No Bake Cheesecake

I often find myself making a cheesecake when I need to use things up, be it biscuits, cream cheese, yoghurt, paneer or milk near or past its use-by date. I’ve included two recipes here: one uses cream cheese & condensed milk and is adapted from Great Vegetarian Dishes. The other is Ottolenghi-inspired, using strained yoghurt (labneh) and paneer. The latter is ideal for using up yoghurt and paneer, which I sometimes make to use up milk.

Cheesecake 1

500g full fat cream cheese

1/2 tin condensed milk

125ml lemon juice

rind from one orange

300g roughly crushed biscuits, ideally a mix of ginger nuts and hobnobs

50g butter, melted

  1. Mix the crushed biscuits with the melted butter. Press the mixture into an 8 inch springform tin, lined with baking paper and leave to chill in the fridge while you combine the filling.
  2. Mix the cream cheese, condensed milk, lemon juice, orange rind and a pinch of ground ginger in a mixing bowl – you can do this by hand or with an electric whisk. (Any leftover condensed milk can be used to make fudge.)
  3. Leave to set in the fridge overnight or for four-five hours. You can add the topping at any stage really – make a German glaze using orange juice and two passion fruit. It should set and cool in about an hour. The cheesecake doesn’t need to be set before you add the glaze.

Cheesecake 2

750g full fat yoghurt

250g soft paneer (substitute with 250g more yoghurt if you don’t have any)

300g full fat cream cheese

150g icing sugar

1 tsp vanilla essence

200g crushed biscuits

50g butter

  1. Begin by straining the yoghurt the night before you make the cheesecake. Spread out a large muslin cloth and scrape the yoghurt into the centre. Gather the corners together and tie two of them together. Use the other two to hang the cloth from a cupboard door handle, allowing it to drip into a bowl on the surface below. Leave overnight to strain.
  2. Melt the butter and mix with the crushed biscuits. Press onto the base of a springform tin, lined with baking paper.
  3. Mix the strained yoghurt with the cream cheese, paneer and icing sugar – I mixed mine in a stand mixer using the whisk attachment. Scrape the mixture into the cake tin, spreading to give an even surface. You can try using a piping bag to get a neater finish, making to get the mixture between the strawberries. Put in the the fridge to set overnight.
  4. Decorate with popcorn and salted caramel, berries and fresh cream or a German slightly jelly-like glaze. If you use a German glaze, you can make a larger quantity and set a layer of fruit on top of the cheesecake.