I’ve been on a little cheesecake kick recently. Prompted by… no good reason other than a craving for cheesecake. On Thursday I made a no-bake, ricotta and berry variety, with a pecan graham crust. I thought it was wonderful, Josh took a few bites and refrained from any more the rest of the weekend :) This one was slightly healthy (I used neufchâtel cream cheese and part skim ricotta sweetened with honey and no sugar, the crust featured coconut oil instead of butter, and the topping was a mixture of fresh and beautiful summer berries), and definitely had a different texture than classic cheesecake. Still, you can’t beat no-bake on a weeknight, and I thought this treat was perfectly summery and wonderful.
To make up for the poor reception of the ricotta cheesecake, I let Josh pick the flavor for the next one. First he requested plain (not an option), and then when I pressed him to be more creative, he went with Oreo. He has a wild and adventurous palate, for sure. This second cheesecake was much more traditional, featuring full fat cream cheese, sour cream, an oreo and butter crust, and topped with a rich chocolate ganache. My only regret is not saving some oreos for the topping, but at the time I was just too involved in the stress relieving activity of smashing oreos with the rolling pin to save any whole cookies :)
So there you have it, a cheesecake for every mood. Feeling like a lighter and quicker variety that won’t leave you thinking that bathing suit season is officially over, this first cheesecake hits the mark. Looking for a rich and ultra creamy traditional cheesecake that will satisfy any dessert sweet tooth, go for the oreo version. Either way, I say you win.
Adapted from the New York Times
Ricotta No Bake Cheesecake
- 16 graham cracker squares (8 whole crackers), crushed
- ¼ cup ground pecans
- 3 tablespoons melted coconut oil
- 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 2 tablespoons honey, or to taste
- Rind of a lemon, freshly grated
- Pinch salt
- About 1 1/2 cups fresh blackberries and strawberries
Combine crushed graham crackers, nuts if using, and melted butter. Press evenly into bottom of an 8- or 9-inch square pan (glass is good) to form a crust about 1/4-inch thick. Put in refrigerator until ready to use. Using a standing or hand mixer, or a whisk, combine cream cheese, ricotta, honey, lemon rind and salt, and blend until smooth. Spread cheese mixture carefully and evenly over crust, using a spatula or butter knife to smooth top. Cover with fresh blueberries and chill for at least an hour, or until set. Cut into squares or bars and serve.
Oreo Ganache Cheesecake
- 1 pkg. (350 g or 550 g if you want more) Oreo cookies, divided
- 1/3 cup butter, melted
- 3 pkgs. (8-oz. – 250 g) cream cheese, softened
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 325 F. Finely crush about 15-20 cookies and coarsely chop about 10 cookies; set aside. Mix finely crushed cookie crumbs and melted butter in a bowl. Press on bottom of a 9-inch springform pan; set aside.In an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and sugar at medium speed until creamy. Add eggs one at a time and beat only until just incorporated (beating the eggs too much is what makes the surface crack). Add sour cream and vanilla and beat for 30 seconds and then fold in chopped cookies. Spread mixture onto prepared crust. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes or until set. (If necessary to prevent top from browning, tent with foil for the last 15 to 20 minutes of baking). If it’s really wobbly, it’s not ready; if it’s only slightly wobbly (one ripple), it’s ready – it will set as it cools. Turn off heat and leave to cool completely in oven. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or preferably overnight before serving.Run a hot knife around the side to remove from pan. If necessary, level off top with a serrated knife. Spread chocolate glaze and garnish with Oreo halves or as desired.Chocolate ganache1/2 cup (125 ml) heavy cream1/8 cup (25 g) sugar1 tbsp (25 g) butter1/8 cup (25 g) corn syrup125 g bittersweet chocolate, coarsely choppedPlace chocolate in a heat proof bowl. Heat the cream, sugar, butter and corn syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat until just simmering and pour over chocolate. Mix until smooth. Pour immediately over cake and spread with an offset spatula. Do not wait too long before spreading on cake otherwise the glaze with start to seize and leave unsightly lines.