Saturday, June 21, 2014

Celebrate Rhubarb Season with this No-Bake Rhubarb Cheesecake

This light summer dessert offers great taste and is made with coconut sugar, so it has less cane sugar than your average cheesecake. Even better, this no-bake cake means that you will not need to turn on your oven and heat up your house during the hot summer months.

The Rhubarb is flourishing this month, so hurry up and pick some, then start baking!


You need: No-Bake Rhubarb Cheesecake

Graham Cookie Crust:
  1. 2 cups graham cookie crumbs
  2. 1/3 cup of coconut sugar
  3. 1/3 cup butter, melted

Cheesecake Filling:
  • 2 packages of cream cheese (250g), softened
  • 2/3 cup of coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp real vanilla extract (or 1 tsp ground vanilla beans)
  • 1.5 cups of whipping cream
  • 2 cups of chopped rhubarb
  • 1/3 cup of coconut sugar or agave nectar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice

Topping Instructions:

We are starting with the final touch, the topping, because it needs time to cool completely before placing it on the finished cake, or it will melt your cake.
  1. Place chopped rhubarb, sugar, lemon juice and cinnamon in a saucepan on the stovetop. Bring to a simmer and stir constantly for 10 to 15 minutes while it simmers on the stove.  If you want a thicker sauce, you can add 1 tbsp. of cornstarch mixed with 1 tbsp. of cold water  to the mixture in the last five minutes of cooking, but this will change the consistency so be sure you keep stirring or the bottom may burn.
  2. Take off heat and let cool for 1/2 hour. Then refrigerate until cold.

Crust Instructions:
  1. Prepare an 8" Springform pan by lining it with parchment paper and brushing it with butter (you can also use a large 10" Glass Pie pan for this recipe, if you plan to serve it from the pan).
  2. Melt your butter in the microwave or over a double boiler.
  3. Place your graham crumbs in a medium mixing bowl.
  4. Toss in the coconut sugar and stir briefly.
  5. Add the melted butter and stir.
  6. Press the moistened mixture into the bottom of the Springform pan and up the sides.
  7. Bake in a 350 degree F pre-heated oven for 12 minutes (take out when the edges are just starting to brown)
  8. Let cool on a rack on the counter for 1/2 hour then place in the refrigerator to fully cool until ready to fill.

Cheesecake Filling Instructions:
  1. With a stand or hand mixer, whip the whipping cream in a cold bowl (it helps to freeze or refrigerate it for a few minutes first).  Once hard peaks are formed (not lumpy, if it is lumpy it is over-whipped).
  2. Place the whipped cream in the refrigerator while you prepare the cream cheese.
  3. Remove all wrapping and soften 2 packages of cream cheese in the microwave for 15 seconds.
  4. Whip at medium-to-high speed for 30 seconds in a stand mixer (or with a hand mixer if that is what you have).
  5. Stir fully (get bottom bits stirred back in) and whip again for 30 second intervals until it is soft and fluffy.
  6. Add half the sugar and whip for 30 seconds.  Stir fully again.
  7. Add the remaining sugar and whip again, stirring fully until the mixture is lump free and mixed.
  8. Add half of the whipped cream and with your mixer on low, mix it in.
  9. Add the other half of the whipped cream and simply stir or fold it in.
  10. Pour the contents immediately onto the crust and fill the Springform pan. Smooth out the top with your spatula and place in the refrigerator for 1 hour until set.
Top the Cake:
  • Beads of buttercream around the top edges of the cake will significantly help to contain the rhubarb topping, but this is completely optional. If you want to decorate with buttercream, a cinnamon buttercream pairs nicely (add 1 tbsp. cinnamon to a large batch of vanilla buttercream) or a coconut buttercream. 
  • If you are serving the cake from the pan, buttercream is unnecessary. So you can simply place the rhubarb topping on the cake and spread it around carefully.
  • Sprinkle a little coconut and white chocolate chunks on top, or just some more of the graham cookie crust if you have any left.

To add chocolate:
If you want to add some chocolate, mix white chocolate chunks in with some shredded coconut.  Cover the sides of the cake with a cinnamon or vanilla buttercream and press the coconut-white chocolate mixture into the sides of the cake.

To change up the fruit:
Follow the same instructions above for everything, except change the fruit to strawberry, cherry, raspberry, blueberry, mango, etc. Once you have the basic cheesecake down, you can create whatever flavour combination that you like!

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