Ryan has been an online writer for over a decade and loves to share and educate.
Cheesecake is just cheesecake unless you plan to serve it in a very unusual and fun way. One good idea is to serve it as a parfait. This beautiful dessert has opened the door for many foodies who want to prepare their desserts differently. Best of all, it's relatively simple to make since nothing needs to be baked or even cooked. Yes, this is one of those no-bake cheesecakes that are all the rave these days.
However, the whipped cream that goes with it (and into it) might prove a little challenging if it isn't readily available. Usually, the easiest and most obvious way to obtain this heavenly marvel is from the store. But if supplies don't hold up, it wouldn't hurt for anyone to learn how to make some homemade whipped cream. It's not hard-- it just requires some heavy cream with a few added ingredients whipped together and voila. But to be on the safe side, an additional recipe for it will be included with this one.
As for the part about the parfait--what it is exactly and how to make it--here's a quick rundown...
What's a Parfait???
A parfait is what you get when you take a dessert filling, some crumbs, fruit, and whipped cream-- all layered glass in that order. A typical parfait, for example, starts with granola followed by a custard/ice cream, then fruit, and finally topped with whip cream. Ring any bells?
However, somewhere along the line, foodies have gotten bored of the usual suspects and decided to switch them out for other dessert items. Some recipes out there feature cookie crumbs likes Oreos. Others try various custard types like bavarois, tiramisu, or mousse. And then there are those who make parfait entirely out of layered cakes whereas the cake is crumbled and layered with frosting or whipped cream. Ever heard of a red velvet cake parfait, for example?
Parfait is usually served in tall glasses or more specifically parfait glasses. However, if these are hard to come by, mason jars are the next best thing.
Making a Parfait out of a Cheesecake
This is easier than it sounds. Just think about the way a cheesecake normally stacks up in a pan; you have the crust at the bottom, followed by the cream cheese filling and topped with fruit/whipped cream. In that very order is how a cheesecake parfait would be built and pretty much any other cake to parfait dessert for that matter. Hence, the parfait glass will have three or four layers, starting with crumbs followed by the filling, fruit, and/or whipped cream.
And since this is a no-bake cheesecake, the filling won't require any eggs. In fact, this cheesecake is so simplified, it won't even require any stabilizers period. So say goodbye to gelatin, agar, and seed oil. Just beat all the remaining ingredients (cream cheese, heavy cream, sweetener, and flavorings) together. Of course, an electric mixer with a paddle attachment is required in order to get the consistency right.
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For the parfait:
- 12 graham crackers or digestive biscuits, crushed
- 2 packs (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup heavy cream, cold
- 1 cup caster sugar
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup fruit of choice, fresh or frozen
- 1 cup whipped cream, homemade or store bought
For the whipped cream (homemade):
- 1 cup heavy cream, cold
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Grind the graham crackers/digestive biscuits in a food processor to the desired consistency. Set aside.
- Using a stand mixer or hand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese, heavy cream, and sugar together until smooth (3 minutes). Add the lemon juice and vanilla extract and beat until combine.
- Make four layers, each 1/4 the volume for the glasses starting with the crumbs, followed by cheesecake filling, then the fruit, and lastly the whipped cream (see Step 5 for homemade version instruction). Optionally, you can make room for double the layers (8 layers) by scaling back on each component by half volume and repeating the same pattern twice.
- To make the whip cream from scratch, beat the heavy cream, powdered sugar and vanilla extract in a bowl until the mixture forms stiff peaks (this is when the surface of the cream forms a point that then laps over when lifted).
- Serve right away or seal with cling and refrigerate for later use.
© 2021 Ryan Fanus