, and finished with a beautiful marbled swirl of mixed berry coulis. perfect No bake, low effort dessert for any time of the year. #nobake #cheesecake #cheesecakebars #mixedberry #coulis

I know that I post a fair bit of fancy shit. Intricate pie lattices, multi layer cakes, things with more components than they probably need to have just because I’m being extra. But this time, I am here to save your life (not really haha) with a crazy easy dessert that is super simple to put together, but still tastes amazing and makes you look super, super fancy. I made these no bake mixed berry cheesecake bars a few weeks back, and haven’t stopped thinking about them or possible variations of them since.

I grew up on no-bake cheesecake - to me, it is the first thing that comes to mind when I think of cheesecake. I haven’t quite been able to get behind baked cheesecake yet, because I’m not sure that anything will ever stand up to a really well done no-bake version. That, and I always hear people worry about cracking their cheesecake. This isn’t even a slight issue here. I got you. The thing that I really love about this recipe is how versatile it is - you could swirl literally anything you like through the top of it. I went with a mixed berry coulis swirl, but it would be epic with fudge, or nutella, or a quick lemon or passionfruit curd.

I started with a simple graham cracker crust, then topped it with a silky vanilla bean cheesecake filling, which is super easy and comes together quickly in the mixer. This alone would be the perfect dessert, but I had some berries that needed using up in the freezer, so popped together a quick coulis to swirl on the top, which turned out to be a very, very good idea.

I was initally aiming for a white top with just a small swirl of the berry, but I used too much the first time around, so just mixed it in and tried again and it worked out for the better - the berry flavour was much more prominent, and the top came out so marbled and beautiful. Give this dude a try if you can - I promise you will look super fancy with hardly any effort.

A few wee tips:

  • Make the berry coulis topping first, and allow to cool slightly before you make the cheesecake.

  • This is a great base cheesecake recipe - you could do a passionfruit top, or a lemon curd, peanut butter, etc etc.

  • Make sure that your cream cheese is at room temperature to allow you to beat it very smooth.

  • If you can’t get graham crackers, digestive biscuits work perfectly!

 

 

No Bake Mixed Berry Cheesecake Bars

- Makes about 16 bars -

Mixed Berry Coulis Topping
250g fresh or frozen raspberries
125g fresh or frozen blueberries
125g fresh or frozen blackberries
65g sugar
1 Tbsp water
pinch of salt

Graham Cracker Base
400g graham crackers
3 Tbsp Sugar
150g butter, melted
1/4 tsp salt

Filling
300g plus 120g cream
2 tsp gelatine
450g cream cheese, at room temperature
130g sugar
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
1/4 tsp salt


 

- PROCESS -

MIXED BERRY COULIS TOPPING

Place all of the ingredients in a pan over medium heat. Cook, stirring often, and occasionally mashing the berries against the side using a fork, until the berries are soft. Transfer to a high speed blender or food processor (be careful as it will be hot), and blend until smooth.

Clean the pan and return to the stove. Strain the berry mixture into the pan, then bring to a boil and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, for 2-3 minutes or until slightly thickened and reduced. Transfer to a container and allow to cool completely.

 

GRAHAM CRACKER BASE

Grease and line a 9” square pan with two pieces of parchment paper, extending over the sides to form a sling. Place the graham crackers and sugar in the work bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the crackers resemble fine crumbs, then transfer to a medium bowl. Add the salt and butter, and mix to combine - it should have the consistency of wet sand.

Pour the base into the prepared pan, and pat down until smooth using the bottom of a flat glass or measuring cup, ensuring that it is an even thickness. Place in the freezer while you prepare the filling.

FILLING AND ASSEMBLY

In a small pot over low heat, combine the 120g measure of cream and gelatine. Stir until the gelatine has dissolved. Set aside to cool slightly.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or using an electric mixer, whip the 300g measure of cream until soft peaks form. Transfer into a bowl. There is no need to wash the mixer between the cream and cream cheese mix. Whip the cream cheese and sugar in the mixer until smooth. Add the vanilla and salt and beat to incorporate, then add the gelatine and cream mixture and mix well.

Remove the bowl from the mixer, and, using a spatula, gently fold the softly whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture.

Spoon the filling over the prepared base, tapping to remove any bubbles, then spreading with an offset spatula. Evenly distribute about 3-4 Tbsp of the cooled coulis mixture over the surface of the filling, and using a swirling motion, gently mix it into the top section of the filling using a spoon, before smoothing again with an offset spatula. Lightly drizzle a little more of the coulis mixture (use less than you think you will need) over the top of the cheesecake, then drag a chopstick or skewer through the drizzled coulis to make a marbled effect. Add more coulis and marble more if desired.

