May 8, 2013

Cheesecake for the Non-Baker

Hate to bake? Yes, some of our readers do not like to bake. If you want to treat your family to a homemade treat this Shavuos but refuse to turn on the oven we’ve got the perfect solution for you—no bake cheesecake! These cheesecakes use other ingredients like heavy cream, confectioners’ sugar or gelatin to firm them up. They can be spread into graham cracker crusts just like traditional cheesecake or they can be piped into individual glasses or even push-up pops. This type is also referred to as cheesecake mousse.
Try one this Shavuos for an easy and quick milchig dessert.

You can substitute any fruit or other flavor jello if you prefer.

2 cups graham cracker crumbs or 15 graham crackers, ground fine

6 tablespoons butter, melted
1 ½ cups sugar, divided
4 packages (8 ounces each) unwhipped cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1 package (3 ounces) strawberry gelatin
2 cups frozen strawberries, thawed and chopped
8 ounces heavy cream

Mix graham crumbs, butter and 1/4 cup sugar; press onto bottom of 13x9-inch pan. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Beat cream cheese and ¾ cup sugar with mixer until blended. Add dry gelatin mix; mix well. Stir in chopped strawberries.
In a separate bowl, beat heavy cream and remaining ½ cup sugar. Fold into cream cheese mixture. Pour over crust.
Refrigerate 4 hours or until firm. Cut in bars or squares to serve.

This recipe does require you to turn on the oven—but just for a few minutes—our apologies! These can be prepared in our new daisy-shaped push-up pops or dessert glasses. They can be prepared in advance and frozen.

for the crumbs:
12 whole graham crackers
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted
for the mousse:
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons coffee liquor
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped

Combine graham crackers and sugar in a food processor; remove, add butter and mix well. Press crumbs to a 1/4” thickness on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely. Crumble and set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, confectioners' sugar, vanilla and coffee liquor until fluffy. Fold in the whipped cream.
Place in a piping bag fitted with a large star tip. Pipe half the mousse to fill 10 push-up pops halfway. Sprinkle with half of crumbs. Pipe remaining mousse and cover with remaining crumbs. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.

Chocolate Peanut Butter No-Bake Cheesecake
What could be better than the combination of chocolate, peanut butter and cheesecake?

18 chocolate cookies, crushed
2 tablespoons butter, melted plus more for pan

2  8 ounce unwhipped cream cheese, softened
1 ½ cups sugar, divided
2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup liquid marble chocolate (available at The Peppermill)
¼ cup peanuts, chopped, optional

Rub some butter around the sides and bottom of a 9 inch springform pan
Place crushed cookies in medium bowl. Add butter; mix well. Press firmly onto bottom and up the sides of buttered springform pan.
Beat cream cheese, sugar and peanut butter in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended.
 In a separate bowl, beat heavy cream and remaining ½ cup sugar. Fold into cream cheese mixture Spoon over crust. Drizzle with fudge topping; swirl with knife several times for marble effect. Sprinkle with chopped peanuts, if desired.
Refrigerate 4 hours or until firm. Run knife or metal spatula around side of pan to loosen cake; remove side of pan.

If you’ve always wanted to know how to create one of those beautiful “spider web” cheesecakes without a lot of work, follow this easy recipe!

For the crust:

18 ounces chocolate cookies
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
6 ounces (1 1/2 sticks), melted

For the chocolate ganache
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream

For the cheesecake:
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
2 cups sugar, divided
1 cup boiling water
3   8 ounce packages unwhipped cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Make the crust:
Coat a 9 inch springform pan with butter.
Mix chocolate cookies, sugar and butter, in a medium bowl. Pat mixture into pan, pressing firmly into bottom and all the way up sides. Cover, and refrigerate until ready to fill.
Make the ganache:
Chop chocolate into small chunks. Bring cream to a simmer in a small saucepan, and then pour over chocolate. When chocolate begins to melt, whisk until smooth. Reserve 2 tablespoons ganache for decorating, and spread the remainder evenly on bottom and up sides of crust. Cover, and refrigerate until ready to fill.
Make the filling:
Place gelatin and ½ cup sugar in a small bowl. Pour boiling water over gelatin and stir to dissolve. Set aside.
Beat cream cheese with a mixer on medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low, and slowly add sugar. Beat in lemon juice and gelatin mixture until combined.
Pour filling into crust and spread evenly. Gently tap bottom of pan on counter to release air bubbles.
Transfer reserved ganache to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/4-inch round decorating tip. Starting in the center of the cheesecake, pipe a spiral, working your way outward, spacing lines about 1/2 inch apart.
Pull the tip of a paring knife in a line from the center of the spiral to outer edge. Wipe knife clean, and repeat every inch or so to form a web.
Cover, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. Unmold cheesecake, and serve.

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