The weather all over the country has been bizarre! There was no sign of Spring in many parts of the country last week! All I saw on Instagram stories was snowing in Minnesota, raining, hailing in the bay area, temperature of 30-40 degrees in many parts of the country! The weather gods were really mad it seems!
To welcome Spring and thinking of the tropics, I made these fruity delicious Cheesecake bars! I grew up eating a ton of guava in India! It was one of my favorite fruits, even with all the seeds that we ate ! J We got white guavas in India, never really the pink ones. The white ones have a soft texture inside, and they are very sweet as well. Growing up we did not get passion fruit as well. But the first time that I had passion fruit was when I was 10 years old , and I had it on my summer vacation trip to London! We were staying with my grandma and uncles, and they had passion fruit at their home! I loved how tart it was, but it was not sweet as much. Although once you add a sweetener it tastes sooooo good!!
I wanted to do a Tropical Cheesecake Bar, and hence I thought of a lime coconut cookie base, with a passionfruit and cardamom cheesecake layer, and a guava jelly on the top! All 3 layers are very easy to put together and this recipes comes together quite easily. The process takes some time, because you have to wait for the cheesecake bar, to cool completely outside, and then cool it in the fridge next. Then you layer with the guava jelly and it has to set for a few hours. The flavors are just sooo delicious together and it is like a burst of tropics in the mouth! I love the colors together too with the peachy and the yellow hues!
It is not easy to get passion fruit and Guava here, so I used the frozen passion fruit and guava puree that you can find at any Mexican grocery store. These purees are great for dessert and I am already thinking of my next dessert to make! These beautiful cheesecake bars take me to the tropics, and I can imagine sitting on the beach and eating these delicious bars, ofcourse with a drink in hand ;).
I hope you get a chance to try these bars cause they are divine! If you do get a chance to make them, please do not forget to tag #thejamlab on Instagram and/or leave a comment below on my blog post!
Have a great rest of your week ahead!
- Lime Coconut Cookie Base:
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- 2 tbsp lime zest
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- ½ cup almond flour
- ½ cup unsweetened coconut
- Passion Fruit Cheesecake layer:
- 8 oz cream cheese at room temperature
- ½ cup crème fraiche
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 3 whole eggs at room temperature
- 1 egg yolk at room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ cup + 2 tbsp passion fruit puree( Goya brand)
- ¾ tsp cardamom powder
- Drop of yellow food coloring
- Guava Jelly Layer:
- 1 ½ cups guava puree
- ½ cup water
- 2 envelopes of gelatin
- 1/3 cup organic cane sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Cookie Bar:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl, add in the all purpose flour, coconut, almond flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and whisk to blend. In a large bowl of an artisan mixer, cream butter and sugar together for 2 minutes. Add an egg and beat well for a minute. Add lime juice, lime zest, vanilla extract and mix for a few seconds.
- Spray a 13x9 inch deep baking pan with vegetable spray. Lay out parchment paper fitted to size with flaps overlapping on both the sides so that it is easy to lift the entire slab once baking completed and cooled. Press dough evenly into it with the palm of your hand and even it out smoothly. Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes and remove. Let it cool completely.
- Passion Fruit Cheesecake Layer:
- Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F.
- In a food processor, add the cream cheese, and crème fraiche. Mix it for 15 seconds to soften and blend. Add in the granulated sugar and mix again for 10 seconds. Add in the eggs, egg yolk, vanilla extract, passion fruit, cardamom powder, drop of food coloring and mix again for 40 seconds to a minute until well blended. With a spatula, pour the content into the baking tray, and even it out with the spatula.
- Now with the baking pan in the middle or lower rack, bake the cheesecake bar for about 45 minutes, until top is slightly golden brown in color. Once baked, switch off the oven, open the oven door and keep it ajar for about an hour. You can keep a spatula between the oven and the oven door to keep it slightly open.
- Gently remove the baking pan and let cool completely for an hour. Let it set in the fridge for about 3 hours.
- Guava Jelly Layer:
- Warm up 1 cup of the guava puree along with the water. Mix the 2 gelatin envelopes with 1/2 cup of the guava puree and mix with the warm juice. Add in the sugar and whisk until combined and sugar is dissolved. Remove the baking pan from the fridge and pour jelly, gently onto the passion fruit layer. Using a small cake spatula even out the layer.
- Let it set in the fridge for about 4-6 hours. Once jelly is set, remove the baking pan from the fridge. Gently using the parchment paper over flaps, lift the entire slab onto a large cutting board. Using a sharp chefs knife, cut clean layers of the cheesecake into squares. Whip on a paper towel after each cut. To get clean lines, I used a small cake spatula to gently swipe around the edge of each square to make it look clean.
- Store in the fridge in an air tight container for a week.