Refrigerate the cheesecake for at least 3 hours or until set. Using the parchment paper as a sling, remove the cheesecake from the pan. Cut into squares using a knife that has been run through hot water and then dried before cutting.

Store leftovers in the fridge.

No Bake Mixed Berry Cheesecake Bars - delicious graham cracker crust, topped with a silky vanilla bean no bake filling, and finished with a beautiful marbled swirl of mixed berry coulis. perfect No bake, low effort dessert for any time of the year. #nobake #cheesecake #cheesecakebars #mixedberry #coulis

Vanilla Bean Old Fashioned Doughnuts with Vanilla Bean Glaze


 
Vanilla Bean Old Fashioned Doughnuts - made as a cake doughnut rather than it's friend the yeast raised doughnut, old fashioned doughnuts are cakey and dense, fried to golden perfection, and then finished with a vanilla bean glaze. #oldfashioned #doughnuts #cakedoughnuts #cakedonut #vanillabean #staub
Vanilla Bean Old Fashioned Doughnuts - made as a cake doughnut rather than it's friend the yeast raised doughnut, old fashioned doughnuts are cakey and dense, fried to golden perfection, and then finished with a vanilla bean glaze. #oldfashioned #doughnuts #cakedoughnuts #cakedonut #vanillabean #staub
Vanilla Bean Old Fashioned Doughnuts - made as a cake doughnut rather than it's friend the yeast raised doughnut, old fashioned doughnuts are cakey and dense, fried to golden perfection, and then finished with a vanilla bean glaze. #oldfashioned #doughnuts #cakedoughnuts #cakedonut #vanillabean #staub
Vanilla Bean Old Fashioned Doughnuts - made as a cake doughnut rather than it's friend the yeast raised doughnut, old fashioned doughnuts are cakey and dense, fried to golden perfection, and then finished with a vanilla bean glaze. #oldfashioned #doughnuts #cakedoughnuts #cakedonut #vanillabean #staub
Vanilla Bean Old Fashioned Doughnuts - made as a cake doughnut rather than it's friend the yeast raised doughnut, old fashioned doughnuts are cakey and dense, fried to golden perfection, and then finished with a vanilla bean glaze. #oldfashioned #doughnuts #cakedoughnuts #cakedonut #vanillabean #staub
Vanilla Bean Old Fashioned Doughnuts - made as a cake doughnut rather than it's friend the yeast raised doughnut, old fashioned doughnuts are cakey and dense, fried to golden perfection, and then finished with a vanilla bean glaze. #oldfashioned #doughnuts #cakedoughnuts #cakedonut #vanillabean #staub

So. I thought I had a nice variety of recipes shot before I left for NZ so that I could share while I was away. Turns out that over a third of those are doughnut recipes. So hold onto your butts, maybe this will become a doughnut blog for the month. It’s going to be good though - there’s an earl grey cruller situation, and a chocolate choux ice cream sandwich (which is as much an ice cream sandwich as a doughnut so maybe we are good?), and then there are these dudes - vanilla bean old fashioned doughnuts with a vanilla bean glaze.

The recipe for these comes out of the beautiful new Staub cookbook! The book was written by my lovely friend Amanda Frederickson and is filled with a whole heap of amazing recipes, utilising Staub Cookware. Amanda makes the most delicious looking food, and her recipes are super easy to follow, and there are also recipes from a few super cool contributors. If you haven’t heard of Staub before, it is a french made cast iron enamel cookware, and it is one of my most favourite things to cook with. The book is jam packed with recipes I can’t wait to try - there are some super cozy looking ones in there too, so I can see myself working my way through them this winter!

This was the first time I had made Old-Fashioned doughnuts, but it most certainly won’t be the last. We have eaten them loads - there is an epic old school bakery near us called Peter Pan Donut shop, and they have a red velvet cake doughnut which is my fave thing ever. They differ to yeast raised doughnuts in that they are a cake-like batter rather than a dough. You mix the batter together, then give it a rest in the fridge to firm it up before rolling it out, cutting out doughnuts, and frying until golden. Because they don’t have any yeast in them, old fashioned doughnuts are much denser, and the surface turns into craggy amazingness when they are fried, which is perfect for grabbing onto the vanilla bean glaze.

A few wee tips:

  • Ideally these need an overnight rest, but you can give them 4 hours if you are in a pinch.

  • A candy / frying thermometer is super important for these so you can keep the oil a consistent temperature. I also always fry in cast iron to help with this too.

  • These are best eaten on the day that they are made!

