Cheesecake Verrines with Passionfruit & Raspberries

23 October 2013

Post image for Cheesecake Verrines with Passionfruit & Raspberries

This is the ultimate “minimum effort, maximum effect” dessert. Served in little pretty glasses, these deconstructed cheesecakes will fool your guests into thinking that you have been labouring away in the kitchen Top Chef-style when, actually, they require no more than 15 minutes to create from scratch.

In Paris, verrines are all the rage as kitchenware stores are stocked aplenty with miniature glassware for homecooks to serve everything from appetisers, mains and desserts in teeny portions. This is undoubtedly influenced by the Parisian restaurant scene itself where it is not uncommon to be greeted with an appetiser or palate refresher which can be finished in two spoonfuls. I am not always a fan of the cute and dinky but, admittedly, there is a time and place for food to be served in small, individual portions.

I first attempted this recipe when we were hosting a New Years’ Eve party some years ago. We had been in France to celebrate Christmas with our families and had only returned to Zurich on New Years’ Eve itself. So I needed something which was quick to put together and which could easily be served to a small crowd of people. Not only could this recipe be made ahead of time, but the cheesecake tasted both light and satisfying and prompted enough compliments to make me blush.

cheesecake verrine 7

This recipe comes from Nigella Lawson’s Quick Collection app. It is essentially a no-bake cheesecake served in little glasses and topped with some fruit for contrast in flavour and texture. You can serve these cheesecake verrines with strawberries steeped in some balsamic vinegar or simply sweetened with some vanilla sugar. I like to also use raspberries with a generous shaving of dark chocolate, but my current favourite is fresh passionfruit with raspberries. The tangy sweetness of the passionfruit, together with the juicy plumpness of the raspberries, contrast perfectly against the creamy, vanilla-specked cheesecake filling.

I highly recommend that you make a few extra because these disappear very quickly.

Cheesecake Verrines with Passionfruit & Raspberries
Recipe adapted from Nigella Lawson’s Quick Collection App
Makes about 8 (depending on the size of your glasses)

8 digestive biscuits (such as McVitie’s brand)
200 g (7 oz) cream cheese
4 tablespoons icing sugar
250 ml (1 cup) double cream (or thickened cream or whipping cream)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla bean extract or vanilla extract
6 passionfruit
raspberries to decorate

Place the biscuits into a large freezer bag and hit them with a rolling pin until you have fine crumbs. Divide the biscuit mixture between 8 small glasses.

Place the cream cheese into a large bowl and beat with a wooden spoon until it is creamy. If you are doing this by hand, it is easiest if the cream cheese is at room temperature. Otherwise, I would suggest using the KitchenAid with the flat paddle attachment.

Add the icing sugar, double cream, lemon juice and vanilla bean extract.

Beat or whisk the mixture until it thickens to the consistency of a very thick yoghurt. It will look runny at first but keep beating away at a gentle speed.

Spoon the cheesecake mixture over the biscuit mixture in each of the glasses. For a cleaner presentation, and especially if you are doubling or tripling this recipe, I would recommend using a piping bag with a large round nozzle.

Remove the pulp from the passionfruit and divide evenly between the glasses. Decorate each glass with a few raspberries.

cheesecake verrine 9

Cook’s Notes

To make these cheesecake verrines 1 to 2 days ahead of time, make the biscuit base and cheesecake mixture as per the recipe. The biscuit base will stay fresh in the freezer bag, whilst the cheesecake mixture should be kept covered in the fridge.

To make them a few hours ahead of time, assemble the cheesecake verrines with the biscuit base and cheesecake mixture, wrap them individually with clingfilm and keep them in the fridge until needed. Make the fruit topping as far as you can in advance also, so that when the time comes to serve dessert, all you need to do is spoon the fruit into each verrine.

I wouldn’t assemble the cheesecake verrines more than a few hours ahead of time because the biscuit base is prone to becoming soggy. But I have to admit to having eaten these cheesecakes the next day when they had been fully assembled from the previous night, and they tasted just as exquisite.

