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  • Mary Kay

Valentine's Day NO BAKE Chocolate Cheesecake - LOVE Makes Us Do Silly Things!


Yes, LOVE makes us do silly things...like making a Valentine's Day NO BAKE Chocolate Cheesecake. Go all out silly by decorating your cheesecake with decadence...or make it more of a no frills version. It's your choice, but I like to do it up silly.


It's all about LOVE and, of courese, CONVENIENCE. It's NO BAKE and you can top each slice with easy to make chocolate ganache and a few special local handmade chocolates or your own homemade chocolate truffles for a delicious Valentine's Day treat! Get a little fruit involved, too, with red chocolate covered cherries and blue chocolate covered blueberries.


I love eggnog so I made this one in mid-January after all the family holidays with a container of eggnog that I had not yet opened. It bragged a best buy date good through the end of January. It was so easy to make. Then I wrapped it in plastic wrap and aluminum foil and lastly sealed it in a sealable plastic bag and froze it for a month. I thawed it overnight in the refrigerator so it's ready to decorate for Valentine's Day! What an easy dessert to make!



You know I love chocolate and it's a favorite food for Valentine's Day so I've added a good amount of cocoa to the recipe. This cheesecake is not super heavy with eggnog or spice flavors but you can add or subtract those items. It becomes a sweet chocolate eggnog delight for a special New Years Eve Celebration or later for Valentine's Day. And the Nilla Wafer Cookies crust is a delicious accompaniment with the eggnog flavor of the chocolate cheesecake filling. (Of course, if you don't like eggnog, just substitute the same amount of heavy cream.)


I like this cheesecake since it will turn out a thinner dessert, fluffy, but only a couple inches thick. It will not be one of those unbearably thick desserts that are hard to get down. Enjoy the entire slice instead of leaving any on the plate.


I like to pour warm chocolate ganache over the top of each slice, then decorate with special chocolates. Instead of messing around with piping a topping, I use our favorite chocolates from a local chocolate shop or I make homemade truffles. Strategically place many or just few, for a super decadent dessert or just a teaser of toppings. Either way your desserts are delicious!


Making this cheesecake is even better since it’s not baked. You can make it entirely without the use of your oven. No messing with a water bath. No worrying about it being done through. No extended baking with the cheesecake left for more time in the turned off oven. It’s all made with a mixer and cooled in the refrigerator. No muss, no fuss!




This cheesecake will serve 8-10 people.

 

Prep your pan:

-This recipe uses a 9” springform pan. Whether I use a non-stick pan or the other type, I always lightly brush the bottom and sides with butter. Then cut a round piece of parchment paper to apply to the bottom of the pan.

-Add parchment around the inside by cutting long rectangles, allowing the parchment to reach up 2” above the rim of the pan. The parchment allows you to easily separate the cheesecake from the sides of the pan after you’ve unlatched it. By using a large thin spatula, you can lift the cake off the bottom of the pan. I personally like to include the parchment paper in an effort to get clean sides and bottom for better presentation. By setting the cheesecake onto a serving platter, you will not be cutting into the pan, creating scratches in the metal. 


Gather up your crust ingredients:

5 C Nilla Wafers Cookies, finely crushed (one 11 oz box)

1/4 t Nutmeg, ground (optional)

1/4 t Cinnamon, ground

4 T Butter, melted 


Gather up your filling Ingredients:

8 oz Cream cheese, softened

½ C Sugar

¼ C Eggnog

¼ t Nutmeg (optional)

1/4 C Cocoa powder

1 C Heavy whipping cream (unwhipped)

(If you don't like Eggnog, sub heavy cream)


Gather up your Chocolate Ganache Ingredients:

1 C Chocolate chips, semi-sweet

1 C Heavy cream

I love to make this chocolate ganache. It's so easy to make, it's odd that many people are afraid of this pourable spread for the top of the cheesecake and many other desserts. Plus it's delicious! If you like it a little thicker, add a few more chocolate chips.


Make your own Crust:

-In a food processor, crush your vanilla wafers to a fine crumb. I have done it by hand with a sealable plastic bag and pounded the bag with a rolling pin. However, I find that the crust holds together better by using the food processor. If you like a coarser type of crust, go ahead and pound the crumbs by hand.

-Add the spices and pulse to thoroughly combine.

-Add 4 tablespoons of melted butter and pulse until it's completely combined.

-Press the crumbs into your prepared pan, bringing some of the crumbs up the side a little. I use the bottom of a glass to press it, and using my fingers to press the sides.

-For a chilled crust, just press the crumb mixture into the prepared pan and place it in the refrigerator for at least an hour before adding the filling. It should be completely chilled so it does not affect the temperature of the chilled filling when you pour that in.

-If you prefer a baked crust, put it in the preheated oven at 350F degrees for 8-10 minutes and let cool on a rack for 15 minutes.

-Chill the crust in the refrigerator for about an hour or two until firm and cold.

-Be sure to cool the crust completely before pouring the filling in it. Or, your filling could “melt.” 


Make your Filling:

-In a medium bowl, beat the softened cream cheese until it’s smooth.

-Add and beat in the sugar, eggnog and spices until smooth and light.

-Sift the cocoa powder and beat into the mixture. I've found that cocoa powder needs to be sifted to get rid of all the small clumps. Sifting will keep your filling smooth. Set aside.

-In a separate chilled bowl, whip the heavy whipping cream until stiff peaks form. I always chill my metal or glass bowl and the beaters for an hour before beating.

-Carefully and slowly fold the whipped cream into the bowl of the chocolate cream cheese mixture.

-Spread mixture into the cooled crust.

-Refrigerate for 3-4 hours or even overnight.

 


Make your easy to stir up Chocolate Ganache:

-This my be the easiest part of making this dessert. Just melt together and stir. That's it!

-Pour the semi-sweet chocolate chips into a bowl large enough to hold the chips and the hot heavy cream, leaving plenty of space for stirring without spilling over the sides.

-Heat the heavy cream in a microwave safe bowl and heat at 15 second intervals. When the heavy cream just barely begins to bubble around the edges, it's time to take it out of the microwave.

-Carefully pour the hot heavy cream over the chocolate chips.

-Let them sit for about 5 minutes before stirring in order to allow the heavy cream to begin melting the chips.

-Stir or whisk the mixture until it's smooth, creamy and shiny.

-It's ready to pour!

-Now you can refrigerate it until you are ready serve...then you'll need to reheat it in the microwave a few seconds to make it pourable.

-Or you can make it a few minutes before you are ready to serve. Then pour it on top of each slice, allowing the ganache to drizzle down the sides of the slice. Then decorate it with the chocolates you've collected from your local chocolatier. Or add your homemade truffles.


 Decorate your Valentine's NO BAKE Chocolate Cheesecake:

-I took a different attitude decorating this for Valentine's Day, saving even more time and effort to make this a decadent dessert for you and your special person or people. (Yes, there is a slice of cheesecake under all those chocolates!)

-A few minutes before you are ready to serve the dessert, heat up the ganache by placing it in the microwave for a few seconds until it drizzles nicely.

-Pour or drizzle a couple tablespoons of the chocolate ganache over each slice, allowing it to drip off the edges.

-Quickly place your truffles, chocolates and candies on the top and around the slice.

-Enjoy!

 

Whoever you share your Valentine's Day No Bake Chocolate Cheesecake with, be sure you toast them with a traditional Eggnog drink, alcohol or sans alcohol…or coffee...and “Bake your own Memories!”

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