 

 

Vanilla Bean Old Fashioned Doughnuts with Vanilla Bean Glaze

- Makes about 8 Doughnuts, Plus Doughnut Holes -

Reprinted with permission from The Staub Cookbook

Batter
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
6 tablespoons (90g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 large eggs
1/2 cup (120ml) buttermilk
1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
Vegetable oil, for frying

Glaze
1 cup powdered sugar
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup heavy cream, plus more as needed
1 Tablespoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract

 

- PROCESS -

DOUGHNUTS

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and nutmeg. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the sugars and butter and mix on medium speed until creamy. Add the eggs one at a time and mix on medium speed until smooth. Add the buttermilk and vanilla bean paste and mix to combine. Slowly add the dry ingredients and mix to combine.

Coat a large bowl with oil, add the batter, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set a wire rack into a second baking sheet. Scoop the dough onto a well-floured surface and roll it out to 3/4 inch thick. Using a a 3 1/2” circle cutter and a 1 1/4” circle cutter, cut out doughnut shapes. Place on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough, re-rolling the dough once to get 8 doughnuts. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

While the dough is chilling, in a medium cast-iron cocotte, add the oil until it comes halfway up the side of the pot. Heat the oil over medium-high heat until it reaches 350˚f / 180˚c on a candy thermometer.

Working in batches, add the doughnuts to the oil and fry for 3 to 4 minutes, flipping halfway through, or until the doughnut is golden brown. Let the doughnuts cool on the baking sheet fitted with a rack. Cool.

GLAZE

While the doughnuts, are cooling, make the glaze: In a medium bowl, combine the powdered sugar, salt, cream, and vanilla bean paste. Stir until smooth, adding more cream if needed. Dunk the doughnuts, then set them back onto the rack to dry.

Vanilla Bean Old Fashioned Doughnuts - made as a cake doughnut rather than it's friend the yeast raised doughnut, old fashioned doughnuts are cakey and dense, fried to golden perfection, and then finished with a vanilla bean glaze. #oldfashioned #doughnuts #cakedoughnuts #cakedonut #vanillabean #staub

This Recipe was reprinted with permission from The Staub Cookbook, copyright © 2018. Photography by Colin Price. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House.

Basil Pesto and Feta Stuffed Savoury Brioche Doughnuts


 
Basil Pesto and Feta Stuffed Savoury Brioche Doughnuts - Brioche dough is wrapped around a basil pesto and feta filling, then fried to golden brown perfection #savoury #savory #briochedoughnut #pestoandfeta #donut #brioche
Basil Pesto and Feta Stuffed Savoury Brioche Doughnuts - Brioche dough is wrapped around a basil pesto and feta filling, then fried to golden brown perfection #savoury #savory #briochedoughnut #pestoandfeta #donut #brioche
Basil Pesto and Feta Stuffed Savoury Brioche Doughnuts - Brioche dough is wrapped around a basil pesto and feta filling, then fried to golden brown perfection #savoury #savory #briochedoughnut #pestoandfeta #donut #brioche
Basil Pesto and Feta Stuffed Savoury Brioche Doughnuts - Brioche dough is wrapped around a basil pesto and feta filling, then fried to golden brown perfection #savoury #savory #briochedoughnut #pestoandfeta #donut #brioche
Basil Pesto and Feta Stuffed Savoury Brioche Doughnuts - Brioche dough is wrapped around a basil pesto and feta filling, then fried to golden brown perfection #savoury #savory #briochedoughnut #pestoandfeta #donut #brioche

Hi Hi and Happy Sunday! Things are kind of chaotic around here - we head to New Zealand on Wednesday, so are furiously packing / cleaning / trying to shoot as many things as I can so I have content while I am away. I love going back home to visit so, so much, but the lead up to actually leaving always has me a little frazzled. Which makes it easy to sleep on the plane, but it is never not stressful. We have got a bunch of things planned while we are home - a mixture of some extreme adulting and then catching up with friends and family. I can't wait! 

One thing I have already promised to do when I get home is to make doughnuts! They are such a fun thing to make for a morning or afternoon tea - still nice and simple, but different enough that everyone is always super excited by them. Up until now I have only really made sweet doughnuts before (I actually have three doughnut recipes up and coming for you!), but wanted to try a savoury version this time, so turned to the classic combination of Pesto and Feta. And let me tell you right now - I'm hooked. 

I used my go-to brioche dough, which is insanely versatile and can be used for knots, babkas, twists, doughnuts, hamburger buns, you name it, it probably works. I developed it maybe a year or so ago, and I love how reliable and adaptable it is. I added a little lemon zest and cracked pepper to the dough, then once it had done its first rise, I divided it into 12 balls, then stuffed each one with some feta, and Filippo Berio Basil Pesto. The combination of Pesto and feta is a well-loved one, but it never gets old. The salty feta compliments the herby pesto, making the perfect filling for so many things, including savoury doughnuts. It is such a nice change to have a doughnut that isn't sweet or fruit filled - these will be making their way into my recipe rotation, and I do hope that you give them a try!

