If you're searching for a no bake cheesecake recipe, look no more. It looks fancy but it's ultra easy to assemble. As a bonus, it's an egg-free dessert. So what's not to love? Give this mascarpone cheese dessert a try.
I flavored the cheesecake filling with strawberries and added bananas for a thicker texture. Instead of placing the cheesecake in a spring-form pan, I decided this time to shape the dessert in a long triangular mold I usually use for making terrines (French jellied meatloaf). I first covered the molds with store-bought Italian-style lady finger puffs and completed it with the strawberry-and-banana-flavored cheesecake filling. The presentation turned out pretty spectacular. You know the saying: you eat with your eyes first!
Servings: 10 servings
1 (17.6-ounce) package mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
2 cups heavy cream, cold
1-½ cups granulated sugar, to taste
1/8 teaspoon salt
1-½ teaspoons xanthan gum
1-½ teaspoons liquid lecithin
1-½ tablespoons canola oil (or any neutral oil)
1-½ teaspoons vanilla extract
2 pounds fresh ripe strawberries
juice of 1 lemon, freshly squeezed and pulp removed
1 ripe banana
1 (7-ounce) package Italian pastry puffs, store-bought
1 tablespoon powdered sugar (optional), for garnish
½ cup vanilla-flavored whipped cream (optional), for garnish
Prepping the strawberries:
Stem and core the strawberries. Reserve about a dozen whole strawberries.
Blend the rest of the strawberries. Strain the pulp through a fine-mesh sieve. Return to the blender and add the banana, ½ cup granulated sugar and lemon juice. Pulse one more time. Set aside.
For the strawberry and banana cheesecake filling:
In a small bowl, combine the xanthan gum, liquid lecithin and canola oil. Stir well.
Whisk the mascarpone cheese to soften it. Add the strawberry and banana pulp, the xanthan gum and lecithin mixture, the rest of the sugar and vanilla extract. Mix well.
Whip the heavy cream (at a low speed) for 2-3 minutes until creamy and smooth. Add ½ cup granulated sugar.
Gently fold in the whipped cream in stages. This is to make sure that the mascarpone cheese incorporates evenly (the pink color should be uniform). Add about ½ cup of coarsely chopped strawberries.
Line the mold (see tips) with plastic wrap for easy un-molding. Cover the mold with Italian pastry puffs.
Place the cheesecake filling in a piping bag. Pipe or spoon the filling into the mold. Level the filling with a spatula. Cover the bottom of the mold with halved strawberries. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 2-3 hours, preferably overnight.
When you're ready to serve, gently un-mold the cheesecake by running a knife around the inner wall of the mold. Flip the mold onto a long platter. Sprinkle the pastry puffs with powdered sugar (if used).
When you're ready to serve, cut the cake into slices. Pipe little mounds of vanilla-flavored whipped cream (if used) and top with whole strawberries.
You could replace the mascarpone cheese with cream cheese.
Xanthan gum is a fine powder used as a binder and emulsifier. If you look at the list of ingredients for salad dressings and ice cream at the supermarket, you'll find that they contain xanthan gum. I use it for texture and as an egg white substitute. You can find it online or in any specialty food store such as Whole Foods.
I use liquid lecithin as an egg yolk substitute. You can also find this online or in any specialty food store like Whole Foods. Look for a (32-ounce) bottle, which is much easier to cook with, not the capsules.
If you want to make the filling using regular eggs (instead of the xanthan gum and lecithin combination), check out my grilled pineapple mascarpone cream dessert.
I used a 16"-long stainless-steel triangle-shape mold.