You have not met a cheesecake as pretty as this! Lighter than your average cheesecake, this is set with chocolate ganache. There are many ways to make a no-bake cheesecake, but I have 2 trusted ways to make my version.
A few years ago Valrhona introduced a new line of products called Valrhona Inspiration. These are different chocolates flavoured with various fruits and nut, and I use this for my no-bake cheesecakes these days. I call this the Valrhona Inspiration Cheesecake.
This is the version I am sharing today. This is the original method of how I made my cheesecake before Valrhona Inspiration came along. This one uses white chocolate ganache, and you can use any kind of baking white chocolate. The flavour and colour come from pureed (blended) strawberries, and the good thing is, both frozen and fresh strawberries will work in this recipe, so use whichever one you prefer.
What is a ganache?
Ganache is a term used for a mixture of chocolate and cream. There are different ratios for ganache depending on it’s purpose, a higher ratio of chocolate to cream makes a firmer ganache that can be used for truffles and tart fillings while the opposite results to a runnier ganache that is great for dips, sauces and glaze.
What is the purpose of ganache in this recipe?
There are plenty of ways to make a no-bake cheesecake, and the main difference lies on what sets the cheesecake. Baked cheesecake have eggs in them that act as a binder, however, there are no eggs in this recipe. Some recipes use gelatine to set the cheesecake but I find that tricky, because there are different gelatine strengths. Other recipes use whipped cream but whipped cream gradually loses it’s stiffness resulting to your cheesecake softening. However, I found that using white chocolate ganache not only adds a nice flavour to the cream cheese, it also sets it beautifully and gives it a smooth texture and the cheesecake holds together better.
Now that you know how the recipe works, it’s time to get the bowls and whisks ready and try my recipe! I wrote it as easy to follow as possible, but if you still have questions, please feel free to ask in the comments section below. This takes longer to set than a cheesecake made with gelatine but the taste develops and it is actually better the next day. One last thing, if you want a brighter pink hue, a drop or 2 of food gel colour is all it takes.
No-bake Strawberry Cheesecake
Makes 1 x 20cm springform pan
For the crust
- For the strawberry puree:
- For the filling
- Optional for serving
Make the crust
- Using a food processor, blend the cookies into fine crumbs. Slowly add the brown butter. Mix until it resembles wet sand.
- Take a 20cm (8in) round springform pan and press crumbs into the bottom and all the way up the sides with the back of a measuring cup. Chill until filling is done. Prepare the chocolate
- Place the chocolate in a medium bowl. In a small sauce pan bring the cream to the boil and pour on top of chocolate. Let sit for a minute. Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon or mariz (rubber spatula) until smooth. Set aside to cool down. Prepare the strawberry puree
- If using frozen strawberries, thaw the strawberries completely. Cut into smaller pieces and remove any stems. Place strawberries and lemon juice in the blender jug and blend into a smooth puree. Set aside. Make the filling
- In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, or a large mixing bowl with a handheld mixer, whisk cream cheese on medium speed until fluffy then add strawberry puree then whisk for 1 minute. Turn up mixer to high speed then add sugar a spoonful at a time and mix until smooth.
- Turn mixer down add the melted chocolate and cream mixture (ganache). Then whisk on high until smooth. Pour filling into prepared pan, then with a hot offset spatula or spoon, flatten the top. Chill to set for at least 8 hours or overnight. To serve
- Whip cream and vanilla until medium peaks. Refrigerate until ready to serve. The cheesecake is ready when it is hard to the touch and fully set.
- Unmold the cheesecake from the springform pan carefully. Run a knife under hot water and slice cheesecake into 12 portions. Wipe knife after each stroke. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream and fresh strawberries (if using).
- Measurement is based on yield after the unsalted butter has been cooked. Please watch this video on how to make brown butter or beurre noisette.