This is a simple, no-bake cheesecake recipe, easy and quick to make. Don’t let the topping, for you can use this cheesecake as a canvas for any fruit imaginary.
Choose the biscuits you will use as a base according to your needs.
You will need an instant-read thermometer to check if the eggs have reached the desired temperature. This is essential, both in terms of safety, as well as for ensuring that they will result to an egg foam stable enough to successfully fold into the cream cheese.
Special Equipment needed:
20-23 cm springform pan (about 7.8 – 9 inches)
For the base:
- 200 gr biscuits of choice*
*you may use digestive biscuits, shortbread biscuits, or any biscuits to your liking.
For the cream cheese filling:
- 150 gr eggs ( about 5.3 oz; 3 large eggs )
- 80 gr white regular sugar ( about 2.8 oz; 3/8 cup )
- 300 gr heavy cream, cold from the fridge ( about 10.5 oz; 1 & 1/4 cup )
- 300 gr cream cheese ( about 10.5 oz; 1 & 1/4 cup )
- 2 tsp. mildly flavoured alcohol, such as cognac, orange liqueur, brandy etc, to melt the gelatine sheets
For the sour cherry compote:
- 425 gr sour cherry compote ( about 15 oz. )
- 2 Tbs. corn starch ( for thickening a.k.a. corn flour in the U.S. )
Instructions for the No-Bake Cheesecake:
Step 1: Prepare the biscuit base
Break the biscuits by hand and put them in a food processor. Pulse a few times until they are ground fine.
Add them to the melted butter and mix thoroughly by hand.
Lightly grease the springform pan (for pan size, see the equipment section at the beginning of the recipe) and layer with a round piece of parchment paper, folding it to attach to the bottom of the pan.
Put the biscuit mix in the pan and press it firmly with your hands, to create the base.
Put in the fridge to chill while you prepare the cream cheese filling.
Step 2 – Soften the gelatine leaves
Put the gelatine sheets in cold water, in a single layer. Leave them to soften while you prepare the egg foam.
Note: If, for any reason, it takes you more than 15-20 minutes to complete preparing the egg foam (step 3) , you will have to remove the softened gelatine sheets from the water, and transfer them to the saucepan, as described in step 3. If you leave them in the water for longer than 20 minutes, they may start to dissolve if your kitchen’s temperature is warm.
Step 3 – Prepare the Egg Foam
Fill a medium saucepan up to 3 cm / 1 inch with water and bring to a simmer. Put the eggs and sugar in a heatproof bowl ( your stand mixer’s bowl should do just fine ). Put over the simmering water. Note that the bottom of the bowl should not touch the water and keep the water at a simmer, or else you will end up with scrambled eggs.
Cook, stirring constantly with a whisk until it reaches 71ºC / 160ºF. Transfer bowl with the egg/sugar to a stand mixer with the whisk attachment fitted. Start beating at low speed and gradually increase the speed to high. Whip until it reaches four times its volume and the egg foam drops in a thick, steady stream when you pull the whisk attachment. It should hold its shape well when dropped.
While the eggs are being whipped, prepare the next step.
Step 4 – Prepare the Cream
In a large bowl, put the cream cheese and whip by hand, with a balloon whisk, till softened. Gradually start adding the heavy cream, whipping as you go, till everything is homogenised and the cream is thick and fluffy.
In a small saucepan put the softened gelatine leaves, along with the lemon juice, and warm gently, stirring with a spatula over low to medium heat, until the gelatine leaves are fully dissolved. Keep stirring well for 30 seconds after the gelatine has dissolved, remove from the heat and set aside.
Step 5 – Mix the two foams
When the mixer bowl with the egg foam is no longer warm to the touch, stop the mixer.
Using the ballon whisk, take a small portion, the size of 1/2 cup, from the egg foam and put it in the saucepan with the gelatine. Stir to dissolve.
Next, using the balloon whisk, collect a bulb from the egg foam, in one motion. Add it to the whipped cream cheese and fold it in, taking care not to deflate the mix. Repeat two more times. This will lighten up the whipped cream cheese and ensure that the mix will homogenise properly at the next step.
Use the silicone spatula to briefly fold in the mix and gently scrape the bottom and the sides of the bowl.
Add the gelatine mix, then add the rest of the egg foam and gently fold in. Do not over-mix as the mix will deflate. The more airy is the mix is, the lighter the texture of the cheesecake will be.
Finally, gently scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl with the silicone spatula.
Pour it over the prepared biscuit base and smooth the top with the spatula.
Put it in the fridge for an hour or two, for the surface to firm, before adding the fruit filling.
Step 6 – Prepare the fruit filling
Place the corn starch in a cup and pour over 2-3 Tbs. sour cherry juice from the compote, stirring with a fork to create a slurry.
Put the rest of the sour cherries in a medium saucepan and warm over medium heat.
When the sour cherry compote bubbles up, stir again the corn starch-cherry juice slurry to homogenise and then pour some of the hot sour cherry juice into the corn starch slurry. Stir well to blend and pour the corn starch/cherry juice slurry back to the pan.
Continue cooking and stirring for one minute, during which time the compote has thickened.
Remove from the heat and pour into a heatproof bowl. Let cool at room temperature, before layering it over the cheesecake.
Step 7 – Assemble the No-Bake Cheesecake
When the surface of the No-Bake Cheesecake is firm and the sour cherry compote is tepid, pour the compote over the top of the cheesecake and spread it evenly.
Cover with cling film and put it in the fridge to firm for 4-6 hours, before attempting to remove the ring from the springform pan.
Storing: in the fridge, well covered with cling film, for up to 3 days.
Other toppings: if you intend to cover your cheesecake with fresh fruit (vs. compote), you have to do it as soon as you pour the cream cheese filling over the biscuit base (and before you put it in the fridge to set). Firmly press the fruit on the surface of the cheesecake, to help it attach to the cream and then chill.