Mixed berry naked layer cheesecake

I love cheesecake and I wanted to do something that represented the fun of being a kid. Cutting into a cake and exploring the different flavors hidden between the layers of cake, cream, and some sort of fruit-type of components, it’s a lot of fun. For my dessert, I wanted to take two kid-favorite desserts, being cheesecake and layer cake, and genuinely merge them together into a delicious hybrid dessert. I used a graham cracker infused chiffon cake as the cake, cheesecake mousse, and mixed berry compote as the sauce between the layers. Honestly, I’m not sure what else to really say about this dessert. I could ramble about my childhood of eating cheesecakes and layer cakes, but we have all been there, and done that.

Graham cracker chiffon cake:
1/4 cup finely crushed graham cracker powder
3/4 cups flour
3 egg yolks
6 egg whites
1/4 cup canola oil
3/4 cups granulated sugar
a pinch of salt
1 teaspoon baking powder

Whip 1/2 cup sugar with the egg whites with baking powder and salt into stiff peaks. Whip egg yolks, remaining sugar, and slowly stream in the canola oil, emulsifying the mixture into ribbon stage. Sift together the graham cracker powder with flour. Fold together everything. Bake in lightly oiled springform 4 inch cake tins at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes. Cool completely before removing.

Cheesecake mousse:
8 oz cream cheese
3 tablespoons heavy cream
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
a pinch of salt

Whip together ingredients until they form light and airy peaks.

Mixed berry compote:
1/4 cup raspberries
1/4 cup blueberries
1/4 cup strawberries
1/4 cup blackberries
1/3 cup granulated sugar
a pinch of salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Simmer ingredients together until they reduce significantly, and are a jam consistency. Cool completely before using in assembly.

To garnish:
Fresh berries
Agave nectar

Toss berries in nectar to garnish.

Slice the cakes in half horizontally. Place the cakes back into the molds, lined around the edges with parchment paper. Spread a small layer of the cream cheese mousse on top, then add in the berry compote, then another layer of cream cheese. Press on the other half of cake. Repeat with the second layer. Chill in the fridge to set. Garnish with the berries.


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