No Bake Cheesecake for Two
For some reason, I have really had a desire for some cheesecake lately. Personally, I’ve always preferred the lighter, more whipped, no-bake versions to the really thick and rich ones… so I thought I would try my hand at a recipe I could make just a couple servings of for times like this.
I wanted to see if I could get that sweet, cheesecake flavor in something that.. well.. I’m not going to call this “healthy”, but is maybe a bit healthier than what you might find on the typical dessert menu.
So I started out with the cream cheese – I purposely chose a whipped one because even though I figured I was going to portion by weight, it would make it easier to further whip it with the rest of my ingredients. I used a regular, since it’s a small portion of the overall filling I did want as much of the cream cheese flavor as I could get. I measured my cream cheese based on weight. If you don’t have a kitchen scale – get one. If that’s not an option, most of these containers are 8oz total weight, so use about 1/4 of the container.
Next, I have seen a number of recipes like this that call for sour cream. I didn’t wish to buy a container just for this so I opted for Greek yogurt. While I don’t always shy away from the 2% fat yogurt, and have often used a 4% one that really is hard to distinguish from sour cream in dishes, I had a 0% fat on hand so I used that. Again, I used weights – if you need to go by volume, try about 1/4 cup
One ingredient I went back and forth on is the “whipped topping” that so often is used in such recipes to add volume to a dish like this.
For sweetener, I went with honey, I figured it would incorporate better into the filling than a granular sugar, though you could try it you don’t have honey. You could also try a low-calorie sweetener like stevia extract. I am also curious about maybe trying a batch with maple syrup at some point. With the right topping, it might work really well.
For the crust, graham cracker crust is one of my favorites… but since I used it in a pumpkin pie years back, I’ve also liked using nut-crumb crusts. For this one, I used chopped walnuts. Again, I went by weight… volume would maybe be about 1/4 cup once they’re chopped up. If you would rather try a graham cracker or cookie crumb crust… give it a shot.
For this one batch, I used a clear glass bowl I have, because I figured it would make for a good photo. But the original plan was to use two ramekins, making two single-serve portions. If you have a mini spring-form pan you could try that, or whatever other dish you wish to use. Keep in mind it needs to have about 1-1/2 cups total volume.
The topping is where you can really make this yours. Use a prepared, or make your own pie filling. Fresh fruit maybe? A drizzle of melted chocolate? Some of both? How about some no-sugar added fruit spread? And by the way, I bet you would never guess that my apple pie filling there also contains some veggietables… I’ll share more on that later.
And with St. Patrick’s Day having just passed, I decided to try a little variation… I wanted to do mint, but the store I stopped at was out of mint extract. then as I walked past the dairy case, I caught sight of the Chobani yogurts, key lime in particular. So I had a bit of inspiration – lime is green, right? The recipe uses Greek yogurt. So why not?
Ok, it’s not all that green, but I’m only a little bit Irish anyways. And for the topping, I took about 1-1/2 tablespoons of chocolate chips and 1 teaspoon of butter, melted them together, stirred well, and drizzled over the cheese cake – it made a sort of magic shell sort of topping. I was going to use coconut oil, but I had some butter out for something else and used what was left.
Now for some, using a non-dairy whipped topping is… not a good thing. And I do understand that, the whole hydrogenated oil thing. It’s just that in a a recipe such as this, it doesn’t break down like whip cream does. But… that said… there are lots of recipes out there for making stabilized whip cream that you could do as part of this recipe if you want to go that route. If I get a chance to try some that way down the road, I’ll post an update… but I didn’t relish the idea of trying to whip up some cream when I don’t have an electric mixer right now. Maybe another time.