Sunday, 2 September 2012

No-Bake Lemon Cheesecake

Firstly, I'd like to take this opportunity to wish my papa a Happy Father's Day as well as to all the awesome father's out there! I've been meaning to come up with a 3 day baking marathon for father's day but I guess it was out of my league since I've got plenty of other important work-related stuff to do before Monday. I baked the banana cake mini's as my first instalment, knowing that my dad (and everyone else in my family) likes bananas...and not to mention that I had requests for an encore to bake the banana cake again, hehe. On the next day, I decided to make something rather simple that my dad had recently expressed his likings to, the No-bake Lemon Cheesecake. My sisters love it as well but on the contrary, mum and I personally prefer the classical baked cheesecake that I've always made in the past. I guess it's because the both of us cringe at the sour taste in desserts, although the cake is not explicitly sour. Mum and I are one of a kind where we've always had a sweet tooth and have minimal love for sour foods. Most of our dishes at home barely incorporate any sourness, only sometimes. I know certain people can eat a lemon or a grapefruit as it is (accompanied by salt or sugar at times) but I have low tolerance for it. You'll see me squirming and screeching when I eat something sour.

This cake doesn't take too long to bake which sort of makes me feel guilty about the amount of effort I've put into this special occasion. Originally, I wanted to decorate the cake to make it look a little more 'manly'...if there is such a word to describe a cake. Unfortunately, it turned out looking rather feminine and girly. I can't help it, Spring has just arrived and oooh! look at that lovely sunshine. I'm inspired to make something more light and vibrant to suit this season which turned out like...this. Sorry papa, you do live in a household that is dominated by women's 4 against 1, heehaw.

For people who don't have an oven or that it is broken and waiting for it to be fixed, you don't need to be deprived from having cake as you only need to refridgerate it. Saves a lot of gas and electricity on your bill as well, haha.

No-Bake Lemon Cheesecake

125g unsalted butter, melted
Arrowroot biscuits, need approx. 20 biscuits (Marie or Nice biscuits may be used in place of arrowroot), finely crushed
500g cream cheese, softened
2 tsp vanilla essence (I use Imitation Vanilla)
1/3 cup lemon juice
a tin of condensed milk (395g)
Optional: zest of 1 lemon

1. Line the base of a 20cm springform cake tin with baking paper.

2. Make the biscuit base. In a bowl, combine the biscuit and butter and mix well with a spoon. Press firmly onto the base of the cake tin and refrigerate for approx. 30min. You may sprinkle in some caster sugar into the biscuit mix if you want to emulate the 'Nice' biscuit.

3. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer at medium speed, beat the cream cheese and vanilla until smooth.

4. Gradually add condensed milk and lemon and beat until smooth. I start off with 1/3 of condensed milk, then half of lemon juice and then repeat.

5. Pour the batter onto the biscuit base and refrigerate for 3-4 hours or leave overnight. Remove from tin and serve.

If you want to incorporate strawberries like what I've done, first of all, make sure they're all in similar height and not too tall or else you have strawberries poking out of your cheesecake. Strawberries ideally 3-4cm in height, approximately (or shorter). Cut the strawberries in half and line them up in the cake tin (as shown below) with equal distances apart. I like to spread a thin layer of the cheesecake batter evenly onto the base first before adding the strawberries for more support, then pour most of the cheesecake batter in.

Stick in full strawberries in the middle of the cake and then add the rest of the batter in. Using an offset spatula, make an even surface and make sure the strawberries are well covered. Easy-peasy japanesy?

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