I love summer and its fruit varieties. It must be one of the most loved seasons by pastry chefs due to all the colours and flavors available. It’s so easy to get proper flavor in a cake when you have berries available, when you have herbs all over the place. All you have to do is make them shine and you score yourself a winner! These cheesecake bars with fruit compote were made with the same thought in mind – take advantage of the season. I had a few rhubarb stalks in my fridge, but you know what is great? You can easily replace the rhubarb with apricots, peaches or a mix of peaches and raspberries and there it is, a brand new flavor just by doing a very small change. Even more so, in the autumn use pears or apples instead of rhubarb and replace the Campari with white wine. Now that is a real treat!
Cheesecake Bars with Fruit Compote
The base and the cream are a cheesecake classic, but for this particular application I made sure the layer of cream was thinner because I wanted to be able to cut perfect little squares of cheesecake to then drench in rhubarb syrup and top with delicate poached rhubarb stalks. The end result is a very delicate dessert, one that is moist, buttery, packed with fresh flavor, but also with a deeper aroma of Campari which takes care not only of the final flavor, but also of the colour.
The syrup alone and the fresh fruits can be used for other desserts. Think of Pavlova or meringue nests, or almond cake or a few scoops of ice cream sweetened with this delicate syrup and brought to a whole new level with a few pieces of fruits.
Poaching must be one of my favorite ways of using fruits all year long. What you do need to take into consideration is what type of fruit you are using and what texture it has. Some fruits cook very quickly, like rhubarb, other fruits take a few more minutes whilst other cook for 30 minutes without problems. The syrup itself can easily be customized – Campari, white wine, spices, red wine, different types of sugar, honey can be added as well, citrus juices and the list can go on. It’s a whole new world of flavors, isn’t it?!
Watch below how to make these delicious cheesecake bars with fruit compote:
- 200g Graham biscuits
- 20g brown sugar
- 60g butter, melted
- 550g cream cheese
- 60g sour cream
- 2g orange zest
- 125g white sugar
- 100g eggs
- 10g cornstarch
- 5g vanilla extract
- 3 rhubarb stalks, cut into pieces
- 100g water
- 50g Campari
- 140g white sugar
- 2 pieces orange zest
- Crush the biscuits into a fine powder.
- Mix with the rest of the ingredients.
- Transfer in a 35x25cm cake frame and press well with the back of a spoon.
- Bake in the preheated oven at 180C for 10 minutes.
- Combine all the ingredients in a food processor.
- Pulse until creamy and smooth.
- Transfer the cream over the biscuit base and level well with an angled spatula.
- Bake at 130C for 30 minutes or until the cream looks set.
- Allow to cool down.
- Bring to a boil the water, Campari, sugar and orange zest.
- Add the rhubarb stalks or other fruits and cook for 1 minute then turn the heat off and allow the fruits to cool down in the syrup.
- Cut the cheesecake into small squares.
- Top with fruits and syrup before serving.