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Therapeutic (non) baking

Therapeutic (non) baking

I would like to take a moment first to wish two April 2 babies a Happy Birthday. Happy Birthday to my baby sister, Annie, and my friend Catherine. Both of them are turning 23 today. Have a wonderful birthday, you two! 

What a busy couple of weeks it has been. I could feel time just whooshing past me at warp speed. I appreciate baking or cooking because it forces me to just stop and focus on just one thing instead the other things going on in my life. If you can find a hobby or activity that you enjoy, keep it up, no matter how busy you are. That’s my Dr. Phil advice for the day.

This past week I was in Baton Rouge for a few days on a business trip. I flew into Houston Wednesday evening and had to go to another client visit the next day. [Tip- Try Jollie Pearl Oyster Bar in Baton Rouge-especially the brie and bacon baked oysters. You won’t be sorry.]  With all the client site visits, Friday would be the only day that I would be in the office.

 I got word that a coworker’s birthday was on Friday, so naturally, I jumped at the opportunity to get in some therapeutic (non)baking. Cue the cheesecake. No bake. No fuss. But smooth, creamy, and light? Yes.

Inspiration hit me for this no bake cheesecake a few months ago when I was searching up recipes for a white chocolate mousse. I remember seeing a picture of a beautiful white mousse, with specks of vanilla bean. On top was an orange jelly. I don’t remember exactly where it came from- I think it was an upscale restaurant in London, but the fact of the matter was, I wanted to recreate something like it.  After testing different recipes – this is by far one of my favorite “no bake” cheesecakes.  You can flavor it however you like. It’s a beautiful blank slate that you can make yours. Add fruit. Add chocolate. Swirl in chopped cookies. This is not going to be as dense as most cheesecakes, because it takes more of a “mousse” texture and air, but it still has the rich and creamy taste. 

This cheesecake was with paired fresh fruit, along with a homemade berry sauce, and fresh mint. The tartness of the berries paired well with the silky and sweet cheesecake. With vanilla bean and orange, this is one fragrant dessert. Someone make a candle out of this, kthanks.

I made this cake in a 10 in spring form pan, so it was a rather large cake. Not one crumb was left by the end of Friday. Not one. I guess my coworkers liked it?


No Bake Cheesecake

  • ·        1 package of cream cheese, room temperature
  • ·        1 package/tub of mascarpone cheese, room temperature
  • ·        1 tub of crème fraiche
  • ·        ½ cup of heavy whipping cream
  • ·        Juice of 2 navel oranges
  • ·        Orange zest of 2 navel oranges
  • ·        ½ cup of honey
  • ·        ¾ cup of sugar
  • ·        Vanilla beans from 1 vanilla bean pod
  • ·        5 gelatin sheets
  • ·        1 tbs of rum
  • ·        1 package of GOYA Maria cookie biscuits
  • ·        ½ cup of brown sugar
  • ·        1 ½ stick of butter, melted
  • ·        1 cup of assorted berries
  • ·        Mint, for garnish
  • ·        Optional: Berry Sauce- recipe to follow.

1.       Pulverize the cookies and brown sugar at high speed in a food processor until you get very fine crumbs. Slowly add the melted butter while the food processor is going at low speed.

2.       Pour the mixture in a spring form pan. Press the sandy and buttery mixture down and spread to cover the entire bottom of the pan. Place in the freezer to set.

3.       Wash/dry the food processor bowl/blade before making the filling.

4.       In the food processor, mix together the cream cheese, crème fraiche, and mascarpone cheese with the vanilla bean, honey, and ½ of the orange juice. Add the sugar and zest and process until smooth. Taste the filling and add more sugar if needed.

5.       Soften the gelatin in a bowl of water. Once soft, squeeze out the excess water and add to a saucepan with the other ½ of the orange juice and rum. Melt the gelatin and combine with the juice and rum over low heat until the gelatin has fully dissolved.  Set aside to cool for about 5-10 minutes.

6.       In a stand mixer or with an electric mixture, whip the heavy cream until it reaches soft peaks.  Set aside

7.       Slowly pour the gelatin mixture while the food processor is mixing at low speed. Once combined, add the cream cheese mixture to the whipped cream and fold until combined.

8.       Pour the cheesecake mixture over the cookie crust and chill for about 3 hours or until set. Run a knife dipped in hot water through the edges of the cake, and carefully release the cheesecake from the spring form pan. Top with fresh berries and mint leaves.

Berry Sauce

  • ·        1 cup of assorted berries. If you’re using strawberries, chop them into halves or quarters.
  • ·        ½ cup of sugar
  • ·        ½ cup of orange juice

1.       Add all ingredients to a saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat.

2.       Once the mixture reaches a rapid boil, set the heat down to low and let it bubble and simmer for about 10 minutes, mixing the sauce every so often with a wooden spoon. To prevent the sauce from bubbling over, place the wooden spoon over the saucepan.

3.       Let the sauce cool before pouring over the cheesecake. 

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