American cheesecakes require no baking, and make for a perfect desert. Never fails to please the crowds, this one.
Just before the American Cheesecake Police gets to my throat, yes, I have seen baked cheesecake in America, too. Anyway, this one is American in style, and does not require baking.
This makes several single-portion cheesecakes, with lots of room for being creative, how’s that?
For a first step, you’d need to find a suitable form to make the cheesecakes in. Cook’s rings are ideal. I have two sets of rings, a 10cm diameter, 4cm tall one, and a narrower, taller one (approximately 65mm diameter, 70mm tall).
The plan is to provide a thin and crumbly biscuit base, topped with an American cheesecake mix, topped with something fruity. The photo shows a nectarine compote. We have also used Strawberries, Raspberries, or a delicious prickly pear compote. The sky is the limit!
For the base, per portion:
One hob-nob biscuit. Ginger biscuits are also very good and provide a slight ginger kick. For a cherry-topped version I used dark chocolate hob-nobs in reminiscence of a black forest gateaux. Just be creative at the biscuit shelf in your local superstore.
A teaspoon of dry bread crumbs and
a nob of soft unsalted butter.
Blitz the biscuits and bread crumbs ingredients in the blender, then swiftly include the butter. I find it both easy and quickly to add the butter with a fork. This makes about one heaped tablespoon of base.
Find a chopping board big enough for all your portions, and small enough to fit into your fridge. Cover it with greaseproof paper, then arrange the cooking rings. Fill each cooking ring with one tablespoon of base, distribute the base mix evenly. Wrap your masher or some other flat headed cylindrical shape with clingfilm, then use this to firm up the bases. Set aside in a cool place.
For the cheesecake mix, per 6 portions:
300g of cream cheese such as Kraft’s Philadelphia,
300g of some nice soft fresh cheese or German Quark, strained.
Seeds from one pod of fresh vanilla,
Three leaves of gelatine.
Soak the gelatine in a bit of water. Meanwhile, whisk the other ingredients together, then gently melt the gelatine in the Microwave oven and add to the mix. Distribute the mix among the portion cakes, leaving space for the topping.
For the topping, use your imagination.
Strawberries are easiest, just wash and clean them, put the pretty ones upside down onto the cheesecakes and use the not-so-pretty ones to make a thick jam to coat and seal the tops.
Similar procedures apply to other fruit: a fruit topping from soft fruit or from a thick fruit jam. Cover fresh fruit with jam so that it keeps better.
Dark sweet cherries, covered with a cherry glaze (made from cherry juice, sugar and gelatine) worked out pretty well.
A skinned half Apricot, covered with a glaze made from fig jam, lime juice and gelatine, also was a hit.
Cover with cling film and allow to set in the fridge for 2 or more hours.