No Bake Chocolate Cheesecake with Raspberry Balsamic Glaze


 
No Bake Chocolate Cheesecake - a chocolate graham cracker base is topped with a silky, no bake chocolate cheesecake filling, and finished with a drizzle of sweet, sticky raspberry balsamic glaze. This dessert comes together quickly, and is perfect for feeding a crowd. #cheesecake #chocolatecheesecake #nobakecheesecake
No Bake Chocolate Cheesecake - a chocolate graham cracker base is topped with a silky, no bake chocolate cheesecake filling, and finished with a drizzle of sweet, sticky raspberry balsamic glaze. This dessert comes together quickly, and is perfect for feeding a crowd. #cheesecake #chocolatecheesecake #nobakecheesecake
No Bake Chocolate Cheesecake - a chocolate graham cracker base is topped with a silky, no bake chocolate cheesecake filling, and finished with a drizzle of sweet, sticky raspberry balsamic glaze. This dessert comes together quickly, and is perfect for feeding a crowd. #cheesecake #chocolatecheesecake #nobakecheesecake
No Bake Chocolate Cheesecake - a chocolate graham cracker base is topped with a silky, no bake chocolate cheesecake filling, and finished with a drizzle of sweet, sticky raspberry balsamic glaze. This dessert comes together quickly, and is perfect for feeding a crowd. #cheesecake #chocolatecheesecake #nobakecheesecake
No Bake Chocolate Cheesecake - a chocolate graham cracker base is topped with a silky, no bake chocolate cheesecake filling, and finished with a drizzle of sweet, sticky raspberry balsamic glaze. This dessert comes together quickly, and is perfect for feeding a crowd. #cheesecake #chocolatecheesecake #nobakecheesecake
No Bake Chocolate Cheesecake - a chocolate graham cracker base is topped with a silky, no bake chocolate cheesecake filling, and finished with a drizzle of sweet, sticky raspberry balsamic glaze. This dessert comes together quickly, and is perfect for feeding a crowd. #cheesecake #chocolatecheesecake #nobakecheesecake
No Bake Chocolate Cheesecake - a chocolate graham cracker base is topped with a silky, no bake chocolate cheesecake filling, and finished with a drizzle of sweet, sticky raspberry balsamic glaze. This dessert comes together quickly, and is perfect for feeding a crowd. #cheesecake #chocolatecheesecake #nobakecheesecake
No Bake Chocolate Cheesecake - a chocolate graham cracker base is topped with a silky, no bake chocolate cheesecake filling, and finished with a drizzle of sweet, sticky raspberry balsamic glaze. This dessert comes together quickly, and is perfect for feeding a crowd. #cheesecake #chocolatecheesecake #nobakecheesecake

I really, really love cheesecake. I get asked lots where all the food that I make goes, and how I manage not to eat it all. The truth is, when I’ve made something 3,4,5,6 times in a row to test, it’s pretty easy to stay away. I usually have a little bite, and then send it to a friend’s place or to the studio. Not cheesecake though. I have absolutely zero self control when it comes to cheesecake. I have to have a wee bit for myself, and then immediately treat all my friends / whoever will take the cheesecake off my hands, otherwise it slowly but surely disappears. Which totally isn’t a bad thing. I have a little bit in a container in the fridge right now, and over the course of writing this post, I’ve already snuck about six little bites. It’s just the best.

However, it’s not all cheesecake that I love. I didn’t really grow up on baked cheesecake like lots of people over here did - Cheesecake in New Zealand tends to be the no bake variety, a creamy base set with gelatine, rather than baked in the oven. I much prefer the texture of a no-bake cheesecake to a baked one, and they are so much easier to make - a crust comes together quickly in the food processor, and is topped with a silky, smooth filling. A quick nap in the fridge, and you have a super simple dessert that is perfect for serving a crowd.

