Servings: 8 Prep: 45 mins Cook: 45 mins Total: 2 days
I’d admit that I was really shocked at how much this translated like a light and smooth cheesecake. Now, granted the vanilla cake is a very different texture than that of a traditional cheesecake, but that’s just a shift in perception. It was a super light blueberry crested cheesecake!
Now, let’s keep in mind, though… This isn’t a cheesecake. It’s also not made with blueberry Jell-O. If I had to describe in in a straightforward manner, I’d describe it as… a fresh gelatinized homemade blueberry sauce layered with a sweetened gelatin infused cream cheese and a simple vanilla pancake foot. Short, sweet and elegant, huh?
See, I suppose my big issue is the word jello. Or, is it Jell-O? Ultimately, I called it a Panna Cotta, which is Italian for “Cooked Cream”. One of the steps does involve cooking cream and it is a sweet gelatin dessert, but I confess… I always struggle when trying to name gelatin based desserts.
It’s like ZipLoc, Saran Wrap and Google. These are brand names which have become so synonymous with a particular product that they’ve become generic terms; any other name seems bizarre. Plastic Zipper Bag? Polyvinylidene Chloride? Lookin’ for Stuff Online? All are acceptable alternatives, but none carry quite the same zing.
Molded Blueberry Gelatin with Cream Cheese Panna Cotta and Vanilla Cake
Maybe that’s it?
Jell-O, to me, is a spectacularly bright and empty jiggly treat. This definitely isn’t that. One thing I’ve discovered it’s that actual natural fruit’s color is rarely as vibrant as its Jell-O counterpart. Jell-O is essentially all artificial colors and flavors, which makes it essentially empty space. By using actual BLUEBERRIES, I’m still able to embrace gelatin to hold the sauce in place, but the actual presence of blueberry brings along with it blueberry juice, fiber and bulk. This creates something with a more reliable and less jiggly structure than an artificial blueberry Jell-O. I actually prefer the texture, to be honest. It strikes me as more food-like. Also, blueberries are dark in color, as opposed to a bright poppy blue. Finally, the juice bleeds, as does the blueberry layer.
Then, we have the cream cheese layer. This, I feel far more confident, I can call a Panna Cotta, even though it’s got other stuff in it.
The cake, well… it’s just a very basic vanilla cake. My thinking was, it serves as a bit of a pedestal upon which to layer the other ingredients. It’s also just lovely to have some contrasting texture in a dessert like this, otherwise it’s all just soft softness. The cake is a simple addition that looks nice and has a fantastic little texture at the bottom.
In closing, this recipe is truly sumptuous. It’s everything I say it is, but I readily confess that my description is a bit off. Hey, I’m just getting back in the swing of things. I’m allowed a periodic miss! 😉
Note: Your average 9-inch (23 cm) cake pan has a rough 8-cup volume. When complete, this will create eight roughly 7-oz portions (200 g).
Two-Tone Blueberry-Cream Cheese Jello Cake?Print Rate
Blueberry Gelatin Layer
- 1 cup water divided
- 1 pint (about 2 cups [480 mL]) fresh or frozen unsweetened blueberries
- 1/4 cup 'Swerve' or other sugar replacement
- Dash salt
- 1 packet (about 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 tsp, total) gelatin powder
- 6 tbsp almond flour
- 2 tbsp coconut flour
- 2 tbsp 'Swerve' or other sugar replacement
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- Dash salt
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tbsp unsweetened almond milk
- 1 tbsp melted butter
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Vanilla Cream-Cheese Panna Cotta Layer
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk divided
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 blocks regular cream cheese (not low fat)
- 2/3 cup 'Swerve' or other sugar replacement
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Dash salt
- 2 packets (about 4 1/2 to 5 tsp, total) gelatin powder
- In a small sauce pan, place 1/2 cup (120 mL) of the water on the stove with the blueberries, sweetener and salt. Bring it up to a simmer. Simmer until blueberries are soft and mush easily, about 10 to 15 minutes.
- While simmering the blueberries, pour the remaining water into small mixing bowl.
- As evenly as possible, sprinkle the powdered gelatin over the surface of the water. This will allow it to “bloom” (the gelatin granules will swell in size, absorbing the liquid from the syrup, helping it to dissolve in the hot water you’ll add). Spreading it evenly helps to prevent clumping. Allow it to bloom for at least 5 minutes.
- Once the blueberries have cooked, puree them in a blender or food processor.
- Place a straining device over the and strain the hot blueberry sauce into the gelatin. Whisk until the gelatin is completely dissolved. (Note: It’s not required to strain the blueberries, but it can help get a smoother texture. You can go straight from the blender to the gelatin. The only requirement is that the liquid is hot.)
- Pour the blueberry gelatin base into a standard 9-inch (23 cm) cake pan, then place into a refrigerator and allow the mixture to chill for at least 8 hours.
- At some point while the blueberry gelatin is chilling, pre-heat your oven to 350 F (177 C).
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine the almond flour, coconut flour, sugar replacement, baking powder and salt.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, almond milk, melted butter and vanilla extract.
- Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix to combine. The batter should look like a pancake batter. You may need to add a bit of water or almond milk to thin it out, depending the brands of the ingredients used.
- Grease a second standard 9-inch (23 cm) cake pan.
- Add the batter to the cake pan and bake for about 15 to 18 minutes, or until the cake is golden and puffy. Remove and set on a cooling rack to cool.
- Now, before continuing to the next step, make sure that your blueberry gelatin is completely solid and chilled all the way through.
- In a small sauce pan, place the 1/4 cup (60 mL) of the almond milk, cream, sweetener, vanilla and a dash of salt on the stove and bring it up to a point just below a very low simmer.
- While waiting for the cream mixture to heat up, place the remaining 3/4 cup (180 mL) almond milk into a mixing bowl.
- As evenly as possible, sprinkle the powdered gelatin over the surface of the almond milk. Allow the gelatin to bloom for 5 minutes.
- Once the cream mixture is hot and the gelatin has bloomed, pour the hot cream mixture into the bowl with the gelatin and whisk until the gelatin is completely dissolved.
- Quickly whisk in the room temperature cream cheese into the gelatin mixture. This is now a cream cheese panna cotta base.
- Pour the panna cotta base over the top of the blueberry gelatin.
- Carefully lay the thin vanilla cake over the top of the panna cotta base. Press it into the base, so that it a little bit of the panna cotta base is visible around the edges. Make sure the cake is also pressed evenly over the bottom of the dessert.
- Place the dessert into the refrigerator to chill for at least 8 hours.
- Once the cake is chilled all of the way through, remove it from the fridge and VERY carefully submerge the base of the cake pan in a large bowl or sink filled with hot water. DO NOT let the water flow over the rim of the pan, but you do want as much of it submerged under the water, as possible. The goal is to melt the very thin outer layer of jello, by warming the surface of the mold. This will take about 30 to 90 seconds, depending on the thickness and material of the pan. Test by pushing down on the edge of one side of the gelatin. You should see it easily separate from the edge of the mold.
- Once the gelatin easily separates from the edge of the mold, place your serving plate, upside down, over the top of the mold’s base. Quickly flip the platter and cake pan upside down, then gently wiggle and lift the mold off the cake. The cake should slide easily out of the mold onto the platter.
- Slice and serve!
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