I have tried several times making egg less, no gelatin cheesecake both the no bake and the one which we bake and they have always turned out perfectly, yet this is one dessert that I am not keen about making too often as I never knew we could easily make this without using hung curd/ yogurt with the cream cheese.
My previous attempts were with the usual sour cream/hung curd/ cream cheese mixture. Perfect as it turned out there were no takers for the slightly tart cheesecake which comes about due to addition of the sour cream/hung yogurt.
I am not particularly fond of the tartness that such a cheesecake develops . So I tried a plain vanilla cheesecake , which could use several toppings . I decided to give the yogurt a miss and I'm glad I did as the cheesecake developed an ice cream like taste. There was no lingering yogurt taste on the tongue.
What I do while serving is to slice a wedge ,customize my topping. Rather than create one whole single flavored one, I liked to play with the different flavors.
This was a hit , and now I am actually contemplating making several flavors in single serving glass.
Every time when the dread to enter the kitchen mood kicks in, this is the kind of easy dessert I would recommend, as this is a totally no light recipe, your kids could surprise you with this one.
This cheesecake gives very impressive results in terms of texture, colour and the taste. This cheesecake lends itself easily to variations. Make this a high wedge , dense like the New York Chesecake or go for the skinny one as I have done. A good cheese cake should be velvetty and smooth as silk.
Now the pics.
Press the powdered biscuits evenly over the base of the spring form pan smoothly.
The cream cheese should be very smooth and make sure to keep it lump free by scraping the sides.
Beat the whipping cream till you get the smooth pillowy soft peaks.
You can see the whipping cream getting thicker and smooth.
This is the texture of the cream you want after all the blending of the cream cheese and the whipping cream and the china grass .
Spread the cream cheese mixture smoothly over the refrigerated biscuit base set on the spring form pan.
Blueberry topping on the wedge.
Mixed berry topping used here.
Caramel and chocolate used for the topping.
I made another pan with a thicker biscuit base and more cream cheese to give a cake like appearance, to get a fat wedge! However I cut smaller wedges . Here I used blueberries topping.
For the crust
2 cups digestive biscuits powdered finely. More biscuits if you want a thicker crust. ( Graham crackers if you get them)
1/2 cup butter melted.
1 tbsp sugar
For the filling
1 cup sugar/icing sugar
2 cups paneer/cream cheese/Philadelphia cream cheese works the best.
1 cup thick whipping cream
3 1/2 tsp agar agar powder/china grass
1 tsp vanilla extract
Prepare the crust by powdering the biscuits and mixing the melted butter, add sugar and mix well. Grease the bottom of a 8 inch spring form pan lightly.
Press the mixture evenly all over smoothing it with a ladle or spatula and press well. Press over the side if you want well covered. You need to powder more biscuits in that case.
Refrigerate for 15 to 30 minutes. In fact 15 minutes should suffice as we just need a firm base to pour the cream cheese mixture and its going back to the fridge again, but I really wanted a very firm base , besides I got this prepared whilst neck deep in cooking so preferred it to sit inside till I was ready with the filling.
This is the best part of preparing cheesecake, work on your terms, no hassle, in stages and before you know it you have the dessert ready.Viola! You can make it in stages as I did and never realized when it got done.
I started around breakfast time when I wasn't sure , just grabbed some biscuits, melted the butter and prepared the biscuit base.
I next prepared the filling after a good one hour as I hadn't yet finished the cooking so it was so easy to blend the cheese, whipped cream and the works while my cooking was under way.
The next step was darn easy , to spread the mixture of cream cheese over the biscuit base. Your kids can do it. Zap it in the fridge and go to bed or watch a movie. Minimum 3 hours is a must to get a good cheesecake, but I was pretty patient. I left it over night after peeking several times.
Prepare the filling
Take the cream cheese, whipping cream, sugar , add vanilla extract and blend well till light , airy and creamy. The texture should be very smooth , shiny. , velvetty. Take little warm water to dissolve the china grass. Pour it in the mixture, give a gentle whisk to the mixture.
Take out the spring form pan with the ready crust, pour the mixture, spreading all over smoothly. keep in fridge for at least 5 hours or overnight.
After is is out from the fridge, let it come to room temperature and it wil be easier to run a knife along the edge , loosen a bit and remove the clasp from the spring form pan. Your cheesecake would be ready with a sheen and a beautiful smooth top.
While various fruit pie filling cans are readily available in the stores, nothing can match the soft, smooth silky texture and the taste not to forget , of a home made fruit compote or sauce. It will take 4 minutes max. Better to make your own gooey, glorious topping.
3 cups of mixed berries or berries of you choice like blueberries,
3/4 cup sugar or less if you prefer
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp lime juice
Combine all ingredients and cook over medium heat,cook until the berries break down,
Bring to simmer.It will thicken a bit. Remove and let cool before adding lime juice.
This can be used as a topping by spreading all over the ready cheesecake or on individual portions. while serving by just adding a dollop of it on the cheesecake wedge.
Let cool .
Some recipes also use hung yogurt, or curd with the paneer/cream cheese, but we do not like the tartness in the taste afterwards and like the creamy, ice cream like taste that the recipe gives without adding yogurt.
Enjoy! My next attempt would be to bake it with a water bath and all and see how it comes out though waiting for a good 1 hour can be painful and watching out for cracks on the top can make me a nervous wreck, but heck! but am told its worth every minute of the effort. Well that is another post for another day.