This is my fourth post in partnership with Filippo Berio, helping to showcase their amazing product as part of their pestonality tour. Until now I had made most of my own pesto because I wasn't able to find a good jarred pesto, but all of that has changed Last weekend Rich and I went to Bridgehampton to visit them at the Hampton Classic, and had the best time! I had no idea horse jumping would be so, so exciting to watch, and the setting was so beautiful. I've attached a few photos underneath of the day. Happy Doughnutting!

A few wee tips:

  • If you want to make these early in the day, you can do the first rise in the fridge - the dough may just need to sit out slightly before you start working with it.
  • When you roll these, you kind of cup your hand over the roll and move it in a circle so that the friction between the dough and the surface seals off the filling. Make sure to give it a good pinch too. Because you need the friction, don't heavily flour your surface.
  • I use a dutch oven to fry doughnuts in and love it because of how well and evenly it retains the heat. A digital or candy thermometer that clips onto the side is also very helpful - make sure your oil is deep enough and that the tip of the thermometer is in the middle of the oil in order to get an accurate reading.
 

 

Basil Pesto and Feta Stuffed Savoury Brioche Doughnuts

- Makes about 12 Doughnuts -

Brioche Dough
240g (1 cup) whole milk, lukewarm
2 1/4 tsp active dried yeast
2 Tbsp Sugar
565g all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
Zest of 1 lemon
A few turns of black pepper
2 eggs, at room temperature
90g unsalted butter, soft

Filling
110g feta cheese
50g Filippo Berio Basil Pesto

Vegetable Oil for Frying
Flaky Sea Salt such as Maldon to finish

 

- PROCESS -

BRIOCHE DOUGH

In a small bowl, combine the yeast, milk and 1 Tbsp of the sugar. Mix well, and leave to sit for 10-15 minutes, or until foamy.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the flour, salt, remaining 1 Tbsp sugar, lemon zest, and pepper. Mix briefly to combine. Add the eggs and foamy yeast mixture to the bowl. Mix on low for 2-3 minutes, until the dough is starting to come together. It may look slightly dry but do not worry - it will mix together nicely in the next steps. If it is not coming together, add extra milk a teaspoon at a time. Increase the mixer speed to medium, and mix for another 10 minutes, until the dough is soft and smooth. 

Reduce the mixer speed to low, and add the butter a little at a time, waiting until it is fully incorporated into the dough before adding the next piece. This process should take 3-4 minutes. Once the butter is fully incorporated, increase the mixer speed to medium, and mix for a further 5 minutes, until the dough is very soft and smooth. 

Place in a lightly oiled bowl, and cover with plastic wrap. Leave in a warm place until doubled in size, 1 to 1 1/2 hours

FILLING AND ASSEMBLY

Place all of the filling ingredients in a small bowl, and mix well to combine.

Turn out the dough onto a very lightly floured surface. Weigh, and divide into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball, and place under plastic wrap. 

Fill a dutch oven or heavy bottomed saucepan half way with neutral oil, and heat to 350˚f / 180˚c. 

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 

Working with one piece of dough at a time, flatten it out using your hands until it is about 4 inches (10cm) diameter. Place a tablespoon of filling in the middle, then pinch closed with your fingers, then roll it on the work surface into a ball, taking care not to puncture it so that the filling does not escape. Place on the prepared baking sheet.

Working in batches and frying 2 or 3 doughnuts at a time, fry the doughnuts in the oil, flipping frequently to ensure even browning. Fry for 5-6 minutes per doughnut, until golden brown and cooked throughout (break one of the first ones open and give it a little test to make sure it is done). Transfer to a baking sheet lined with a wire rack to drain.

Repeat the process with the remaining doughnuts. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt before serving. Best eaten on the day that they are made. 

Basil Pesto and Feta Stuffed Savoury Brioche Doughnuts - Brioche dough is wrapped around a basil pesto and feta filling, then fried to golden brown perfection #savoury #savory #briochedoughnut #pestoandfeta #donut #brioche
Basil Pesto and Feta Stuffed Savoury Brioche Doughnuts - Brioche dough is wrapped around a basil pesto and feta filling, then fried to golden brown perfection #savoury #savory #briochedoughnut #pestoandfeta #donut #brioche
Basil Pesto and Feta Stuffed Savoury Brioche Doughnuts - Brioche dough is wrapped around a basil pesto and feta filling, then fried to golden brown perfection #savoury #savory #briochedoughnut #pestoandfeta #donut #brioche

Thank you so much to Filippo Berio for Sponsoring this post! All opinions are my own.