Thursday, June 24, 2010
This dessert is chillin' out in my freezer just waiting for July 4th to arrive. For once I'm a little ahead of the game! Life has been busy lately, and it didn't help having a big fat cake FAIL during Father's day preparations. The cake was Pop's special request and the recipe is from a little old lady who makes and sells the cakes from her home. She's been making them for decades, and I suppose it was a little presumptuous of me to think I'd get her method right with my first try. My second attempt was spot-on, but I was exhausted and having mental burnout by the end of the day. Next time, I'll be placing an order with the expert!
I have another busy week ahead with the husband's birthday and family plans. It's times like these that I'm thankful for "No-Bake". This recipe is really easy to throw together, and in patriotic spirit I've added a red layer and topped it with fresh blueberries.
The idea for this cheesecake came from an oven-baked Red Velvet cheesecake from the McCormick site (which I'm still hoping to make sometime). This version is a little more colorful, and there's no fretting over cracking or questionable baking times. It's creamy and cold, and a perfect remedy for the miserable heat we are experiencing in the Southern US. I'm already certain that July 4th will be a scorcher!
I made this twice. Once in little 1.75x 3 pastry rings (yields 10 servings) and then once as a standard 9" cheesecake. The small cakes were a bit fussy to make, and I had a lot of excess graham cracker crust left over (thumbs down). I'll be making the large version again, and maybe even experiment with some peanut butter chips. Refrigerator cheesecakes are normally lighter than the baked variety, but don't let this one fool you. The white chocolate gives it a richness that may have you reaching for a tall glass of milk!
White Chocolate No-Bake Cheesecake [click for printable version]
2 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 stick of unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 tbsp. sugar
1- 1/4 oz. package unflavored powdered gelatin
2/3 cup water
16 oz. cream cheese at room temperature
2 cups white chocolate chips (the best you can find)
1- 14oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 1/2 tbsp. liquid red food coloring
1 pint fresh blueberries
Mix the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter and sugar in a bowl. Press evenly into the bottom of a 9" spring-form pan.
In a large bowl, melt the white chocolate at 30 second intervals, stirring well between each heating. When smooth, add the cream cheese and mix well with an electric mixer. Add sweetened condensed milk and beat until smooth.
In a small saucepan, combine the water and gelatin. Let set for 1 minute, then gently heat on the stove-top until gelatin has dissolved. Stir gelatin into cream cheese mixture until thoroughly combined. Fold in heavy cream.
Pour 3 cups of batter into a liquid measure. Stir in red food coloring and mix vigorously until white streaks disappear. Pour over graham cracker crust and shake pan to level batter. Put red layer in the freezer for 20 minutes. It should set to a matte-appearing surface, if it is still liquid after the freeze time, put it back in the freezer until it is no longer liquid. Leave white batter on your counter top and stir occasionally while the red layer freezes. Pour white batter on top of red layer and refrigerate for 4 hours.
To unmold, run a knife along the edge of the cheesecake and pop open spring-form pan. Remove cheesecake from mold and top with fresh blueberries.
***Tip: The white batter needs to be layered on top of the red as soon as the 20-30 minute freeze time is up. The gelatin will solidify the white batter if left sitting for too long.