This No Bake Chocolate Cheesecake ticks all the boxes - the chocolate graham cracker base is thick, with the perfect balance of salt. It is then topped with a fluffy, creamy, rich, chocolate filling, which is loaded with dutch process cocoa and dark chocolate, which gives it a super rich chocolate flavour, and helps it set without the need for gelatine. The filling is smoothed onto the crust, then the whole thing is set in the fridge.

I finished this cheesecake with a Raspberry Balsamic Glaze from Filippo Berio. It cut perfectly through the chocolate filling, and the raspberry in the glaze complimented the chocolate in the most amazing way. This cheesecake is literally everything I want in a dessert, all tied into one. This is absolutely going to be my go-to dessert from now on when I need something that is quick, easy, and everyone will love. I made this to take to Filippo Berio Headquarters last week, and it was a giant, giant hit. I hope you give it a try!

A few wee tips:

  • There are two measures of cream in this recipe - the first gets whipped up and folded into the mixture, and the second is to loosen the mixture slightly once you have added the chocolate. When you are folding in the whipped cream before you put it into the tin, after it is incorporated, if you find it is still a little too thick for your liking, you can add liquid heavy cream about a tablespoon at a time to help loosen it further - you can add up to about 4 Tbsp without affecting the texture too much, just make sure it is very well incorporated.

  • Ideally, this needs to set for a few hours or overnight in the fridge, but if you are pressed for time, about two hours rest will do in a pinch.

  • I used this cheesecake pan, and lined it with a circle of parchment paper on the bottom, and then a collar of acetate. Parchment paper around the edge would work fine too, but I love how cleanly it pulls away with the acetate. A springform pan would work great too.

  • If you don't have a stand mixer, you can do this with an electric hand mixer in a big bowl! Just make sure to really beat the cream cheese mixture until it is nice and fluffy - make sure your cream cheese is very room temperature for this.

  • This recipe can easily be scaled if you are making for a crowd, or if you don’t have a springform pan it will be great in an 8” square pan - just make sure that you give it a good parchment sling.

 

 

No Bake Chocolate Cheesecake with Raspberry Balsamic Glaze

- Makes one 9” cheesecake -

Chocolate Graham Cracker Crust
300g Graham Crackers or Digestive Biscuits
40g Sugar
40g Dutch Process Cocoa, Or half Dutch cocoa and Half black cocoa if you have it
1 tsp salt
175g Unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly

No Bake Chocolate Filling
375g Heavy cream, chilled
450g full fat cream cheese, at room temperature
130g sugar
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
3/4 tsp salt
35g Dutch Process Cocoa, Or half Dutch cocoa and Half black cocoa if you have it
250g High quality dark chocolate (I used 72% Callebaut), Melted and cooled
175g Heavy Cream, Liquid
Filippo Berio Raspberry Balsamic Glaze to finish

 

- PROCESS -

CHOCOLATE GRAHAM CRACKER CRUST

Line a 9” Springform or Cheesecake pan with a parchment paper circle, and a collar of acetate.

Place the Graham Crackers, sugar, cocoa, and salt in the work bowl of a food processor, and pulse until fine crumbs remain. Transfer to a medium mixing bowl, and add the butter and mix until combined - it should resemble wet sand.

Transfer the crust mixture into the pan, and spread into an even layer using the back of a spoon or an offset spatula. Using the bottom of a flat glass or a flat bottomed measuring cup, press the crust firmly into an even layer.

Place into the freezer while you prepare the filling.

FILLING AND ASSEMBLY

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the first measure of heavy cream just until stiff peaks start to form. Transfer to a large bowl until ready to use. Do not worry about washing the mixer.

Beat together the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla bean paste, salt, and cocoa powder on medium high speed until light and fluffy and well combined, 2-3 minutes.

Add the melted cooled chocolate, and mix to combine. Add the second measure of cream (liquid), and beat until incorporated.

