I have rarely felt a rush to post a recipe so urgently!
Cheesecakes are food porn and after oggling at them one day you just succumb. Well yet I wanted something to suit my preferences. I have successfully avoided using gelatin in my cooking, due to its animal origins. Hence I was always looking out for firming ingredients but the options are limited. Agar-agar is an option, but I don't like the texture, after a one time use I never touched it again. Then the internet did help me out, lime juice does help to firm up cold condensed milk is what I learnt and this experiment sounded easy.
Yesterday was a Sunday, everyone was at home yet I did not have any dessert ready because my super busy bro dilly dallied a visit to the D-Mart. Then in the evening Sapna was coaxing me to go when Sumeet was ready to take us there. I told the couple to go for some romance to the store, why the kabab mein haddi. When they were back with all the ingredients I wanted, I set out to put it together. A no bake cheesecake that turned out absolutely decadent and its my first!
1 cup hung curd
1 tin condensed milk/ Amul Mithai Mate
1/2 teaspoon raspberry essence
1 lime, juiced
1/2 cup Strawberry crush (Mapro)
For the crust
2 packs glucose biscuits
1/2 cup molten butter
In the chutney jar, crumble with the hand one packet of biscuit at a time and grind to powder. Remove it into a deep plate. Warm the butter in a bowl, if you measure out 1/4 cup of solid butter and melt it, it will give you 1/2 cup of molten butter. Pour it over the biscuit powder and mix it with the fingers.
Take a tin or a deep dish (I used an oval aluminum baking dish) and line with foil. Let the foil hang over the dish well. This would allow you to pick up the cheesecake with ease when you unmold. Now in this lined dish, spread the biscuit crumble laden with butter. Press it down onto the base. Use your palm to press. Not to worry too much the butter will bind the powder well and seal the possibility of a seepage. Chill the tin for an hour. This is the crust for the base of the cheesecake.
Now in a food processor, fit the whipping blade. Add the hung curd and inch, do not run continuously. Then pour in the entire contents of the condensed milk tin. Whip for a few seconds. Add the raspberry essence and pulse once. Fold in the lime juice slowly and inch for few more seconds. The mix should look nice and creamy and ivory colored.
Pour this mix on the chilled crust. Spread it with a spatula. You will see it begin to set. Now cover the tin with foil or cling film and move the tin into the frigidaire. Chill overnight.
Sapna had barely brushed her teeth this morning and asked, "Did you unmould the cheesecake?"
I had to succumb to sibling pressure of urgently doing the needful. So the devilish cheesecake had to come out of the hidding place, I required Sapna's help to lift up the cheesecake out of the tin. A springform pan would have been a better choice. We did place it with onto the serving plate with just one small crease. Then deftly had to remove the foil from underneath it. This is the most basic cheesecake. It tastes awesome just as is but my family is demanding. They wanted some color.
Before serving we decided that we can play with flavors, colors and ideas of decoration and since we were hungry and impatient we bathed the pristine ivory cheesecake with Mapro's Strawberry crush.
This was the family's breakfast today! I took a small bite too :P It was irresistible!!
Note : It was a little jiggly and clean cuts are a little difficult with a plastic spatula. Keep dipping it in water before cutting out each slice. I chilled it in the chiller tray, next time will try it in the freezer. For a cheesecake without any firming agent added, its set pretty well for my expectation.