True or false: I have been dying to get my hands on some mini spring-form pans so that I can make adorable, baby-sized cheesecakes? True. So true! I'm a total sucker for miniaturized versions of regular things. In college, my dorm was filled with all kinds of crap that I bought for the sole reason that they were tiny and cute. Miniature condiment jars, tiny milk cartons full of candy, baby staplers...I've gotten better with age, but sometimes I still can't help myself.
Look at how cute my new pans are! And they're so useful for portion-control. Now, instead of filling my fridge with a full-sized, fat-filled cheesecake, I can make tiny, guilt-free portions of the same delicious treat. Nevermind that Dan thinks it defeats the purpose when I end up making four mini-cheesecakes per batch anyway...
The beauty of this cheesecake is that it doesn't need to be baked. It just gets mixed and chilled over night before being served. The only reason it's called "Almost No-Bake Cheesecake" instead of "No-Bake Cheesecake" is that the graham cracker crusts spend a little time in the oven before the filling goes on top. Still, the cheesecake itself doesn't need to be baked at all.
This was my first time eating un-baked cheesecake, but I've decided that I'm never going back to baked cheesecake again. Each bite was just so light and fluffy in it's creaminess, not super dense like a regular cheesecake. And, whereas regular cheesecake sits like a rock in your stomach after just one slice, this cake slides down so easy and you don't feel like you've eaten much of anything at all. Guilt free! And...very dangerous for dieters! It's like Emily said after we demolished an entire cheesecake despite being uncomfortably full from lunch -- "It's scary how easy it is to eat this."
Almost No-Bake Cheesecake (Adapted from Closet Cooking's No-Bake Cheesecake recipe)
Ingredients: Makes enough for 2 4-inch springform pans.
- 1/2 cup crushed graham cracker crumbs. (About 8 crackers)
- 1 tbsp melted butter
- 1-1/2 tbsp brown sugar
- 8oz cream cheese
- 1/2 cup heavy cream, whipped
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/4 cup sugar
(1) Preheat oven to 325.
(2) Mix graham cracker crumbs, melted butter and brown sugar. Press into the bottoms of 2 4-inch spring form pans.
(3) Bake crust for 8 minutes. Set aside.
(4) In a large bowl, whip heavy cream with an electric beater until thick. Set aside.
(5) In a medium bowl, cream together sugar, lemon juice, and cream cheese. Gently fold into whipped cream mixture until well combined.
(6) Evenly divide filling between two pans, pouring it on top of the crust in each pan.
(7) Chill in the fridge overnight.
(8) Serve plain or with fruit topping.