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Berry cheesecake 'mess'

Berry cheesecake 'mess'

This relaxed, dig-in summer pud is the love child of Eton mess and cheesecake, and is just as beguiling as that sounds. The almond topping is irresistible – you have been warned.

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Gluten freeVegetarian
  • Serves8
  • CourseDessert
  • Prepare25 mins
  • Cook15 mins
  • Total time40 mins
  • Plusovernight chilling


  • 2 x 280g tubs full-fat soft cheese
  • 2 x 300ml pots crème fraîche
  • 120g icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 unwaxed lemon, zest
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 30g unsalted butter
  • 30g light brown soft sugar
  • ¼ tsp fine salt
  • 50g flaked almonds


  • 200g raspberries
  • 200g strawberries, roughly chopped
  • 200g blueberries
  • 3 tbsp icing sugar
  • 15 cardamom pods, seeds ground
  • Extra berries, to serve (optional)


  1. Run a piece of clean muslin under cold water for a couple of seconds, then squeeze out and use to line a colander (22-23cm diameter). Set the lined colander over a bowl. In a large bowl, use an electric hand mixer to beat the soft cheese, crème fraîche, icing sugar, lemon zest, vanilla and a pinch of salt until pale, light and smooth (3-4 minutes). Spoon into the lined colander, flatten the top and fold over the muslin to cover. Put in the fridge to strain for at least 6 hours (ideally overnight).

  2. Meanwhile, make the crunchy almonds. Put the butter and sugar in a small frying pan over a low heat and allow to melt, swirling occasionally (8-10 minutes). Add the salt, then tip in the almonds and toss to coat well. Turn up the heat to medium and cook until the almonds are golden and crisp, stirring regularly (5-6 minutes). Tip onto a baking parchment-lined plate and allow to cool (if making in advance, once cool, transfer the caramelised almonds to an airtight container; keep for up to 10 days).

  3. About an hour before serving, put the berries in a bowl with the icing sugar, ground cardamom seeds and 1½ tbsp water; mix well, then set aside to macerate for 1 hour.

  4. To serve, unwrap the muslin from the top of the cheese mixture. In a roughly 2.5-litre trifle bowl, spoon in about ⅓ of the strained cheese mixture, then spoon over ⅓ of the berries and their juices. Repeat the layers, finishing with the berries. Add more berries for extra drama, if liked. Break up the almonds and sprinkle over the top; serve straight away.

Cook’s tip

If not serving this at once, strain the berries through a sieve to drain, then simmer the juices until syrupy. Cool before assembling.


Typical values per serving when made using specific products in recipe


2,442kJ/ 588kcals



Saturated Fat












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