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No-Bake Cheesecake

Asked by LSswarna. Answered on 19th March 2013

Full question

Hi Nigella, I would like to know if it is necessary to add gelatin to no-bake cheesecakes? Previously the no-bake cheesecake that I made was not firm and solid, it became very sloppy although I had placed it in the fridge for some time. Is adding gelatine the solution, or are there other ways to overcome this?

Our answer

Some no-bake cheesecakes are set with gelatine to give them a mousse-like texture. Other no-bake cheesecakes are a mixture of cream cheese or cream cheese and whipped cream. This second type should set firmly in the fridge without any gelatine being added.

Most of these recipes come from the UK and the US so it could be that there is a variation in ingredients in different countries. The cream cheese should be the traditional full-fat version (such as Philadelphia). If cream is added then it must be whipped to soft peaks first and then folded into a slightly softened (but not runny) cream cheese mixture. It could be that the whipped cream is the problem as UK double cream is fairly stable once whipped, whereas some creams in other countries do not whip well. If you have problems with the cream then try using more cream cheese and less cream. Mascarpone could also be used as an alternative to cream cheese, if the cream cheese is becoming runny.

We would suggest trying Nigella's Cherry Cheesecake (from Nigella Express). This uses cream cheese and double cream but works with US heavy cream as well.

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What 1 Other has said

  • It depends what other ingredients you are using in your cheesecake, because the possibilities are almost endless. Some ingredients such as cocoa powder, grated chocolate, citrus zest, commercial flavourings, vanilla bean paste etc do not add a significant amount of extra liquid to your cheesecake mix, but others such as purées of soft fruits need quite a large quantity in order to give an intense flavour. If you are using fruit purées you need to either balance it with clotted cream or white chocolate or add a stabiliser such as gelatine. If you don't like the idea of gelatine or want your cheesecake to be vegetarian/kosher/halaal, you could try using agar agar.

    Posted by Rezzz on 4th July 2017
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