Cheesecake (find recipe here)
3-6oz not very acidic 100% fruit smoothie
I realize that I only posted my cheesecake recipe a couple weeks ago and you are probably bored of it and longing for something meaty or carb-y or otherwise interesting, but this… this was just too good. I feel I have (almost inadvertently) stumbled upon something that will change the lives of many of my friends, most of whom aren’t yet aware of the future landscape of their cheesecake-eating endeavors.
This adventure began when I realized it was my turn to bring a snack to my weekly meeting. I think I enjoy baking more than the standard colleague, so I usually try to bring something tasty that I make at home (plus, cheaper usually, although not necessarily in the case of cheesecake). But I also like to mix it up, because (1) mundane is, well, mundane, and (2) I get bored easily. So I experiment on people (sometimes, yes, without their knowledge) by giving them things that I have never made before and have not tested before sharing. There have been some pretty pathetic failures—I like my brownies a little undercooked, but there are limits—but there have also been some fantastic successes. One of which I am about to share with you because it’s REALLY easy and also refreshing and delicious.
The cheesecake recipe I am imparting to you today begins exactly the same as the previous one, linked at the top. Since I had recently made this recipe, however, and brought it into work, I decided that doing the same thing would fall under both mundane AND boring for me, and we can’t have that. So I went about thinking about how to make a fruit cheesecake. No, not the kind with fruit on top, although those can be good. Although they can also be overly sweet and have a weird texture. No, I wanted a fruit-flavored cheesecake, but not with chunks of fruit in it (also high potential for failure). I fixated on mango, because I love mango things, but this is where I briefly hit a (mental) wall.
If you are familiar with mangoes, then you know they are delicious. They are cited as the most eaten fruit in the world (remember: there are a billion people in India), but they are also a pain in the A to peel, and the fruit itself can be kind of stringy. And I don’t have a juicer because c’mon. So I decided to go with something that was already made from mango to skirt the agony of trying to get juice out of one. And I realized that mango juice, while not super acidic, is probably much more so than the average cheesecake ingredient. Fortunately, there is a ready-made solution to this, and it is called a smoothie. Bananas are probably a common smoothie ingredient because they are cheap, but—fortunately for me—they are also thick AND chock full of potassium. Problem solved.
To make this delectable treat: simply make the cheesecake exactly as noted in my previous recipe, but before pouring into your springform pan, stir in between 3 and 6 ounces (depending on whether you’re going for a delicate or stronger flavor) of your favorite smoothie, OR blend and strain your favorite fruit, then add back juice to a banana and blenderize that for your own version. NOTE: I do NOT recommend wheat germ-, spirulina-, yogurt-, or “Vitamin C”-flavored smoothies, nor do I recommend anything that does not contain a thickening agent like banana. These are disasters waiting to happen. I DO recommend blueberry (really, what could be better than purple cheesecake?), blackberry/raspberry combo, strawberry, pomegranate (you’d probably have to make your own with Pom juice and a banana, but it’d be worth it), and, of course, mango. My finished product was a lovely shade of light orange, and I garnished it with toasted coconut flakes (about five minutes in the oven at 300F, watch closely and DON’T LEAN IN when you open the oven door because the oil burns your eyes and it really hurts not that I know from experience though).
I of course failed to take a picture of it because I am still missing my digital camera, but it was a big hit: rave reviews were heaped upon me until I could barely stand under the weight. That was a metaphor. I am still standing. But it did go over quite well.
Please let me know in the comments if you try this, and with which fruit combo, and how it goes! Another suggestion: if you have smaller cake pans (maybe 9″) and are willing to sacrifice the first slice, split the recipe at the last step into two bowls and make TWO flavors! (This would require almost doubling the crust recipe.) Try topping with whipped cream! Try strawberry with chocolate crust! There is a whole world of possibilities out there, so let me know what your favorite combo is and I will credit YOU if I serve it!