First things first: I would like to thank each and every one of you that helped to make our first dessert in a glass, the “Rich, Dark and Handsome”, such a truly unexpected success by spreading the word and sharing it, pinning it, reposting it, gawking it and reblogging it. The reason I say “unexpected” is that, for starters, my husband and I had a heck of a time photographing that delicious little devil in its reflective glass, and for a moment there, thought we wouldn’t even be able to have a post involving it at all. Somehow, by God’s grace, things fell into place once we decided to throw all caution to the wind, literally in the last moments before we started losing daylight—-some fun and unconventional photos were taken of our little dessert, as a result.
Now, let me just preface this by saying that I’m not necessarily expecting this next recipe to become another “Rich, Dark and Handsome” (it was chocolate, after all), or that lightning will strike twice, so to speak; but the experience did prompt me to realize that I’m apparently not the only one that loves relatively easy and quick recipes when it comes to desserts, and that there’s something to be said for the parfait-style, dessert in a glass. Since my forte is more the savory side of cooking, which is less precise and exact when it comes to the measurement of ingredients (I’m more of a “pinch of this” and a “pinch of that” person), I really only bake every so often. That being the case, I look for simple ways to mock-up some of the classic desserts that I like, which usually ends in me coming up with a parfait idea that involves some of the elements of a particular dessert, but with a simplified twist, and no baking!
That brings me to introduce a little series I’m calling “Dessert In A Glass”, which I plan to bring as a “Cozy Cameo” post every now and then when something sweet and wonderfully decadent is needed. For all of you awesome people out there that absolutely love to bake and to share your gorgeous, mouth-watering creations with the rest of us, my hat goes off to you, as you have more patience than I; but for anyone that is looking for a slightly simpler/quicker, pile-it-all-into-a-glass-real-pretty-like concoction that contains the essence of some beloved desserts, this series may be right up your alley. Hope you enjoy!
Taste what’s good and pass it on.
Ruby-Red Summer Berry Cheesecake In A Glass
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(Serves 4 in 10 ounce glasses)
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened at room temperature
11½ tablespoons sugar, divided use
1 teaspoon lemon zest
3 tablespoons pure vanilla extract, divided use
12 fluid ounces whipping cream, cold
1 (16 ounce) container sour cream (about 2 cups)
24 graham cracker sheets, finely processed in food processor
• Pinch salt
¼ cup honey
2 tablespoons applesauce
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups fresh, whole raspberries
1 (16 ounce) package fresh strawberries, hulled and diced small
1 teaspoon lemon juice
-In a medium bowl, add the 2 packages of room temperature cream cheese, and with a stiff spatula, work the cream cheese until smooth and creamy/fluffy; when fluffy, add 5 tablespoons of the sugar, the lemon zest and 2 teaspoons of the vanilla extract, and fold together with the spatula until well combined; set aside for a moment while you make the whipped cream.
-In the bowl of mixer, add the 12 ounces of cold whipping cream, and whip until slightly thickened, then add 1 ½ tablespoons of the sugar and 1 tablespoon of the vanilla extract; continue to whip until the cream has stiff peaks and becomes whipped cream; next, fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese, gently, until all whipped cream is incorporated and the cream cheese is fluffy/thick; set aside in the fridge to keep cold until ready to assemble the dessert; this is the “cheese” part of the “cheesecake”.
-Next, in another medium bowl, add the sour cream, 3 tablespoons of the sugar and 1 tablespoon of the vanilla; whisk well to completely combine; set this aside in the fridge to keep cold, as this is the “sweet sour cream” part of the dessert.
-Next, in another small/medium bowl, add the finely processed graham crackers, the pinch of salt, the honey, the applesauce, the ground cinnamon and 1 teaspoon of the vanilla extract, and using your fingers, rub the mixture together until it is well moistened and begins to resemble/feel like a graham cracker crust—the mixture should be moist and crumbly; cover with plastic wrap to avoid it drying out, and set aside; this is the graham cracker “crust” part of the dessert.
-Next, add the raspberries and the hulled and diced strawberries to a bowl, and add the 2 remaining tablespoons of the sugar and the lemon juice; mix well with a spoon to incorporate, and set aside for a few minutes to allow the natural juices in the fruit to come out.
To Assemble Dessert:
*The easiest way to get the cream fillings into the glasses neatly is to use a pastry bag (piping bag); however, a larger Zip-Lock bag with the bottom corner cut off creating a small/medium-small opening makes a pretty good “piping bag”, as well; you will need 2, and will fill one with the “cheese” filling, and one with the “sweet sour cream” filling.
-Bring all of your components out and onto a work surface—the “cream cheese/whipped cream” mixture, the “sweet sour cream” mixture, the graham cracker “crust” mixture and the berries; line up the 4 glasses you will be using, and begin assembling the dessert by adding about 2-3 tablespoons of the graham cracker “crust” mixture to the bottom of each glass, followed by about 2-3 tablespoons worth of the “cheese” mixture, next followed by about 2-3 tablespoons worth of the “sweet sour cream” mixture, then followed by about 2-3 tablespoons worth of the fresh berry mixture; repeat this process once again with the graham cracker “crust”, the “cheese” mixture, the “sweet sour cream” mixture, and finally the berries; add a little decorative flourish with either one of the creams on top/on the sides of the glass, to make it look like the top of a classic cheesecake, if you wish; place the desserts into the fridge for at least 30 minutes to an hour, to allow to chill completely and firm up; serve and enjoy cold.
** You may find that there are some left over ingredients – if you have quite a bit, feel free to make another desert glass; I’d rather there be plenty to work with than not enough.