My coworkers asked if I could bake a cheesecake for our beloved postdoc’s birthday.  I was only too happy to oblige, since I’ve been trying to find an excuse to remake the blueberry cheesecake that I had baked two weeks ago.  That cheesecake was so good that I ate the last piece before remembering that I had wanted to take a picture of it.  So this time, I had my camera ready and expected to post some pictures of gorgeous cheesecake.

I’m pretty sure if I had a whole cheesecake to myself, I could scarf it down in two days.  I don’t think I really have self control when it comes to matters of chocolate, ice cream..basically, all sweets. The standard cheesecake recipe is so simple that I think I would make it quite frequently if it weren’t for the fact that my spring form pan (the standard cheesecake bakingware) is still back in California.  Which means that for this momentous occasion that is Peal’s birthday, I must make do with cheesecake bars using a 9 X 13 pan.

I basically took the the Strawberry Swirls Cheesecake Bars recipe from and used blueberries instead.  I actually would’ve preferred using strawberry puree to make pretty swirly patterns, but unfortunately, I do not own a food processor.  That is on my long list of dream bakingware that I will someday own.  In the meantime, I have to make do with folding whole blueberries into the batter.

The first time that I made this cheesecake, I used fresh blueberries which seemed to work perfectly.  This time, though, I opted for frozen blueberries.  Too late, I realized that frozen berries bleed!  My white batter was filled with little purple balls oozing pools of light lavender, which might sound lovely, but how many people actually want to eat purple cheesecake?  At least, not me.  It’s kind of off-putting, like taro milk tea.

Fortunately, the lavender wasn’t that prominent when the cheesecake came out.  I never know what my baked goods would look like when I stick them in the oven.  There’s always too many variables or baking tricks beyond my knowledge/abilities, so most of the time I’m pretty surprised when things turn out alright.  I guess this is also how I feel about science.

I’m glad my coworkers liked the bars.  I was a little antsy for a second because I noticed that the cheesecake had sweated a bit (or maybe it’s condensation?) during my 1 hour commute to work.  But nobody really noticed the light sheen of water on the surface, so I guess it was a “success.”

A particularly gooey part of the cake.  I think next time, I will whip the cream cheese less vigorously or pour the batter into the pan more slowly to get rid of air bubbles. I might also try putting the berries on the crust first, and then pouring my batter on top to avoid the lavender streaks.  Although, I’m such an amateur baker that I feel lucky just to make something that’s palatable, let alone aesthetically pleasing.

Lastly, a few words about the person who this cake was intended for:

Peal, who is often commended for his work ethic (never a late day to work! Or napping at his desk!), is a man of impeccable style.  An avid meat eater, Peal enjoys a daily quarter pounder for lunch.  “All cows,” he says matter-of-factly, “are made to be hamburgers.”  In his spare time, Peal likes to make impressions of zebrafish as he ruthlessly slices their hearts out under the microscope.***

Here’s a picture of Peal enjoying his preferred girly drink:

And here’s Peal in his usual get up:

But in all seriousness, Happy Birthday!

***I joke.  Peal is a nice guy.  With eccentric style.

Blueberry Cheesecake Bars

  • ~2.5 cups of crushed vanilla wafers (or graham crackers) – I made more crust than what the original called for
  • ~7 tablespoons butter melted
  • Two 8 oz. cream cheese (softened)
  • 1 can condensed milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 c lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ~2 cups of blueberries

325 degrees for 20 minutes