(If you didn't read that with the Batman theme, I'm really sad for you.)
This no-bake 'rare' cheesecake is spiked with namazake – unpasteurised sake. The subtle flavour goes really well with the floral notes of lychees, and since I was also in a cheesecake kind of mood, I decided to do everything (as usual).
I'll have to admit though... this was the second attempt in two days. The first one went kind of, well, wibbly.
|Attempt 1: so mobile it's wobbling right off the base!|
I totally misjudged the amount of gelatine I needed and ended up with what was essential a cheesecake jelly. It tasted awesome and the flavour balance was perfect... but it was, er, structurally unsound.
The second one was perfect: soft set but firm enough to support the lychees and little agar rose jellies I made to decorate it with. I also made a namazake-lychee jelly for the top layer (a lot of which tragically ended up on the fridge shelf after my tin leaked, but these things do happen).
The rose jellies are optional; I just wanted a little something extra to decorate the top with, and rose flavour goes really well with lychee. Also, I chose agar as a setting agent for the flowers because the jelly sets firm enough to cut easily into shapes.
Apart from balancing little jelly flowers on top of lychee halves for the top, the cheesecake itself is really easy to make, and doesn't require any baking.
Ready? Let's go!
Ingredients for Cheesecake:
100g digestive biscuits, crushed
50g unsalted butter, melted
200g cream cheese
200g silken tofu
100g Greek yoghurt
150g icing sugar
6 tsp gelatine powder, soaked in 100ml water
100g lychees, puréed
Ingredients for Jelly Flowers:
100ml lychee syrup from the tin
25ml rose syrup (or 20ml water, 1 tbsp icing sugar and pink food colouring)
2 tsp agar flakes
Ingredients for Topping:
100ml lychee syrup from the tin, strained
80g icing sugar
2 tsp gelatine, soaked in 2tbsp water
100g lychees, halved
1) Line the bottom of a 7" springform pan with baking parchment. Stir the crushed biscuits and melted butter together thoroughly, and pack tightly into the bottom of your tin. Pop in the fridge to firm up a little while you make the cheesecake.
2) To make the cheesecake, blend the cream cheese, tofu, yoghurt, sugar and sake until smooth. Heat the lychee purée until almost simmering in a small saucepan and dissolve the soaked gelatine in it, taking care not to let it boil. Add the mixture to the cream cheese mixture and blend to combine well.
3) Pour into your cake tin and chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours, until completely set.
4) While the cheesecake is setting, make the rose jellies: pour the syrups into a small saucepan, sprinkle over the agar flakes and heat slowly, Bring to a simmer until the agar has completely dissolved (agar can handle more heat than gelatine), and then pour into a small foil-lined pan. Let it cool for 10 minutes, then set in the fridge for an hour before cutting out little shapes.
5) To make the sake jelly, gently heat the lychee syrup and sugar in a small saucepan, stirrig until the sugar has dissolved. Dissolve the soaked gelatine in it, take off the heat completely and stir in the sake.
6) Arrange the lychees on top of the cheesecake and carefully pour the sake jelly over (the lychees might float ad cause intense frustration... just warning you). Pop a jelly flower on top of each lychee half, and chill in the fridge for another 4 hours until the top is set.
7) To unmould, run a hot knife around the edge of the pan before releasing it. Slice, serve and enjoy!