It is no secret that one of the best chefs in Spain and in the whole world is Ferrán Adriá. I wish I had just one drop of his knowledge and creativity… Inspired by one of the techniques he masters, the “deconstruction”, I prepare this cheesecake- flavored dessert that lightens the original recipe, preserving the flavor. I absolutely love the taste, but I specially enjoy the contrast of the different textures and temperatures. Moreover, it is really easy to prepare and looks really elegant.
Ingredients (serves 4)
8 ounces (225 grs.) cream cheese
2 tsps. powdered sugar
1 drop vanilla extract
½ – 1 Tbsp. cream
½ tsp. finely shredded lemon zest
6 ounces strawberries
¼ tsp. cream of balsamic vinegar (if you don’t find the cream of balsamic, regular balsamic will work)
4 ounces raspberries
4 ounces blueberries
1 1/2 Tbsp. sugar
8 graham crackers
STEP 1.- Wash and dry the fruits. Cut the strawberries into small pieces and add balsamic vinegar and a small amount of sugar if needed (depending on the sweetness of the strawberries). Chill.
STEP 2.- Place the cream cheese and the powdered sugar in a bowl and part of the cream and mix with a fork. You will want a creamy texture, like a thick yogurt, so do not add too much cream. Add the lemon zest and vanilla and use the hand blender to get a smoother texture. Keep covered and refrigerated until needed.
STEP 3.- Crush the graham crackers with the food processor.
STEP 4.- Now all your ingredients are ready, except the blueberries that need to be done just before serving this dessert. Find a small, fancy-shaped glass and place a small amount (about a ½ – 1 tbsp., depending on the shape of the glass) of crushed cookies, a tbsp. of strawberries, some cheese mix, another pinch of cookies and some more cheese.
STEP 5.- Caramelize the blueberries, adding 1 1/2 tbsp. sugar to a non-stick pan. Wait until it starts turning brown, add the blueberries and turn off the heat, tossing quickly so they get fully covered with the caramel. Place on top of the rest of the ingredients and serve while still warm.
Do not overcook the blueberries because they will start popping and release their liquid, spoiling the caramel.
You can add some sour cream to the cheese mix