Passion Fruit Meringue Cheesecake

Passion Fruit Meringue Cheesecake

This lovely Passion Fruit Meringue Cheesecake is a spin on a recipe from Wild Sweetness by Thalia Ho! It is a beautiful book. A book about baking and desserts, but it’s also about Thalia Ho’s artistic vision of the wild and beautiful world she occupies. I immediately went for her Lemon Meringue cheesecake, because I adore the flavor combination of tart and sweet, the creamy textures of cheesecake and meringue, you all know how I feel about a toasted meringue. I replaced the lemon in her recipe for passion fruit, which is also tart, but has a wonderful perfume quality to it. You can use the pulp with the seeds or strain the seeds out, that is up to you and how you like the texture of the cheesecake. I strained the seeds for the cheesecake itself, but then added a fresh passion fruit to the top for a sour note and texture. You can also find passion fruit puree.

See below for the recipe and a guide to buying passion fruit and puree.

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How to Make Cheesecake

Blueberry Cheesecake Recipe | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François
Blueberry Swirl Cheesecake

If you start typing “is cheesecake” into Google, the first suggestion is “is cheesecake a pie?” You’ll get mixed results, including adamant ones from the likes of Alton Brown proclaiming cheesecake is a pie. Others say it’s a tart. And some stand by it being a cake. No matter where you fall on this debate, I think we can all agree that cheesecake is delicious. It works for any occasion, and you can make varieties to please every palate.

Before we dive in to all my tips on how to make cheesecake, make sure to check out my “Showstopping Cheesecake” Craftsy class if you want in-depth instructions on how to make beautiful cheesecakes.

Baking with My Mother Cheesecake Video: You can also watch my son, Henri, and me bake cheesecake in an episode of “Baking with My Mother” on Youtube! We make this Blueberry Swirl Cheesecake (recipe at the bottom of this post), but leave out the swirls and add a berry sauce, so we can customize the cheesecake to our own preference. He went with Strawberries and I stuck with blueberries.

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Blueberry Swirl Cheesecake

Blueberry swirl cheesecake topped with whipped cream and fresh blueberries on a serving platter.

Blueberry Swirl Cheesecake is the perfect way to celebrate Blueberry Cheesecake Day (yes, that’s a thing, a very good thing!) This cheesecake is full of both fresh and frozen blueberries to mark the special day dedicated to one of my favorite desserts.

Blueberries are one of those ingredients that need nothing more than themselves to be special. The color adds natural drama and the sweet-tart flavor is a dynamic pairing with the creamy cheesecake. I made a bright purple sauce by cooking frozen blueberries with nothing more than a touch of sugar and lemon zest, so the blueberry flavor is intense.

I always have blueberries in the freezer for pies, smoothies, and occasions just like this. I swirled the sauce into the cheesecake batter so there are stripes of flavor and that gorgeous color throughout. After piping whipped cream over the top I covered it with big, fresh blueberries to add that juicy snap of flavor, plus they’re a beautiful and fun way to garnish the cheesecake. You can watch me create this blueberry swirl cheesecake in my Instagram Highlight Video!

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Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake Bars

There seem to be two schools of thought about Thanksgiving desserts. Those who must have pumpkin pie and those who avoid anything pumpkin, other than the spice mix. I am squarely in the pumpkin camp and so is my whole family, but if you or someone you love is not, these Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake Bars are the perfect way to ease into using the Thanksgiving essential and give a loving gesture to those who adore pumpkin.

The base of these bars comes from Michelle Lopez’s new book Weeknight Baking, which is made up of great recipes that are quick and easy enough to fit into everyone’s busy schedule, even at the holidays. I added the swirl of pumpkin, which is also super easy and fast, but makes them just right for this week. Michelle has lots of great ideas for jazzing up the cheesecake bars and once you see my technique for swirling, you can add your own flair. You can easily make these in time for the big Turkey Day and I suggest making a double batch, so you have leftovers to snack on and stick into school lunches. 

Watch me make these cheesecake bars on my Instagram.

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Mirror Glaze Cherry Cake

Mirror Glaze Cherry Cake | ZoeBakes photo by Zoë François

I’ve been intrigued with mirror glaze cakes ever since they started popping up on my instagram feed years ago. There is something so satisfying about the glassy, reflective finish. Aesthetically, it’s not typically my style to create something quite so glitzy and glam, but sometimes ones inner Liberace needs to come out. The technique alone was calling me, I just had to understand how it was done. I have to admit it was simpler than I imagined. I hunted around for a recipe for the mirror glaze and landed on one by my friend, Phillip Fryman of Southern Fatty. His differed from many on the internet because he uses glucose syrup, instead of corn syrup. They are typically interchangeable and you can really use either for this recipe, BUT glucose is WAY thicker and I thought that may be a nice advantage in the glaze coating the cake well. I think my assumption was right, because the glaze was thick and clung to the cake like a champ. 

I often see mirror glaze cakes done in several psychedelic colors, spiraling together on the cake, like candy colored marble, but my cake was inspired by the bright red sour cherries my dad picked for me off of his tree, so I went with the simplicity of one color. The success of the mirror glaze cake is in the finish. If you can see yourself, then you’ve won the day. Not only could I see my reflection, but I captured a video of the clouds passing by out the window as reflected off my cake! It is so cool and you can see that and watch me make the cake in my instagram video

Oh, the cake under the mirror glaze is a no-bake cherry cheesecake.

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Maida Heatter Bull’s Eye Cheesecake

Bull's Eye Cheesecake with a chocolate graham cracker crust on a glass cake stand

The title of Maida Heatter’s new book sums up why I love my job, Happiness is Baking. When I am sad, I bake! When I am celebrating, I bake! No matter where my mood starts out, I’m always carried to a place of joy as I make my way through a recipe.

Maida Heatter has lead me on so many journeys in the kitchen that they are literally countless. I have nearly all of her books and was so thrilled to find out that at the happy age of 102, she has a new one for all of us bakers to enjoy.

I went to a classic recipe, the Maida Heatter Bull’s Eye Cheesecake, because it is so striking and delicious. I believe she developed this recipe for one of her first books in 1974. The recipe stands alone and needs nothing but a plate and fork, but sometimes I just can’t leave well enough alone and I draped the whole thing in a glossy ganache. 

Bull's Eye Cheesecake with a chocolate graham cracker crust on a glass cake stand, draped in ganache.

You can watch me make the Maida Heatter Bull’s Eye Cheesecake and pour the ganache over the top for a perfectly smooth finish in my instagram videos. Maida Heatter and her publisher have graciously allowed me to share the recipe, which is below.

You can also find my Show Stopping Cheesecake Class on Craftsy (Now BluePrint), where I show this technique and all kinds of other simple and fancy cheesecakes. Check out my essential cheesecake making equipment in my Amazon shop.

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