Food

No-Bake Greek Yogurt Cheesecake with Balsamic Glaze

I was in Malacca, Malaysia recently for a visit to the Julie’s Biscuits factory because I’m a legit blogger like that (no I’m not). I’ve been to Malaysia once before and I came away from that trip marveling at the delicious and diverse food they have over there so I was really excited to go back and to a city I haven’t been!

Malacca City is charming and laid back with clear remnants of its Portuguese, Dutch, and British colonial past which make for some really interesting sights.

melaka-church

St. Paul’s Church and Christ Church by day…

jonker-walk

…Jonker Walk (super fun!) by night. Wildly decorated tricycles turn radioactive at sundown!

A little ways away from this central part of Malacca is the Julie’s Biscuit factory. The folks there are soooo sweet – they welcomed us with big smiles and a dance number. A dance number!

optimized-julies-dance

All this while the smell of freshly baked biscuits was wafting through the air. Maybe that’s an appropriate welcome for a place that’s been churning out all kinds of delicious goodies for 35 years. I’m sure you’ve seen them in your supermarkets.

img_8678-1

We were surrounded by Julie’s goodies during the entire trip. Hard to choose a favorite but this one’s gotta be up there.

One of the highlights of this visit was a short dessert class where we learned how to make a layered cake using Julie’s Butter Crackers and Julie’s x Hershey’s Dark Chocolate Cookies. Julie’s Biscuits has had a couple of Hershey’s collaborations and this one is a new one that will be out soon.

img_8693

We all got to try our hand at a mini version of this cake and it was fun to get creative and a little competitive, too.

img_8703

This was dee-lish. The Butter Crackers were soaked in milk; the filling was a blitzed mixture of Dark Chocolate Cookies, cream cheese, and condensed milk which was divine. At some point, I just put spoonfuls of the stuff in my mouth and I don’t regret it one bit. It was also eye-opening how these products, which are great straight out of the bag, were used in different ways to create tasty and fancy desserts.

The versatility of Julie’s goodies was on display yet again during the last meal we were served in Malaysia which was at a restaurant called The Pressroom in Kuala Lumpur.

last-meal

Clockwise from top left: Waldorf salad, Josper roasted spring chicken, Julie’s strawberry cheesecake, Julie’s x Hershey’s cookies and cream ice cream.

My favorite part of this meal was dessert. As you may have figured, they were made with Julie’s Biscuits products namely the Oat 25 Strawberry Cookies for the cheesecake and Julie’s x Hershey’s Chocolate Chips Hazelnut Cookies for the ice cream. I drowned the latter in coffee which made for a yummy jolt and the cheesecake was really light and fresh, not too sweet, which I really liked. In fact, I liked it so much that I decided to make my own version at home.

I based my no-bake Greek yogurt cheesecake on this recipe. I wanted to use Julie’s Oat 25 Strawberry Cookies in my crust so I chose to a do a balsamic glaze as topping because balsamic strawberries, yeah!

For the crust, you’ll need:

20 Julie’s Oat 25 Strawberry Cookies, crushed to make 1 1/2 cups

1/2 cup melted butter

For the cheesecake filling, you’ll need:

2 t unflavored gelatin powder

2 T cold water

2 8 oz. cream cheese blocks at room temperature

1 1/2 cups plain Greek yogurt

3/4 cups sugar

1 t fresh lemon juice

2 t vanilla extract

1/2 t salt

 

1. Crush the cookies and tip them into a bowl along with the melted butter. You can blitz the cookies in a food processor or crush them manually in a plastic bag or wrapped in some parchment paper. I have a small manually operated processor of sorts that I adore – it rices cauliflower, crushes cookies, and even makes smoothies!

optimized-img_9002

2. Transfer the cookie mixture into a pan (I used an 8-inch square pan but I recommend a 9-inch one), press down to flatten into an even layer, and pop into an oven preheated to 175 C/350 F for about 15 minutes or until slightly toasty and fragrant. Set aside.

optimized-img_9006

“But you said this is a no-bake cheesecake!!!” And it is! I just wanted to add some toasty-ness to my crust because toasty is awesome. To keep it no-bake, you can just chill this crust in the fridge while getting your cheesecake filling ready.

3. Sprinkle the powdered gelatin evenly over 2 tablespoons of cold water. Set aside.

optimized-img_9008

4. Mix cream cheese, Greek yogurt, sugar, lemon juice, vanilla extract, and salt in a big bowl. You’ll need some elbow grease here if you’re manually whisking, a breeze if you have an electric mixer.

optimized-img_9010

5. The powdered gelatin would have bloomed in the water by now but we need it to completely melt. To do that, take your bowl to some very warm water and stir the contents until you get a lump-free gelatin mixture.

optimized-img_9011

6. Add the gelatin mixture into the filling and mix some more. Take out your prepared crust and pour in the filling mixture.

optimized-img_9012

7. Smooth and even the top using a spatula, cover with plastic wrap and chill it in the fridge for at least 6 hours, preferably overnight. I left mine overnight and excitedly woke up the next morning to this:

optimized-img_9017

This was a little too soft to cut into and my first squares were nowhere near as neat as I wanted. If you experience the same, transfer the cake into the freezer and chill for an hour or so. It’ll be much easier to manage.

The balsamic glaze is just a 1/2 cup of balsamic vinegar and 3 tablespoons of brown sugar thrown in a saucepan that’s left to simmer until it reduces to your preferred consistency. You might think the balsamic glaze might be a bit too sour to add to all of this but it’s really not! Just be careful not to burn it because, you know, it would suck for your cheesecake to look like this and taste burnt.

optimized-img_9025

This Greek yogurt cheesecake is so smooth and light in texture, really tangy and creamy. I love the Oat 25 Strawberry Cookies crust – it’s toasty and nutty with a hint of strawberry. And because the cookies are 25% oat (hence the name), it’s another little healthy boost along with the Greek yogurt.

optimized-img_9035

I gave some of these slices away to my DJ friends next door and they actually came over after eating it to give me a hug because they liked it so much, it was the cutest thing. This easy-peasy recipe is a keeper, the Oat 25 Strawberry Cookies crust, too!

optimized-img_9037

 

Fun Food Fact: Greek yogurt is made by vigorously straining regular yogurt which results in a thicker, creamier, and more nutritionally dense product. Some brands artificially thicken with gelatin so check the label!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s