Add the chocolate cheesecake mixture to the bowl with the heavy cream, and carefully fold to combine, taking care not to deflate too much. If you find that the mixture is too thick to spread smoothly, you can add cream a tablespoon at a time (see notes).

Spoon the filling over the base, and spread with an offset spatula until the surface is smooth. To get it extra smooth, you can run your offset spatula under warm water, then dry off and use to smooth the surface.

Loosely cover the cheesecake with plastic wrap, ensuring the plastic wrap does not touch the surface of the filling. Refrigerate the cheesecake for at least 4 hours, or up to overnight. When you are ready to serve, remove from the fridge, and unmould from the pan. Drizzle with Filippo Berio Raspberry Balsamic Glaze.

Cut the cheesecake using a knife that has been heated by running it under hot water, then drying. Wipe between each slice, re-heating knife as needed.

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.

No Bake Chocolate Cheesecake - a chocolate graham cracker base is topped with a silky, no bake chocolate cheesecake filling, and finished with a drizzle of sweet, sticky raspberry balsamic glaze. This dessert comes together quickly, and is perfect for feeding a crowd. #cheesecake #chocolatecheesecake #nobakecheesecake

Thank you so much to Filippo Berio for sponsoring this post! All opinions are my own.

No Bake Mixed Berry Cheesecake Bars


 
No Bake Mixed Berry Cheesecake Bars - delicious graham cracker crust, topped with a silky vanilla bean no bake filling, and finished with a beautiful marbled swirl of mixed berry coulis. perfect No bake, low effort dessert for any time of the year. #nobake #cheesecake #cheesecakebars #mixedberry #coulis
No Bake Mixed Berry Cheesecake Bars - delicious graham cracker crust, topped with a silky vanilla bean no bake filling, and finished with a beautiful marbled swirl of mixed berry coulis. perfect No bake, low effort dessert for any time of the year. #nobake #cheesecake #cheesecakebars #mixedberry #coulis
No Bake Mixed Berry Cheesecake Bars - delicious graham cracker crust, topped with a silky vanilla bean no bake filling, and finished with a beautiful marbled swirl of mixed berry coulis. perfect No bake, low effort dessert for any time of the year. #nobake #cheesecake #cheesecakebars #mixedberry #coulis
No Bake Mixed Berry Cheesecake Bars - delicious graham cracker crust, topped with a silky vanilla bean no bake filling, and finished with a beautiful marbled swirl of mixed berry coulis. perfect No bake, low effort dessert for any time of the year. #nobake #cheesecake #cheesecakebars #mixedberry #coulis
No Bake Mixed Berry Cheesecake Bars - delicious graham cracker crust, topped with a silky vanilla bean no bake filling, and finished with a beautiful marbled swirl of mixed berry coulis. perfect No bake, low effort dessert for any time of the year. #nobake #cheesecake #cheesecakebars #mixedberry #coulis
No Bake Mixed Berry Cheesecake Bars - delicious graham cracker crust, topped with a silky vanilla bean no bake filling, and finished with a beautiful marbled swirl of mixed berry coulis. perfect No bake, low effort dessert for any time of the year. #nobake #cheesecake #cheesecakebars #mixedberry #coulis

I know that I post a fair bit of fancy shit. Intricate pie lattices, multi layer cakes, things with more components than they probably need to have just because I’m being extra. But this time, I am here to save your life (not really haha) with a crazy easy dessert that is super simple to put together, but still tastes amazing and makes you look super, super fancy. I made these no bake mixed berry cheesecake bars a few weeks back, and haven’t stopped thinking about them or possible variations of them since.

I grew up on no-bake cheesecake - to me, it is the first thing that comes to mind when I think of cheesecake. I haven’t quite been able to get behind baked cheesecake yet, because I’m not sure that anything will ever stand up to a really well done no-bake version. That, and I always hear people worry about cracking their cheesecake. This isn’t even a slight issue here. I got you. The thing that I really love about this recipe is how versatile it is - you could swirl literally anything you like through the top of it. I went with a mixed berry coulis swirl, but it would be epic with fudge, or nutella, or a quick lemon or passionfruit curd.

