| 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).