Cheesecake is amazing. I have a serious addiction to cream cheese – I totally admit to eating chunks of it solo, completely overwhelming bagels and dipping graham crackers in Temptee, the ultimate cream cheese. Sadly, it’s not available in the Midwest so I’m forced to eat cheesecake instead. Diana agrees 900% and while she puts a more modest amount on a bagel, she certainly doesn’t mind eating cheesecake for breakfast instead. So here we are, suggesting you make this super easy no-bake cheesecake and eat the leftovers for breakfast.
Years ago, I made a crème fraîche panna cotta inspired by Thomas Keller. Since the flavors and textures made sense and the recipe was so so easy, I lightened it up for a lady soirée with Greek yogurt and got rave reviews. Taking the same things into consideration here, we made this dessert a tiny bit lighter with non-fat Greek yogurt and some almond milk but kept the richness and tang from regular cream cheese and luxurious crème fraîche. It satisfies every craving you have and if you eat half of it, it really isn’t the end of the world. At least that’s what we’re telling ourselves, anyway.
You can make it ahead and it lasts about a week in the fridge if you manage to control yourself and not eat it one forkful at a time while binge-watching Netflix. It’s the perfect easy, make-ahead, but impress everyone dessert for the holidays and we hope you get leftovers to enjoy in the morning.
ab + DZ
- 2 cups graham cracker crumbs (14 crackers smashed up really well)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
- 1 ½ teaspoons powdered gelatin
- 1 tablespoon water
- 4 cups of delicious stuff - We used 8 ounces cream cheese, 8 ounces crème fraîche, 8 ounces Greek yogurt and 8 ounces almond milk but any combination will work as long as you keep the liquid component at 8 ounces.
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
- strawberries, for garnish
- Combine graham crackers, sugar and warm, melted butter. Press evenly around an 8-inch spring form pan. If you thoroughly enjoy the magical smell of toasted graham crackers and butter, you can bake at 350°F for about 10 minutes, but the crust will hold together and still be amazing if you don’t feel like turning on your oven. In either scenario, pop it in the fridge so the pan and crust are cold before you fill it.
- In a small bowl, add gelatin powder to water and let it sit for about a minute to bloom. This will ensure that the gelatin dissolves and you don’t have anything grainy floating around your cheesecake. In a small saucepan, bring milk and sugar to a simmer over medium heat. Whisk in gelatin until it dissolves. Add vanilla bean paste and take off the heat. Whisk in remaining creamy ingredients until the mixture is completely smooth. Pour in graham cracker crust and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Garnish with sliced strawberries before serving. Devour at your leisure.