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BakersRoyale Guest Post: SoNo’s No Bake Cheesecake

As you all know, my time on the blog has gotten very much shorter and the time to try new recipes and invent chocolate truffle combinations has been almost obliterated by the massive workload I have to complete. If I intend to save my degree, it’s all got to be done and The Sugar Bar has, unfortunately, to be placed on the backburner for a while. Nevertheless, I will update regularly (as much as I can) with some interesting pictures and places/little bits to eat. I won’t be gone completely of course. You see me on Twitter way too much.

The lovely Naomi, of BakersRoyale, noticing my struggle was very kind enough to suggest guest-posting for me and created a beautiful bit of heaven in the shape of a mini cake, all in the essence of a person with limited time and kitchen space.

I met Naomi, or actually I found her, through one of the cake posts she submitted to Foodgawker and boy, did I gawk. Her cakes are stunning, little bits of art to be honest and all so meticulously put together. And I bet they taste as divine as they look – always quivering on my laptop screen, tempted to plop right out of it straight onto my dessert plate. She’s truly inspiring and such an easy-going person, we got along straightaway! In fact, sometimes I do wonder if she’s actually a twin of mine. We’re on the same wavelength. But enough of my chitter-chatter, let me give you Naomi! Here’s what she said:

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SoNo’s No Bake Cheesecake ~ A no bake cheesecake dressed up in a pistachio crumb and topped with some fresh raspberries.

This famous cheesecake is from John Barricelli’s SoNo Bakery in Connecticut and is featured in his SoNo Bakery book. After trying several no bake cheesecakes, this is hands down the best-period.

The bits of lemon and orange zest give the cheesecake a citrus balance that will refresh your palate with every bite. Add the pistachio crumb and the raspberries and this cheesecake moves from delicious to heavenly.

Aside from taste, the other reason I love this version of a no-bake cheesecake is John Barricelli’s use of gelatin to help set it. Now while he describes the finishing mixture as a mousse, I find the finishing mixture more similar to a baked cheesecake. No-bake versions tend to be very light and where this recipe not only has the velvety texture of a baked cheesecake, but it also has enough weight for every bite to be well tasted, rather than submitting and dissipating on contact.

I miniaturized this dessert into two inch mini cheesecakes the original recipe calls for a 9 inch pastry ring. If you don’t have one, a springform pan will work just as well.

SoNo’s No Bake Cheesecake
Ingredients

Crust:
1 1/2 cup crushed graham cracker
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
7 tablespoon unsalted butter(melted)
Cheesecake:
¼ cup water
1 tablespoon powdered gelatin
2 ¼ cups heavy cream
1 pound cream cheese, room temperature (at least six hours)
2/3 sugar
1 teaspoon coarse salt
Grated zest of orange
Grated zest of lemon
2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
¾ sour cream

For assembly
1 cup pistachios, shelled and finely chopped
2 cups raspberries

For the crust:

1. Combine graham cracker crumbs with sugar.
2. Add melted butter and blend until combined.
3. Press into pan. Set aside.

For the cheesecake:

1. Bring 1 inch of water to a simmer in the bottom of a double boiler. Sprinkle water over gelatin and let stand for 5 minutes.
2. Using a spatula scrape the softened gelatin and place it into the top of the double boiler. Set it over simmering water and heat until the mixture becomes liquid. Remove from heat and set aside.
3. Using the whisk attachment of a stand mixer, beat the cream to medium peaks. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
4. Replace whisk attachment with a paddle. Wash out bowl. Add cream cheese, sugar, salt, lemon and orange zest and lemon juice in mixer bowl and beat on medium high speed until the mixture is smooth, about 5 minutes.
5. Add a dollop of cream mixture to the gelatin and fold with a rubber spatula. Return the gelatin mixture to the remaining cream cheese mixture and fold together.
6. Scrap the new mousse mixture into pastry rings or springform. Smooth the top and cover with plastic. Freeze for at least four hours or overnight to set.
7. Remove cake. The cake will have a slight sunken center. Using spread sour cream on top as if icing a cake to even out the top.
8. To remove from pastry ring, use a hot towel and wrap it around the ring. You may have to do this twice.
9. Don’t worry about the uneven sides as it will be covered with the pistachio crumb.

To assemble:

Cover sides with pistachio crumb and garnish top with raspberries.