Friday, 19 August 2011
Last weekend I was in London. More specifically, I was at The Hempel with a big group of food bloggers for Food Blogger Connect 2011. I had a lovely weekend filled with interesting talks and classes, meeting new people and eating gorgeous food.
My favourite element of said gorgeous food was the dessert we had on Friday night. We had little white bowls of summer berries topped with an incredible cheesecake mousse flecked with vanilla and a sprinkling of sweet crumble. I loved the balance of textures and flavours.
So, in the spirit of commemoration, I decided to try and recreate it.
(Photo credit to Šárka Babická of Cook Your Dream - can you spot me?)
After a few tries, I think I've just about managed to do it justice. Though there are three components, it's a simple dessert to make and doesn't take much time - just a bit of chilling.
Have a look at the #FBC11 hashtag on twitter for sneak peaks of some of the talks and other round up posts. I don't have a list of all the great bloggers who attended and their blogs, but you can find most of them there.
Cheesecake Mousse with Summer Fruits and Almond Crumble
(crumble adapted from John Murray's recipe)
For the cheesecake mousse:
85g cream cheese
30g icing sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
seeds of 1/3 of a vanilla bean
100ml thick double cream
For the crumble:
20g whole almonds (or ground)
20g plain flour
20g cold unsalted butter, cubed
20g caster sugar
For the summer fruits:
200g assorted fruits - I used raspberries and blackberries
25g caster sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
Beat the cream cheese in a bowl until smooth. Add the icing sugar, vanilla extract and vanilla seeds and whisk in. In another bowl, whip the double cream until it holds firm peaks. Whisk 1/3 of the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture. Add the remaining 2/3 of the cream and fold in with a big spoon until uniform. Place into the fridge and chill for at least 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 170C. Place the whole almonds and flour into a food processor and pulse until you have a fine powder. Add the sugar and pulse to combine. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles wet sand. Tip out onto a greased baking sheet and spread out with a fork, fluffing it up as you go. Bake for 5 minutes then remove and break any lumps up with a fork. Place back into the oven and bake for another 3-5 minutes until the crumbs are pale golden colour.
Wash and prepare the summer fruits as needed. Sprinkle over the sugar and lemon juice and leave to macerate for ten minutes.
To assemble divide the fruits between six ramekins or small bowls. Take the mousse out of the fridge and form into 6 or 12 balls or quenelles with spoon/two spoons/an ice cream scoop. Divide out between the portions, placing each ball carefully on top of the fruit. Sprinkle with some of the almond crumble.