Wild Blueberry and Strawberry Swirl Cheesecake Bars


Creamy and luscious cheesecake bars topped on slightly sour wild blueberries and swirled with a deliciously sweet and home made strawberry jam. Yummm so dreamy!

I've baked quite a few cheesecakes before which have been an instant hit with friends and family. However, after drooling over some cheesecake bar photographs over the net, I've been wanting to bake these pretty little beauties for quite sometime now.

I had tried making these cheesecake bars a couple of weeks back, but was such a disaster. When I topped the cheesecake mixture with dollops of strawberry jam, it kept sinking to the bottom and I like an idiot kept adding more and more jam in a desperate attempt to get it floating on the surface so that I could make swirls. But it just refused to co operate. After a couple of minutes, I had this mess of cream cheese, blueberries and strawberry jam, all combined together. I still went ahead and baked it (I absolutely do not like to waste food).

Though the cheesecake bars turned out to be tasty, I wasn't at all happy with the look of it (there wasn't any actually). I tried very hard to find out what went wrong, searching over the Internet, in other blogs, forums but found nothing. I guess nobody else has ever had this problem. After spending two sleepless nights, it finally struck me!

When you want to place something on top of anything else and want it to stay that way, the bottom needs to be strong, thick or hard enough to hold whatever is on top of it. This meant that my cheesecake batter was too liquidy to hold the strawberry jam. Batter gets it's liquid from eggs. SO THIS WAS THE PROBLEM. I had too many eggs in the recipe (three actually)!

So this time when I made the cheesecake batter again, I reduced the number of eggs to one, since I anyways didn't want too much of a rise. I also pulsed the strawberry jam in a grinder for a couple of seconds to make it smoother. I just wanted to eliminate one more possible reason of sinking. I poured the cheesecake batter in the tin, said my prayers and put a dollop of jam on the batter. It worked! yayyyy!! Did a celebratory dance and continued with my job.

A perfect looking and tasting Wild Blueberry and Strawberry Jam Cheesecake Bars. Enjoy!

Recipe Source: Bakingyummies

Makes about 12 cheesecake bars

For the Biscuit Base
200 grams / 7 ounces hi-fibre digestive biscuits or graham crackers
75 grams / 2.6 ounces unsalted melted butter at room temperature
2 tablespoons caster or superfine sugar

For the Cream Cheese Mixture
2 packets (454 grams / 16 ounces) full fat Philadelphia cream cheese at room temperature
205 grams / 7 ounces caster sugar or superfine sugar
1 large egg at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
pinch of salt
50 grams / 2 ounces Crème Fraîche or sour cream at room temperature, optional

Wild / Regular Blueberries enough to cover the biscuit base
2 to 3 tablespoons home made or store bought strawberry jam

Preheat oven to 175 degrees C. Line the sides and base of an 8x8 inch square pan with parchment paper or aluminium foil. Ensure that the parchment or foil is at least 2 inches above the sides of the pan. This will help in easy removal of the cheesecake later.

In a food processor or a grinder, pulse the biscuits to fine crumbs. Add the melted butter and the 2 tablespoons caster sugar and pulse until the mixture comes together. Press this mixture onto the bottom of the pan and bake for 10 to 15 mins or until golden brown. Place the pan on a wire rack to cool.

Reduce the oven temperature to 165 degrees C. Keep a pan full of water on low flame. In a stand mixer on medium speed with the paddle attachment, process the cream cheese till it is soft and creamy(1-2 mins).

Reduce the speed to low. Add sugar and beat until combined. Scrape the bowl as and when required. Add the egg and beat until well mixed. Add salt, vanilla extract and Crème Fraîche and beat for 1-2 mins.

Scrape the bowl and beat until smooth and thoroughly mixed.

Keep the pan in a roasting dish. Tip in enough blueberries in the pan so that the biscuit base is covered. Add the cream cheese mixture to the pan.

Lightly drop dollops of strawberry jam on the cheesecake surface with a few centimeters gap in between. Once the entire surface is covered, using a skewer or a knife, make swirls of the strawberry jam in any random fashion as shown below. Ensure that you do not move the blueberries beneath.

Fill the roasting dish with the boiling water till it reaches about halfway up the pan. Place the roasting dish in the oven and bake the cheesecake till the center of the cheesecake jiggles a little when the pan is shaken slightly(about 45 mins to an hour). However, after about half an hour or so during the baking, cover the cheesecake with an aluminium foil to prevent the surface from browning. After the cheesecake has baked, switch off the oven and let the cake be in the oven for about half an hour.

Remove the cheesecake from the oven and let it cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. Once the cake is cooled, say 5-6 hours later, loosely place a tissue on top of the pan, place a cling film or an aluminium foil on top of the tissue. Secure the tissue and the cling film to the pan with a rubber band. Keep the covered pan in the refrigerator for at least 5 to 6 hrs or preferably overnight.

Once you want to eat the cheesecake bars, take it out from the refrigerator and remove the cheesecake from the pan by carefully pulling the parchment away from the pan and place on a leveled surface.

Pull away the parchment from the cheesecake only by the sides and not the base. To slice the cheesecake into bars, dip a sharp knife in warm water, pat it dry with a tissue or a cloth and cut through the cheesecake. Before you use the knife again, dip it again in the warm water and pat dry to clean. Repeat this process each time you use the knife. The reason we do this is to give each slice a clean look, otherwise you will have the cream cheese clinging to the knife and messing up the slices.

Arrange the slices on a serving platter and eat them! :-)  Enjoy your home made Blueberry and Strawberry Swirl Cheesecake Bars.

Storage Suggestions: Cheesecake bars will keep well in the refrigerator covered for up to 7 days.

A couple of things to take care of: 1. While preparing the cream cheese batter, do not over-mix it at any stage. Over-mixing creates air bubbles in the batter leading to holes and cracks in your baked cheesecake.

2. The reason a cheesecake is baked in a water bath is because it solves two purposes, first, it stops the cake from having a dry texture due to the moisture from the water thereby giving you a silky and velvety texture and second, the water helps to maintain a constant temperature in the oven so that the cheesecake bakes evenly greatly reducing the chances of cracks on the cheesecake's surface.

Happy Baking!!!


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