I started with a simple graham cracker crust, then topped it with a silky vanilla bean cheesecake filling, which is super easy and comes together quickly in the mixer. This alone would be the perfect dessert, but I had some berries that needed using up in the freezer, so popped together a quick coulis to swirl on the top, which turned out to be a very, very good idea.

I was initally aiming for a white top with just a small swirl of the berry, but I used too much the first time around, so just mixed it in and tried again and it worked out for the better - the berry flavour was much more prominent, and the top came out so marbled and beautiful. Give this dude a try if you can - I promise you will look super fancy with hardly any effort.

A few wee tips:

  • Make the berry coulis topping first, and allow to cool slightly before you make the cheesecake.

  • This is a great base cheesecake recipe - you could do a passionfruit top, or a lemon curd, peanut butter, etc etc.

  • Make sure that your cream cheese is at room temperature to allow you to beat it very smooth.

  • If you can’t get graham crackers, digestive biscuits work perfectly!

 

 

No Bake Mixed Berry Cheesecake Bars

- Makes about 16 bars -

Mixed Berry Coulis Topping
250g fresh or frozen raspberries
125g fresh or frozen blueberries
125g fresh or frozen blackberries
65g sugar
1 Tbsp water
pinch of salt

Graham Cracker Base
400g graham crackers
3 Tbsp Sugar
150g butter, melted
1/4 tsp salt

Filling
300g plus 120g cream
2 tsp gelatine
450g cream cheese, at room temperature
130g sugar
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
1/4 tsp salt


 

- PROCESS -

MIXED BERRY COULIS TOPPING

Place all of the ingredients in a pan over medium heat. Cook, stirring often, and occasionally mashing the berries against the side using a fork, until the berries are soft. Transfer to a high speed blender or food processor (be careful as it will be hot), and blend until smooth.

Clean the pan and return to the stove. Strain the berry mixture into the pan, then bring to a boil and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, for 2-3 minutes or until slightly thickened and reduced. Transfer to a container and allow to cool completely.

 

GRAHAM CRACKER BASE

Grease and line a 9” square pan with two pieces of parchment paper, extending over the sides to form a sling. Place the graham crackers and sugar in the work bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the crackers resemble fine crumbs, then transfer to a medium bowl. Add the salt and butter, and mix to combine - it should have the consistency of wet sand.

Pour the base into the prepared pan, and pat down until smooth using the bottom of a flat glass or measuring cup, ensuring that it is an even thickness. Place in the freezer while you prepare the filling.

FILLING AND ASSEMBLY

In a small pot over low heat, combine the 120g measure of cream and gelatine. Stir until the gelatine has dissolved. Set aside to cool slightly.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or using an electric mixer, whip the 300g measure of cream until soft peaks form. Transfer into a bowl. There is no need to wash the mixer between the cream and cream cheese mix. Whip the cream cheese and sugar in the mixer until smooth. Add the vanilla and salt and beat to incorporate, then add the gelatine and cream mixture and mix well.

Remove the bowl from the mixer, and, using a spatula, gently fold the softly whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture.

Spoon the filling over the prepared base, tapping to remove any bubbles, then spreading with an offset spatula. Evenly distribute about 3-4 Tbsp of the cooled coulis mixture over the surface of the filling, and using a swirling motion, gently mix it into the top section of the filling using a spoon, before smoothing again with an offset spatula. Lightly drizzle a little more of the coulis mixture (use less than you think you will need) over the top of the cheesecake, then drag a chopstick or skewer through the drizzled coulis to make a marbled effect. Add more coulis and marble more if desired.

Refrigerate the cheesecake for at least 3 hours or until set. Using the parchment paper as a sling, remove the cheesecake from the pan. Cut into squares using a knife that has been run through hot water and then dried before cutting.

