I have always loved cheesecake—baked or chilled, I have always loved the sharpness of this otherwise delicately flavored dessert. However, I have, at the same time, always been intimidated by the cheeses that cheesecake recipes demand. In this extremely Maharashtrian city, where it is difficult to even lay hands on a decent loaf of bread and where Hypercity has dared not to raise its up-market head, I have never even ventured into the cheese hunt arena. But I had been craving for some cool desserts this sultry summer, and cheesecake topped my list.

Genius struck when I remembered someone roughly mention the possible use of ice cream and good old hung yogurt for the manufacture of a cheesecake. It was Sonali’s birthday yesterday; and this is what I made (damn, I wish I had a picture of a wedge to show you):

No-bake Mango Cheesecake

It was surprisingly quick with the chakka and the ice-cream. Gelatin can be a god-send. You need just one hour to present a very inviting and homely cheesecake with perfect texture in less than half the time and effort. Here’s how:

Ingredients:

  • 2 packs Digestive biscuits
  • 2 tbsp. butter, melted
  • ½ kg chakka (hung natural yogurt)
  • ½ liter fresh mango ice-cream
  • 5 + 5 tbsp. powdered sugar
  • 3 tbsp. gelatin
  • 2 ripe Alphonso mangoes

Method:

  1. In a food processor, place the digestive biscuits and 5 tbsp. of powdered sugar and whiz until the biscuits crumble.
  2. Then, slowly add the melted butter through the funnel until you get a nice, clumpy sand.
  3. Evenly line a springform tin with this earthy mixture, taking care to cover the sides a bit. Leave to refrigerate until you work on the rest of the ingredients.
  4. Keep the ice-cream at room temperature for about 10 minutes till it softens (faster if you’re in Mumbai at this time of the year)
  5. Meanwhile, pour about 5 tbsp. of recently boiled water over the gelatin and place in a double boiler until the gelatin dissolves.
  6. Whisk the chakka (hung yogurt) in a large bowl or food processor until it softens. You could add some powdered sugar at this point if you like your cheesecakes very sweet. I don’t, so I added none.
  7. Now, quickly add in the ice-cream and gelatin, folding the mixture carefully. Add a little milk to achieve a smooth texture. His may be needed if the chakka is little dry.
  8. Pour over the set Digestive biscuit crust and leave in the refrigerator for an hour.
  9. For the final layer, roughly chop up some ripe Alphonso mangoes and puree them in a blender along with 5 tbsp. of sugar (again, optional. Although this is the only place where you can introduce some sweetness and not affect the cheesecake-y flavor)
  10. When the cheesecake is set, pour the mango sauce over and spread in loving, homely fashion and carefully release the dessert from its metal ring.
  11. Decorate with swirls of whipped cream if patience is one of your virtues. My cheesecake explains all.
  12. Cut a humongous wedge, dig the fork in, and close your eyes.

More chakka (hung yogurt) recipes here:

Shrikhand
Piyush