Monday, March 31, 2014

No-bake Rainbow Yogurt Cheesecake

One proverbial phrase which I never doubted is "time flies", and I'm pretty sure many feels the same. It felt like yesterday when I first created this blog. Looking at what I have achieved so far (with my past blog posts), I do feel proud of myself. *_* While I do not know the reasons behind each bloggers' mind, I felt that this blog is a good testament of efforts put into realising one of my dreams. I never knew I would own a blog, but I'm happy that I do now. ^_^

Since I started baking, I've always been thinking about the first creator behind each recipe and I wonder how many trials and errors have been conducted before making it work in the first place while it gets improved and modified along the way. After much reading and researching, I decided to put one of my "dreaming" thoughts into action, and "miraculously"my very first creation actually worked! Here's sharing The Dream Baker's creation --- No-bake Rainbow Yogurt Cheesecake.

No-bake Rainbow Yogurt Cheesecake

No-bake Rainbow Yogurt Cheesecake
The Dream Baker's Creation

Ingredients Required

150 grams Graham crackers (or approximately 1 cup Graham crackers crumbs)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Cake Fillings
750 grams cream cheese, at room temperature, divided
12 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
6 teaspoons gelatin powder, divided
6 tablespoons cold water, divided
Violet layer: 250 grams plain Greek yogurt + 1 cup thawed frozen blackberries 
Indigo/Blue layer: 250 grams blueberry flavour Greek yogurt + 1/3 cup thawed frozen blueberries 
Green layer: 250 grams key-lime flavour Greek yogurt + 1 avocado + 2 tablespoons lime juice 
Yellow layer: 250 grams mango flavour Greek yogurt + 2 cups thawed frozen mango cubes
Orange layer: 250 grams peach flavour Greek yogurt + 2 cups thawed frozen peach or apricot slices
Red: 250 grams strawberry flavour Greek yogurt + 1/3 cup thawed frozen raspberries or strawberries

Vanilla Whipped Frosting
1 1/2 cup (355 ml) heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Bakeware Used

9-inch by 2.75-inch Springform pan

Preparation Steps

  1. Line bottom and sides of springform pan with parchment paper. Grease the springform pan with a little bit of oil to stick the parchment paper well.
  2. Finely grind Graham crackers using a blender, or crush to fine crumbs in a sealed ziplock bag.
  3. In a bowl, mix melted butter to crackers crumbs until it resembles wet-sand.
  4. Press wet crumbs onto bottom of pan firmly and evenly. Set aside in fridge.
Cake Fillings
  1. For each respective coloured layers of cake filling, purée fruits in a blender and mix to Greek yogurt individually. For fruits with tiny seeds like raspberries and blackberries, strain puréed fruits through fine wire mesh and discard seeds before adding to Greek yogurt for a smoother filling texture. 
  2. Cream 125 grams of cream cheese with 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar until light and fluffy, and all sugar has melted.
  3. In a separate small microwaveable bowl, add one tablespoon of cold water sprinkled with one teaspoon of gelatin powder and let it stand for one minute. When the water has been absorbed by the gelatin and hardened, microwave mixture for 10 seconds till gelatin has melted. Leave to cool slightly.
  4. Fold cream cheese mixture into yogurt mixture followed with cooled gelatin. Fold until well combined. Work on the respective layers of cake filling individually in the order of the colours of the rainbow, starting with violet since it will form the bottommost layer of the cake.
  5. Pour mixture into springform pan (on top of the hardened Graham cracker crust) and smooth mixture to level. Set aside in freezer.
  6. Repeat Steps 2 to 5 for the remaining five layers. Make sure each layer is set before pouring the next layer. Leave the cake in the freezer after the last layer, which is the topmost layer of the cake has been filled and proceed to prepare the cake frosting.
Vanilla Whipped Frosting
  1. Chill a large mixing bowl and the whisk attachment in the freezer for about five minutes.
  2. Pour heavy cream into the chilled bowl and whisk until it starts to thicken. Gradually add sugar and continue whisking until soft peaks.
  3. Add vanilla extract and continue whisking until stiff peaks form. 
Assembling the cake
  1. Remove cake from freezer.
  2. Loosen grip and remove ring of springform pan. Remove parchment paper around the sides of the cake.
  3. Carefully lift cake and remove bottom parchment paper. Set cake on decorating stand or cake board.
  4. Cover cake with frosting and decorate as desired. It is easier to work with the cake when it is still frozen.
  5. Leave cake at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving.

The Dream Baker's Note
  1. I recommend using Greek yogurt flavoured with fruit fleshes similar to the colour for each layer (possibly if available) to enhance the taste, as well as the colour for each layer because the fruit-flavoured yogurt usually comes "coloured" (from the blend of the fruit). The fruits flavoured Greek yogurt can also be substituted with plain Greek yogurt (which is also more economical when you buy one single big tub).
  2. Further, Greek yogurt has a thicker texture than other yogurt so it will help to hold its shape when mixed with the cream cheese to form each respective layers.
  3. The respective fruits can also be replaced or substituted with any other fruits of similar colours. The idea is to achieve natural colouring without adding artificial food colours. 
  4. The ratio of the fruits purée can be increased based on individual preference. My recipe ratio is to achieve a taste balance of the cream cheese, yogurt and fruits without overpowering the taste of each other. In this case, I thought I could have added more fruits purée for my orange and yellow layers for a more distinctive shade.
  5. Blueberries may appear pinkish than purplish by it's natural properties. Try adding a 1/4 teaspoon of baking powder to the blueberries purée and let it stand for about 5 minutes before mixing to the yogurt. This creates an alteration to the pH level in the blueberries which will help to enhance (darken) its colour. You may add a bit more baking powder if the blueberries still look pinkish, but do not add too much at one shot.
  6. It took at least 30 minutes to harden each layer. Freezing time differs with different freezers. The mixture for each respective layers can be prepared (without gelatin) and set aside in the fridge (non-freezing compartment). Fold gelatin into the filling mixture just before pouring over the layer in the springform pan.
  7. The cake is as good without the vanilla whipped frosting. I frosted the cake to keep my guests in suspense for what's within. It can be replaced with other cake frostings or be omitted entirely. ^_^
  8. I used a round pizza pan because I don't have a cake stand nor a cake board. Alternatively, layer the cake filling mixture in a glass and serve them to your guests individually! (See picture below).

A parfait version for this recipe.
This also reduces the freezing time  for each layer so you can enjoy the yogurt cheesecake in a shorter time. You can also fill fruits, nuts, candies and etc in between the layers!

I am submitting this No-bake Rainbow Yogurt Cheesecake to the Aspiring Bakers #40: Rainbow and Ombre Party! (March 2014) hosted by Cynthia of The Baking Biatch.

Dare to dream.
The Dream Baker

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