This is SERIOUS!

Really….this is above and beyond what a good dessert tastes like. Danielle, our friend said it is the “Its sweet but not too sweet.  Soooooo yummy and to me it tastes like a mix between Summer (with the strawberries) and Fall (with the cinnamon and honey graham crackers)” And she pretty much nailed it! That is exactly what it tastes like.

This was dreamed up when I got my first order of “WECK” jars. They are the most beautiful canning jars ever. If you want them order them from the WECK site on line they are way more affordable there then on other sites.
Now lets get to it…..this takes a little work but is the most impressive yet. Not only that, they are awesome to bring anywhere for anything and definitely to show your skills on making Drop Dead Delicious Desserts.
What to call it though??? “PARFAIT” isn’t really accurate but gives you an idea of what to expect,  “CHEESECAKE”…kind of but no eggs and no baking, “TRIFLE” is close but not quite right, “FRUIT LAYERED DESSERT” sounds boring but again gives you an idea of what’s coming but, Meh……

“Vanilla Bean creamy rich decadent cheese cake folded with fresh whipped cream fresh fruit and graham cracker cinnamon honey crazy deliciousness”

Yep that sounds about right. But use Trifle if you want, it’s easier.
This makes a lot so you can HALF THE RECIPE  but I wanted to have a bunch to give and I think I ended up with 8 or 9 and they are gone! 2 days ago & they are gone!!
If you do not have canning jars/mason jars you can use a Trifle dish. You want something glass and see through so the beauty of this dish is fully visible.

6 cups fresh fruit cut up in to bite sized pieces ( I did strawberries, Raspberries and Mangos but they sky it the limit, i wish i had done peaches too)
8 12 oz Weck or mason jars
2 Cups Plain greek yogurt (16 oz container)
1 Cup Sour Cream
16 oz container/tub Cream Cheese (room temp)
8 oz Marscapone Cheese (room Temp)
2 Cups Heavy cream (for whipped cream & simmering vanilla)
2 Vanilla Beans (fresh, soft)
1 Cup Sugar
1/4 Cup Light Brown Sugar
1/4 Cup Confectioners Sugar (powdered)
1/2 Cup Honey
1 Stick melted butter
1 2 to 3 inch Cinnamon Stick
1 Nutmeg (fresh nugget)
2 Packages Graham Crackers (20 full size crackers)

Several of these steps can be done ahead of time if you like and then put together at the time you are ready to create your masterpiece.

First lets start with the yogurt…..
Using a cheese cloth strain the yogurt to remove the excess water. Simply put the yogurt in cheese cloth and tie it with kitchen twine then hang over a pot. If you look at the photos you will see I tied it to a wooden spoon and hug it over a large pasta pot. You can do this way ahead but it will work well if you can strain it for an hour or so. This makes the mix it nice and thick!!

The Vanilla….
`Cut the 2 Vanilla beans lengthwise and scrape with the back of your knife.
`In a small sauce pan heat 1 cup of heavy cream with the 2 Vanilla beans and seeds and 1/2 cup of sugar on LOW. Simmer for 10 minutes to melt the sugar and release all the Vanilla flavor into the cream. Do not let it BOIL just heated through.
`Set aside to cool completely the refrigerate for a 1/2 hour to get it cold. (adding warm ingredients will deflate the whipped cream and melt the cheese and that will not work).

Next lets do the “crust”…..
`In a food processor grind up the Graham Crackers until they are crumbs.
`Put them in a big bowl
`Using a Microplane grate the cinnamon stick until you have about 2 teaspoons in with the graham crackers. This is going to be the hardest part of this recipe, use your muscles….it’s takes a bit of energy but this is really important. The taste of fresh grated cinnamon is very different then the pre-powdered stuff. It has a lot more depth of flavor and a richness.
`Using the same Microplane grate in about 4 or 5 grates of fresh nutmeg (too much will add bitterness so just about a good “pinch”)
`Add in the melted butter, the 1/2 cup of honey and 1/4 Cup light Brown sugar and mix until all the ingredients are incorporated.
`In a large pan “toast” the Graham Crackers until brown on Medium heat, keep an eye on them and mix them in the pan to ensure even browning. (If you don’t have a pan big enough you might have to do it in batches. It should look like damp sand.
`Let them cool, they will become dry and crunchy while they sit.

On to the Whipped cream….
`Using a cold bowl makes the cream whip faster. Stick it in the freezer for 5 minutes.
`In the cold bowl add the remaining cup of Heavy Cream and 1/4 cup confectioners Sugar.
`Whip until it is nice and thick and has stiff peaks (with a hand mixer it should only take about a minute or two). Set aside

The Cheese Mixture……
`In your largest bowl add in Cream Cheese, Sour Cream, Marscapone Cheese, Yogurt and mix very well, there should be no lumps. I used a hand blender to quicken the process but if you are Popeye you can certainly whisk it by hand. This is why it is necessary for all the cheeses to be a room temperature.
`Once the cheeses are combined add in the remaining 1/2 cup sugar and incorporate.
`Strain the Vanilla Beans and Cream from earlier (that has cooled) and add to the cheeses and blend in.
`The last step on the cheese mixture is to FOLD in the fresh whipped cream. This will make the mixture rich like cheesecake but have a lighter, less dense-ness  about it.
`To fold, add in the whipped cream and using a rubber spatula cut down the middle and pick up at the side and fold over. Each time turn the bowl a quarter of the way around.
~Once it is folded in (NO MORE THEN 10 Times) stop. The idea is to make it light and airy. If you mix too much it will deflate the texture and will be “all not not”. If you re totally lost on “folding” you tube it and watch a video.

Now the Last step is to put everything together….
`Starting with one of the Jars, put in about 2 table spoons of the Graham Cracker Crumbs
`Spoon in about 2 Tablespoons of the Cheese Mixture (Adjust amounts based on your jars or dishes-if you are using a trifle dish layer crumbs, cheese, fruits and then back to crumbs)
`Top with fresh fruit
`I did all different versions to make it more interesting but the basics are layer one of each layer and repeat!
Be sure to package with some ribbon and bring in a nice basket to wherever you are going.
I really hope you enjoy and really hope you make this, it is a wonderful dessert to share and eat.



1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. sugaredpecan
    Sep 29, 2012 @ 19:47:00

    I love this! So Yummy!


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