I’m very happy this turns out extremely well. But what I am really pleased about is how I can use the cheese triangles (La Vache Qui Rit, or The Laughing Cow) instead of say, Philadelphia Cream Cheese. I have done several desserts with the cheese triangles but not very successful. The Laughing Cow is denser in texture, so it’s not ideal to make cheese-base icing (think of carrot cake frosting) that doesn’t require cooking. It’s not suitable for pastry filling too (think of fruit tarts that use cheese, instead of creme patissiere).
The obsession I have with The Laughing Cow, because it is always available in all supermarkets, costs only half of Philadelphia Cream Cheese and one third of Mascarpone. Why, when it’s french cheese? Because the Laughing Cow for Angolan market is produced in Morocco. I can’t tell the difference in terms of taste (H can), but whatever it is, it’s ignorable. What’s more evident is how the peeling system doesn’t always work with the Moroccan one.
Anyway, back to baking cheese cake in a very affordable fashion: due to its density, it took several turbo pulses to mix the egg, sugar, lemon juice and cheese into a thick consistency paste. More importantly, I think baking time can be reduced to avoid cracks on the cheese surface. That or reduce the temperature. Next time then.
For the crust:
9 digestive biscuits (or 12 graham crackers)
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
4 tbsp melted unsalted butter
For the cheesecake:
300 grams cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
2/3 cup frozen mix berries
1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Line a 18cm x 18cm baking pan with parchment paper, allowing the ends to hang over the sides.
2. To make the crust, blend together the digestive biscuits, sugar, and cinnamon in a food processor until it has the texture of bread crumbs. Add in the melted butter and pulse a few times until incorporated. Pour this mixture into the lined baking pan. Flatten evenly along the bottom of the pan, and press it lightly to form a crust. Bake it for 12 minutes, or until golden brown. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
3. To make the cheesecake: Wipe out your food processor to get rid of any crumbs. Add the cream cheese, sugar, eggs, and lemon juice and blend until smooth and fully incorporated. Pour this mixture onto your cooled crust and shake the pan gently to spread the mixture evenly on the crust. Drop the fruits one by one on top of your cheesecake. They will sink into the mixture a bit, but the tops should stay exposed.
4. Place the baking pan on a larger baking tray and pour 1-2 cups of water on the larger baking tray, careful not to get any water on your cheesecake. Bake for 30 minutes or until the center only slightly jiggles. Cool to room temperature, and then place it in the fridge to cool for 3 hours.
5. Remove the cheesecake from the pan using the wax paper. Cut it into 9 bars, trying to avoid the fruits. Enjoy!
~ I used a 18cm X 24cm tray. Hence my brown bottom is not as thick. In the future I probably increase by 2-3 more digestive biscuits to make it thicker (it is my fave part) and take it from there.
~ Using Laughing Cow cheese triangles, I used 19.5 triangles. Loads of tin foils for garbage. Employ your husband to peel. Make him feel useful.
~ Using Laughing Cow cheese triangles that’s denser in texture, I suggest reducing the baking time to 25 mins and monitor. Reduce the temperature if needed. Bake until the cheeses set, but not broken.
~ Lastly, I added more than 2 cups of water on my larger baking tray. I added water till the smaller baking tray is submerged half way.