Monday, February 16, 2015

No Bake Cheesecake

 I don't know anyone who doesn't like cheesecake. Even people who don't like cheese, like cheesecake. Unfortunately, making a cheesecake can be a little daunting. Plus, it does take a few hours to bake, then cool, then chill. Correct? Well, how about a cheesecake that jumps right from the mixing to the chilling? To be quite honest, there is a tiny bit of baking involved (just the crust) but the cake itself is just mixed and chilled. No baking required! So it's much easier to quickly throw one of these little babies together the night before your event, and then it's ready whenever you get to dessert! It's creamy and delicious and no one would ever believe that it's something you just threw together. And since I'm choosing to restrict carbs from my diet, this is the perfect dessert because it's easily adaptable. I've listed both options in the ingredients list. If you're doing low carb, then use the splenda and almond flour. If not, then use sugar and graham crackers. Simple! I served mine with a sauce of fresh berries. Feel free to serve yours just plain or with any pie filling or fruit topping.
If you have a craving for cheesecake, this will DEFINTELY take care of it for you. It's not my own recipe, but I did tweak it a little here and there.
 I hope you'll give it a try!

1 1/2 cups almond flour or graham cracker crumbs
3 tbs melted butter
2 tbs sugar or splenda

1 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
3 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar or splenda
1 tbs lemon juice
1 tbs pure vanilla extract

 In a small bowl, mix together the crust ingredients. Press into the bottom of a 9" spring form pan. Bake in a 350F oven for about 10 minutes. Cool.
Meanwhile, whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Set aside. Mix together the remaining cake ingredients. Fold together the cheese mixture and the whipped cream. Spray the insides of the ring of the spring form pan lightly with cooking spray. Pour the filling into the pan. Smooth the top to make a nice even layer on top of the crust. Chill in fridge for several hours or overnight. Remove outer ring of spring form pan. Serve with fresh berries, fruit jam or pie filling.

I'm not really a huge fan of adding lemon to cheesecakes, so I usually leave it out. On the flip side, if you LOVE anything lemon, then go ahead and add some grated lemon zest along with the lemon juice to kick up the lemon flavor a few notches.
For the crust, use any kind of crushed cookie you like. Vanilla wafers, shortbread cookies, even Oreos.
And for the low carb version, I've used hazelnut flour instead of the almond flour. Any kind of ground nuts will work!

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