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Keith

No Bake Cheesecake... "Better than a baked one!"

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Let's face it.  Cheesecake is never the wrong answer. 

 

Did your boss yell at you today?  Cheesecake! 

Did you get cut off in traffic?  Cheesecake! 

Are you hungry?  Cheesecake! 

What's 3,599 x 24?  Cheesecake!

 

I told you.

 

Whether you're a Golden Girl or the Duck Commander, sometimes you just need a slice of cheesecake.  Ok, two.  Below is the base recipe of my No Bake Cheesecake.  This is my most requested dessert, which is great because it's so easy to tailor the recipe to whatever flavor the person wants.  "Ok, fine.  I'll slave away and make a cheesecake for you.  What flavor do you want?"

 

Like the title says, I often hear, "I like this better than a baked one!"  (Pssst... some don't even know it wasn't baked!  Just smile and say thank you.  It's our secret.)

 

No Bake Cheesecake

Read the notes at the bottom of the recipe before you begin.  Then let your imagination loose!

*For the crust

1 ½ Cups Graham Cracker Crumbs
⅓ Cup Butter; melted
⅓ Cup Sugar

**For the filling

16oz Cream Cheese; room temperature!
8oz Sour Cream
1 Cup of the filling/flavor of your choice
2 Tbsp Sugar
1 tsp Lemon Juice
1 tsp Vanilla

Combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and butter together until it feels like coarse, wet sand.

Grease an 8” or 9” springform cheesecake pan with butter.  Pour the crust mixture into the pan and press it down so it’s flat and even.  Store in the fridge while you prepare the filling.

Combine the cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, vanilla and lemon juice in a bowl and stir, or whisk, until smooth and completely combined.  If you see slivers of cream cheese, keep whisking!  (That’s why room temperature cream cheese is very important!)  

If you’re using using fruit to flavor your cheesecake, add about ½ cup of it and gently fold it into the mixture.  Use the other ½ cup to garnish and decorate the top.  You can use  ½ cup of jam instead of fresh fruit, if you like.  **See notes below on flavors.  

Pour the mixture onto the crust.  Smooth it out evenly.  

Chill in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours to allow the cheesecake to set.

Once the cheesecake is set, remove it from the springform cheesecake pan and place on a plate.  Decorate with the rest of the fruit and serve!

NOTES:

* The recipe for the crust is very basic and very adaptable.  You can use less sugar, or no sugar at all, to suit your tastes.  Try adding some nuts if you want. Ground almonds are fantastic in the crust!  Experiment with your favorite cookies instead of graham crackers.  Start with 1 ½ cup of your favorite cookie and 5 Tbsp of melted butter.  Gingersnaps are great!  So are Chips Ahoy Chocolate Chip Cookies!  Want to try a brownie crust?  Try this:

Ingredients

¾ Cup All Purpose Flour
1 Cup Sugar
½ tsp Salt
⅓ Cup Cocoa
⅓ Cup Butter; melted
2 eggs

Mix the butter and cocoa until combined.

Then combine all the ingredients in one bowl. Mix well and pour into a greased, spring form pan.

Bake at 350°F for 15 minutes.  Let it cool completely.

____________________________

*Don’t have a springform cheesecake pan?  No problem!  Use a pie pan.  That way you can don’t have to remove it from the pan.  Just slice it like a pie.  Use a cupcake tray or ramekins to make individual cheesecakes.  The pan you use is up to you!  After all, you don't have to worry about baking times because it's no bake!

**Regarding the filling, you have a lot of wiggle room here!  The one cup of filling is a base guideline.  Add as much fresh fruit as you want.  If you’re using jam, use ½ cup and stir it in.  Don’t combine it thoroughly if you like the swirled look!  I made a Cookie Butter Cheesecake out of Trader Joe’s Cookie Butter!  I added one cup of it to the filling and combined it thoroughly with the cheesecake mixture.  It’s my most requested cheesecake by far!  Create your own!  Play with flavors!  It’s easy!  Just start with adding ½ cup of the flavor you want.  Taste it.  If you want it stronger, then add some more.  Be careful not to go overboard to be sure you’re cheesecake will set firmly!

***MY SECRET TIP TO GET RAVES!***

I took this base recipe and tweaked it to perfection, if I do say so myself.  Instead of 16 oz of cream cheese, I use 8 oz of cream cheese and 8 oz of Mascarpone.  And, instead of 8 oz of sour cream, I use 4 oz of sour cream and 4 oz of Crème Fraîche.  From my experience, splitting the ingredients between the two similar (but different tones of flavor) ingredients makes a big difference.  But, of course, you don’t have to.  I’ve even used 16 oz of Mascarpone and 8 oz of Crème Fraîche.  This is my second favorite combination.  But, if you don’t have these ingredients in your area, cream cheese and sour cream work great!

 

Below is a picture of a cheesecake I made for someone that wanted a Victorian looking cheesecake for a party she was having.  She didn't want it tall and thick, but she wanted me to use a springform mold.  So, I just used a large springform pan so the filling wasn't so thick.

 

It's a Blueberry Raspberry Cheesecake, with a Lemon Curd Drizzle, a chopped Pecan trim, and decorated with mint leaves and fresh berries.  It's not the best picture, but it'll give you the idea.

 

IMG_0319_zps10b90dbc.jpg

 

 

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Keith, I think you could put some of us (ladies, and I speak for myself) to shame. Great recipes!

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Thanks Keith ,can't wait to try it.

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Thanks for the kind words.  I'm one of those weird, creative types.  Cooking/baking is one of those outlets for me. 

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Thanks Keith.I am definitely going to try this.We love Cheesecake.

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I'll have to try this!

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