No-bake Kiwi Cheesecake
One of my very first memories of Australia involves cheesecake.
Recently immigrated to Australia in the 80s, mum, dad, my little bro and I would go to the local Woolworths to get our weekly groceries, filling our shopping carts with all the goodies of the new country: family size packs of chips, loaves of Country Split white bread, Hundreds & Thousands (for fairy bread), pelican-endorsed Fruit Loops cereal, and from the frozen food section, there were always a couple of boxes of Sara Lee's classic French vanilla cheesecake.
I'm sure there were lots of other things in the cart (like vegetables for example) but our memories are such a peculiar thing, and the fat kid in me remembers this pretty much.
We'd go home, and mum would immediately open that box adorned with the famous red logo, and eat it slice after slice - still in its frozen state because of course we couldn't wait. I bet sometimes we used a spoon and dug in just like that.
Even after all these years, cheesecake brings up those memories of mum with that red and white box opened on the table next to her.
Cheesecake is such a classic. I don't think I'm wrong to say that cheesecake (and perhaps brownies) is up there on the list of the first things most of us make when we decide to dabble in baking.
It's popular for a reason. I've never met a person who doesn't like cream cheese, and cream cheese in cake format is something nobody can say no to.
So let's do this - in a no-bake, fresh whipped cream version with a fruit decoration tip that will make you look like a real pro.
This no-bake cheesecake is easy to make guys. It's delicious, quick, and the fridge does most of the work for you. Here are a few tips:
- You can crush the biscuits without a food processor: put them in a zip-lock bag and crush them with the flat bottom of a glass or a rolling pin;
- For whipping the cream, just be careful to make sure the cream is very cold (put it in the fridge for a few hours), cool the bowl as well if you like to make it whip up the way it should. Be careful after it reaches soft peaks as it can start getting grainy very soon after that, at which point you are actually making butter.
- Keep this whipped cream cold in the fridge as you work with the other ingredients.
- For the topping: you can do this mosaic kiwi fruit decoration as I did, top with any fresh cut fruit, or follow my instructions below for a balsamic cherry topping. Whatever rocks your boat, go with it I say.
Celebrate the fat kid inside and make some other people happy whilst you're at it.
Diana x 😘
NO BAKE CHEESECAKE WITH KIWI FRUIT
Makes 21cm cake, 8 servings
250 g digestive biscuits
120 g butter, melted
2 tbs sugar
pinch of salt
450 g cream cheese, drained
90 g icing sugar
280 g Greek yogurt (full-fat)
2 tsp vanilla extract
240 ml heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks
2-3 kiwis or fresh berries, mango, of choice
1. Place biscuits in a plastic zip lock bag and crush with a rolling pin until finely ground (if you don't have a rolling pin, simply use the back of a measuring cup, glass, or hands!). Move to a medium bowl and add the melted butter, two tablespoons of sugar and pinch of salt, mix well.
2. Press the crumbs as evenly as possible into a 21 cm springform pan, pressing flat onto the base and going up the sides about 3 cm.
3. In a large bowl, using an electric hand mixer on high, beat the cream cheese until fluffy (about 3 mins). Add icing sugar, yogurt, vanilla and pinch of salt, beat until smooth, about 1-2 mins. Using a spatula, combine the whipped cream using a folding motion into the cream cheese mixture.
4. Scoop mixture onto the crust and smooth out the top. Cover and refrigerate until set - about 6-8 hours, or simply overnight.
5. Take your pick of fresh fruit for topping the cheesecake or:
- Balsamic Cherries 🍒🍒: simmer 300g of pitted cherries with 1 tbs of cornstarch, 1 tsp of balsamic vinegar, 1 tbs sugar in a pan over low heat until the cherries are soft and syrupy, about 5-7 mins. Let cool completely in fridge before topping the cake.
- Mosaic Kiwifruit: peel the kiwis and slice a thin layer off one of the ends. Using this flat end as a base to support the kiwi on your chopping board, cut into 5mm thick slices (cutting through the length of the kiwi, not into rounds). Chop away the rounded edges of each slice and further cut into triangles and rectangles. Neatly arrange over the cheesecake.