Sometimes, deciding to bake something on a hot summer day equals suicide; plus looking at the bright weather outside one won’t likely want to get into complex cooking/ baking. I don’t know how about you, but I need my desert no matter what season it is! 🙂 That’s when this kind of recipes come to the scene: light and easy to put together. This no-bake berry mascarpone cake here is a perfect option for a boiling summer day and a great alternative to ice cream, I’d say. Juicy, flavourful seasonal berries, tart basil that matches perfectly with them, and refreshing lime – probably I do not need to speak any longer, just imagine this combo for yourself!
This recipe is relatively low on sugar, I’ve decided not to mute the natural sweetness of the berries. In contrary, I wanted to create something fresh and cool, something that would contrast with the summer heat and kind of pause an exhausting day letting you enjoy a slice of this cake.
No-bake berry-lime-basil mascarpone cake
The recipe makes a 8″/ 20 cm cake, serves 10-12
- 125 g/ 4 oz/ 1 ¼ c graham crackers
- 65 g/ 4.5 T/ 2 oz/ 1/3 c unsalted butter, melted
Brush the base of a 8″/ 20 cm spring form with a little oil and line it with parchment paper.
In a food processor or using a rolling pin, process the crackers until fine crumb, add the butter and process again until homogenous and crumbly. Transfer the crust crumbs to the prepare pan and press it in well. Use the back of a spoon to smoothen the surface out. Chill the base in the fridge while you prepare the rest of the cake.
- 4 t/ 12 g gelatin
- 60 ml/ 2 oz/ ¼ c cold water
- 375 g/13.2 oz/ 1 ½ c mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
- 110 g/ 3.9 oz/ 1 c icing sugar
- 1 T finely grated lime zest
- 300 ml/ 10 oz/ 1 ¼ c heavy cream
- 100 ml/ 3.5 oz/ ½ c + 1 T freshly squeezed lime juice
- 2 T fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
- 180 g/ 6 oz fresh assorted berries, sliced if too big
Soak the gelatin in cold water for 10-15 minutes, until bloomed. Melt the mixture over a hot water bath or pulse in a microwave oven with short intervals until smooth.
In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the mascarpone together with icing sugar and lime zest. Add the heavy cream, beat again until fully incorporated and thick. Add the lime juice and beat again.
Divide the mixture into 2 equal parts. Stir half the gelatin mixture, chopped basil and berries into one part of the mascarpone cake mixture. Pour over the chilled crust, working quickly, smooth the top with an offset spatula or the back of a spoon. Freeze for 1 hour or until set.
Remelt the gelatin mixture 10-15 minutes before use, let cool and stir in the balance mascarpone cake mixture. Pour over the set layer of the cake and shake the pan from side to side to smooth out the top. Chill in the fridge for 2-4 hours or until fully set.
- 2 T strawberry liqueur or water
- 80 g/ 2.8 oz strawberry jam
- 1 T lime juice
- small bunch of fresh basil
- 250 g/ 8.8 oz fresh strawberries, hulled and cut in halves or quarters
In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, mix together the strawberry liqueur, jam and lime juice. Set over medium heat and let the jam melt, stirring occasionally, bringing the mixture to a boil. Add the basil and strawberries, remove the saucepan from the heat. Let col completely. Discard the basil.
- 100 g fresh assorted berries
- 1 basil spring
Just before serving, remove the cake from spring form and transfer it to a serving platter. Arrange the poached strawberries on top, pour some syrup over. Decorate with the fresh berries and basil leaves. Keep refrigerated.