Store leftovers in the fridge.

No Bake Mixed Berry Cheesecake Bars - delicious graham cracker crust, topped with a silky vanilla bean no bake filling, and finished with a beautiful marbled swirl of mixed berry coulis. perfect No bake, low effort dessert for any time of the year. #nobake #cheesecake #cheesecakebars #mixedberry #coulis

Rhubarb Almond Crumble with Kaffir Lime Ice Cream


 
Rhubarb almond crumble with kaffir lime ice cream - the perfect way to hero rhubarb. A super simple summer dessert that can easily be adapted to use your favourite fruit. Paired with a delicately flavoured kaffir lime ice cream, this is the ultimate comfort food.
Rhubarb almond crumble with kaffir lime ice cream - the perfect way to hero rhubarb. A super simple summer dessert that can easily be adapted to use your favourite fruit. Paired with a delicately flavoured kaffir lime ice cream, this is the ultimate comfort food.
Rhubarb almond crumble with kaffir lime ice cream - the perfect way to hero rhubarb. A super simple summer dessert that can easily be adapted to use your favourite fruit. Paired with a delicately flavoured kaffir lime ice cream, this is the ultimate comfort food.
Rhubarb almond crumble with kaffir lime ice cream - the perfect way to hero rhubarb. A super simple summer dessert that can easily be adapted to use your favourite fruit. Paired with a delicately flavoured kaffir lime ice cream, this is the ultimate comfort food.
Rhubarb almond crumble with kaffir lime ice cream - the perfect way to hero rhubarb. A super simple summer dessert that can easily be adapted to use your favourite fruit. Paired with a delicately flavoured kaffir lime ice cream, this is the ultimate comfort food.
Rhubarb almond crumble with kaffir lime ice cream - the perfect way to hero rhubarb. A super simple summer dessert that can easily be adapted to use your favourite fruit. Paired with a delicately flavoured kaffir lime ice cream, this is the ultimate comfort food.
Rhubarb almond crumble with kaffir lime ice cream - the perfect way to hero rhubarb. A super simple summer dessert that can easily be adapted to use your favourite fruit. Paired with a delicately flavoured kaffir lime ice cream, this is the ultimate comfort food.
Rhubarb almond crumble with kaffir lime ice cream - the perfect way to hero rhubarb. A super simple summer dessert that can easily be adapted to use your favourite fruit. Paired with a delicately flavoured kaffir lime ice cream, this is the ultimate comfort food.
Rhubarb almond crumble with kaffir lime ice cream - the perfect way to hero rhubarb. A super simple summer dessert that can easily be adapted to use your favourite fruit. Paired with a delicately flavoured kaffir lime ice cream, this is the ultimate comfort food.

Hiiii from where i'm still desperately clinging onto rhubarb season! Rhubarb doesn't have a season in New Zealand - it grows year round. Mum and Dad have a big plant in their garden that kind of looks after itself, aside from getting the odd dose of sheep poo on it every now and then (makes it grow so well), and getting almost entirely trimmed back whenever I am home. It's there whenever we need it, which is mainly in the winter, when the stone fruit is long gone until the next summer, so it's always a little strange to find myself in the middle of rhubarb hysteria every summer at the greenmarket. They are still selling it in our local supermarket, so as far as I am concerned, it's still here! 

One of my favourite ways to use rhubarb is to pop it into a crumble. It is quick to prepare, and it really allows the flavour of the rhubarb to shine through. This particular crumble was made with my Mum in mind - every time I go home I buy far too much almond meal with great plans of making batches upon batches of macarons. Of course I never get around to it, so she is left with a pantry full of almond meal. So Mama bear - this one is for you! The almond meal gives the crumble a lovely dense toastyness, which is a nice change from the standard oaty crumble you often see. It pairs perfectly with the rhubarb, but would also make the perfect topping for any seasonal fruit. It can easily be prepared ahead, and is the perfect adaptable year-round dessert.

