Cheesecake is a universally loved dessert! There are loads of recipes for this yummy cold dessert, some are for baked cheesecake and some for unbaked cheesecake. In the Arab region, the popular version is unbaked cheesecake. Baked cheesecake was recently introduced in our area and has not yet gained the popularity of unbaked cheesecake.
Cheesecake is a very old dish. There is historic evidence that baked cheesecake was prepared in Greece more than 4000 years ago! When the Roman Empire occupied Greece, they adopted several Greek dishes into the Roman Cuisine including cheesecake. With the expansion of the Roman Empire they spread their cuisine and cooking methods in the regions they occupied; cheesecake being one of them. Of course each region adapted the dish to its taste and cuisine, giving way to many different versions and techniques for preparing cheesecake.
Greeks prepared cheesecake baked using feta cheese or yogurt. Italians also baked it and used ricotta cheese, while the Germans used cottage cheese. The use of cream cheese in cheesecake came much, much later after cheesecake was discovered in America in 1872, and they started using it to prepare cheesecake.
In our region, we prepare the unbaked cheesecake using cream cheese and gelatin. Many recipes, including mine, also uses “Labaneh”. Labaneh is a very popular Middle Eastern cheese spread that is prepared from Greek yoghurt. You can prepare Labaneh at home by mixing Greek yoghurt with some salt and straining it through a cheese cloth. I am planning to post how to prepare Labaneh sometime soon.
Unbaked cheesecake is usually creamier, and much, much faster to prepare! Both versions of cheesecake - baked and unbaked - are delicious and rarely would I be at an event or party where cheesecake is not one of the prepared sweets.
Today’s cheesecake recipe, is the basic unbaked cheesecake recipe used in our region. By basic I mean it is without any additions or added flavors (such as chocolate) and you can easily use it as a base for developing different flavors of this cold dessert. If you are looking for a baked cheesecake recipe, try my Baked Cheesecake Recipe.
Unbaked Cheesecake Recipe:
Preparation time: 15 min Cook time: 10 min
Crust:250 grams (8.8 oz) digestive biscuits
100 grams (3.5 oz) unsalted butter
Filling:450 grams (16oz) cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup soft Labaneh
1 can sweetened condensed milk (or 1 portion of homemade sweetened condensed milk)
1 tablespoon unflavored Gelatin
1/3 cup boiling water
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Note: if you are living in the West and don’t have any Labaneh, try substituting It with sour cream but make sure to also replace the lemon juice with cold water.
Note: depending on the gelatin variety you use, you may need to adjust the amount a bit. I use high-quality American gelatin and 1 tablespoon (or sachet) is enough, but for other varieties you may need to increase it a bit and use 2 tablespoons.
How to make unbaked cheesecake:
- Grease with butterو the sides of cheesecake pan.
- Finely crush the digestive biscuits either in the food processor with the heavy duty blade, or by placing the biscuits in a plastic bag, wrapping it with a kitchen towel and using the garlic hammer to crush the biscuits. Place the crushed biscuits in the cheesecake pan.
- Microwave the butter for 40 seconds, or melt it in a pan on the oven top.
- Pour the melted butter on top of the crushed biscuits.
- Mix with a wooden spoon (or with your fingers) until all the biscuits are soaked with the butter. With the back of the spoon, press the mixture onto the bottom of the pan. Use a wooden spoon so as not to scratch the pan.
- Bake in the oven at 350°F for 10 minutes. Then remove the pan from the oven and set aside for the crust to cool completely.
- With the electric mixer on high speed, beat the cream cheese until smooth with no lumps. Remember to scrape the sides and ensure that you beat the cream cheese at the bottom of the bowl. The cream cheese must be at room temperature so take it out of the fridge 2 hours before you start.
- Add the labaneh and sweetened condensed milk and beat until you have a smooth, uniform batter.
- Dissolve the unflavored gelatin in the boiling water and mix until all gelatin is dissolved and there are no lumps. This may take 2 minutes and you will have a thick mixture. Add the lemon juice and mix.
- Quickly pour the gelatin over the cream mixture and beat well. Note: Depending on the gelatin variety, you may have some very thick lumps in the gelatin mixture, discard them and don't add them to the cream mixture.
- Set cheese mixture aside for a few minutes to rest before pouring it over the biscuit crust. Be sure the crust is cold.
- Put the cheesecake in the fridge for a period not less than 9 hours before serving.
- An hour before serving, spread the toping on top. You can use either ready-made toppings like blueberry, cheery or blackberry; OR you can prepare your home-made topping using fruits. Try my Homemade Strawberry Sauce Recipe, which makes a great cheesecake topping .
- Return cheesecake to the fridge for an hour.
- Carefully run a knife along the outer edges of the pan to separate the cheesecake from the sides of the pan, then remove the cheesecake from the pan.
Hope you enjoyed today's easy sweet recipe: Unbaked Cheesecake. Bon appetite.
Which do you prefer baked cheesecake or the unbaked cheesecake?
اضغط الرابط للحصول على وصفة التشيز كيك غير المخبوز باللغة العربية