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Jo 23 October 2013 at 10:48 pm

Thanh the main photo is so beautiful – I would absolutely love a large print of that to hang in my new home with lots of big empty white walls! Absolutely stunning work, as usual x

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eat, little bird 23 October 2013 at 11:23 pm

Aww thanks so much, Jo! That’s very encouraging for me :-) xx

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Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar 23 October 2013 at 11:41 pm

This sounds soooo lovely! Gorgeous recipe!

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Paula 25 October 2013 at 7:11 pm

I love desserts served in glasses, is like eating a layer cake, but, as you say, with minimal effort!!

I have just move into a new house, and I’m looking for some dessert glasses (until now I use jars, water glass or ramekins), I hope I find some as cute even simple as yours.

I think it’s the first time I say, but, your photos are too gorgeous!!!!!
Have a nice weekend, Thanh!

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eat, little bird 27 October 2013 at 11:30 am

Thank you, Paula! Congratulations on moving into your new home! Will you be having a housewarming party? I think a new kitchen deserves some new kitchenware ;-) I bought these glass jars in Zurich where they are quite expensive and there is not too much choice on offer, but I was in awe when I saw some kitchenware stores in Paris which had hundreds of types of glasses at a fraction of the price. I would have bought some but for the fact that they would not have been convenient to carry all the way back to Zurich on the train. I hope you will settle into your new home soon!

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Sofia 26 October 2013 at 12:25 pm

Bonjour Thanh! Let me compliment the beautiful photos. A dessert like this is for a dinner party is a wonderful idea, the colours are gorgeous.

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eat, little bird 27 October 2013 at 11:32 am

Thank you, Sofia! I agree that this dessert is a great idea for a dinner party. One of our neighbours is hosting a brunch today for 10 peopl and she will be serving these cheesecake verrines for dessert. She was one of the guests at our recent cocktail party and I’m touched that she asked for the recipe.

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Anita Menon 26 October 2013 at 12:56 pm

Stunning dessert. Bookmarking!

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eat, little bird 27 October 2013 at 11:32 am

Thanks, Anita! Please let me know if you get to try to this recipe :-)

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Rushi 28 October 2013 at 12:19 pm

Hi there Thanh,
Gorgeous photography and an absoultey stunning dessert. :D Passionfruit and raspberries is such a beautiful combination (flavourwise and in appearance). Would frozen berries work or would they get too squishy???? I’m thinking of a tropical mango and pineapple version of these treats too.

Thanks to you I’m discovering more foodie places in France, now I need to keep an eye out for these verrines. There’s a dinky cookery shop close to my home, I did see teeny dessert glasses but need to pop back in to make sure.

It’s always a pleasure to stop by your blog.
xx

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eat, little bird 10 November 2013 at 3:31 pm

Hi Rushi,
Thank you!! I’m not sure about frozen berries as I only use them for cooking and baking. I think fresh raspberries would be best here, or you could even leave it out and just use passionfruit. But I’m loving your idea of mango and pineapple! I love mango cheesecake … I might have to experiment a bit more next time :-)

And I’m glad to hear that you are finding more foodie places in your area … I hope your husband doesn’t mind ;-) I’m currently preparing a post on Paris so you might get a few more ideas soon!

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aline 9 November 2013 at 7:15 pm

Hi Thanh,
I have recently discovered you blog and loved it! I will try this recipe, I love dessert in verrines and really love passion fruit! That must be an incredible dessert! Thank you for sharing!

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eat, little bird 10 November 2013 at 3:28 pm

Thanks, Aline! I hope you will try this dessert sometime soon – if you love passionfruit, you will love this :-)

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Emma 28 November 2013 at 4:08 pm

These look incredible! I may just try them this weekend xx

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eat, little bird 28 November 2013 at 11:28 pm

Hi Emma! So wonderful to hear from you!! Hope you are well. Will contact you soon. Txx

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