The obsession with my ice cream maker continues here too. I've just come out the end of 12 weeks of obsessively following Masterchef Australia, where they turn everything imaginable into ice cream, and clearly it has rubbed off on me. I wanted something delicate to pair with the rhubarb, so turned to the kaffir lime tree that Santa brought for Richard last Christmas. I was initially unsure about the flavour kaffir would give to ice cream, but was extremely surprised to find that it was just perfect - the flavour was extremely delicate, but still held its own against the tart rhubarb. I will most definitely be making it again, as it was a huge hit. We have a tree on our balcony, but you can buy kaffir lime leaves in most asian markets - look for the distinctive double leaf. If you are in a place where you can grow your own tree I highly recommend it - they do well inside in a pot, and the leaves give such amazing flavour to all sorts of dishes, both sweet and savoury.

A few wee notes:

  • This crumble is fairly topping heavy, which is how we like it - if you prefer a higher fruit to topping ratio, feel free to make less topping
  • This would work perfectly with whatever fruit you have on hand - peaches, plums, apples and berries, etc. You may need to adjust the sugar level to suit the fruit you are using. 
  • This can be made ahead - assemble the topping, cover in foil, and store in the fridge until you are ready to bake.
  • Leftovers make the best breakfast!
 

 

Rhubarb Almond Crumble with Kaffir Lime Ice Cream
- Serves 6 -

Ice cream recipe barely adapted from Saveur

Ice cream base
2 cups (480ml) whole milk
1 cup (240ml) heavy cream
3/4 cup (150g) sugar
1/4 tsp salt
6 egg yolks
5 fresh kaffir lime leaves, central rib removed, finely sliced

Rhubarb Almond Crumble
800g (1.7lbs) rhubarb, cut into about 2 inch lengths
1/2 cup raw sugar
2 Tbsp flour
1 cup (100g) almond meal
1 cup (145g) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (100g) sugar
1/4 cup (50g) raw sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 sticks (170g) unsalted butter, cold, cut into chunks

 

- PROCESS -

ICE CREAM

Freeze the bowl of your ice cream maker at least 24 hours before you begin.

In a medium pot, whisk together milk, cream, sugar, salt and egg yolks. Add the chopped kaffir lime leaves and stir to combine. Cover with a lid or plastic wrap, and place in the fridge for one hour. 

Remove from the fridge, and heat over medium heat, stirring often. Cook until the sugar has dissolved, the mixture is just shy of a simmer, has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon. Watch carefully to ensure that it does not split (which will happen if you let it get too hot). Pass the custard mixture through a fine mesh sieve. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate until completely chilled, at least two hours, or overnight.

Churn in your ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions. Transfer to a freezer safe container (I used a loaf tin), and place a piece of wax paper or plastic wrap on the surface. Freeze until solid.

RHUBARB ALMOND CRUMBLE

Preheat the oven to 350˚f / 180˚c. Toss together the chopped rhubarb, 1/2 cup of raw sugar and 2 Tbsp of flour. Turn the fruit mixture into a 9" x 9" baking dish, or square tin of similar size (I used a 7" x 10" baking dish). 

In a large bowl, stir together the almond meal, flour, sugar, raw sugar, and salt. Rub the butter in using your fingertips until the mixture becomes clumpy and crumbly. Sprinkle the crumble mixture over the prepared rhubarb. 

Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the topping is golden brown and the fruit is bubbly. Allow to stand for 10 minutes, then dust with icing sugar. Serve with the Kaffir Lime Ice cream.

Rhubarb almond crumble with kaffir lime ice cream - the perfect way to hero rhubarb. A super simple summer dessert that can easily be adapted to use your favourite fruit. Paired with a delicately flavoured kaffir lime ice cream, this is the ultimate comfort food.