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No bake mousse cheesecake with apple, maple and bourbon topping

click for larger view of No Bake Mousse Cheesecake

Traditional American cheesecakes tend to be baked in the oven and then chilled for quite a few hours, all time consuming. Plus, if they're overcooked (which is easy), they are a disappointment as well as being a waste of time and money. Even when I lived in England I made my cheesecakes the no bake way, normally with a fresh strawberry topping. It is just set with gelatin in the fridge and ready to eat in about 2 hours. Even less in the winter, when you can put it on the deck on the snow.

I make chocolate peanut butter, dark chocolate Kahl˙a, dark chocolate orange, white chocolate raspberry, white chocolate hazelnut, apricot and margarita versions. I always say take a recipe you know works and come up with as many variations as possible. So if anyone comes up with some fabulous new taste combination, please let me know.

Ingredients

Crust
  • 1 plastic sleeve of graham crackers finely crushed
  • ½ stick (2oz) of butter melted - no need for added sugar (or buy ready made graham cracker crust)
Filling
  • 1 lb (2 x 8oz blocks) of cream cheese at room temperature (lite cream cheese is fine, but even with gelatin, lite cream cheese gives a softer consistency)
  • 2/3 c powdered sugar
  • 1 cup whipping or heavy cream
  • 1 envelope of Knox gelatin sprinkled on 2 tablespoons cold water in microwave safe bowl
  • 1 tbsp Bourbon whisky or apple schnapps (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Topping
  • 2 Gala, Fuji or Braeburn apples, peeled, cored and shredded like shredded cheese
  • ¾ c water
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/3 c maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp Bourbon or apple schnapps
  • 2 tsp cornstarch mixed with 2 tbsp water

Method

1. Mix together crushed cookies and melted butter. Press into bottom of 9-10" spring form pan. I actually do like to bake the crust for 10 minutes in a 350° oven and then cool.

2. Leave gelatin and water to sit for 2 minutes. Heat for about 12 seconds (start with less time so liquid doesn't 'boil over') in the microwave until you can see the gelatin dissolve and form a pale yellow, see through liquid with no grains visible any longer. It is important to totally dissolve the gelatin otherwise it will set into little chewy lumps.

3. In a separate 6-8 c bowl beat together cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, and Bourbon and beat until smooth. Taste and decide if you want more bourbon or sugar.

4. Beat dissolved gelatin into cream cheese mix.

5. Pour 1 cup of cream into different bowl and beat cream until stiff.

6. Gently beat cream into cream cheese mix. Pour mix into cooled crust and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or until firm.

7. Put shredded apples, water, cinnamon, and maple syrup in small saucepan and cook, covered, over gentle heat until apples are softened - about 10-15 minutes. I find they won't go very soft, but retain some bite. Taste and adjust amount of maple syrup and cinnamon. At this stage you might need to add ╝-1/2 cup more water if too much liquid has evaporated from pan. Stir in Bourbon, add cornstarch mixed with water, bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer and cook for 2-3 minutes until sauce thickens slightly and doesn't taste of raw cornstarch. Remove from heat and leave to cool (cheesecake would melt if hot sauce was poured over it.) The sauce looks better and sits better on the cheesecake when it is thickened with cornstarch. Sauce can also be cooked in the microwave.

8. Once cheesecake has set, remove from fridge, pour cold apple sauce on top (you mightn't want all of it), run a thin plastic spatula or knife around edge between cheesecake and pan, release spring form and remove. Gently run a knife between cookie base and bottom of pan and slide cheesecake onto serving plate.
Notes
  • Reduce amount of cookie crumbs and butter for a thinner base and less calories, or just sprinkle ¼-½ cup dry crumbs over base of spring form pan.
  • Put base of spring form pan into pan so it is held in a 'table' position, not a bowl position, otherwise the cheesecake will not slide off the base.
  • If you use a spring form pan with a glass base, there is no need to remove cheesecake from glass base.
  • Straight from the fridge, the cheesecake is quite firm, after half an hour it has a very mousse like consistency but is still firm enough to slice.
  • To make the cheesecake go further, prepare it in a larger spring form pan or make 2 smaller cheesecakes as it is very rich. Leftover apple topping is great with ham or pork etc.

PLEASE NOTE THAT SUBSTITUTIONS AND DIFFERENT METHODS WILL AFFECT FINAL TASTE.
© 2000-2007 Royal Temptations


Oonagh Williams, proprietor of Royal Temptations, has a Culinary Arts degree, offers Catering services, teaches a variety of classes in International Cooking, makes regular appearances on WMUR ABC Channel 9's Cooks' Corner and has her own series on Merrimack TV. You can contact Oonagh at 603-424-6412.
 
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