Chef Rory Macdonald's No-Bake Cheesecake
The European-style recipe makes a light and dense dessert with a kick.
Epicurious' 4 Levels series shows three versions of a classic dish followed by the science behind each. In this episode, acclaimed pastry chef Rory Macdonald elevates cheesecake with a savory crust and a triple-cream brie-style cheese from France.
Chef Rory adds texture to the dish with an oat biscuit rather than the traditional graham cracker crust, combines cream cheese and Brillat-Savarin cheese, and tops the pastry with fresh strawberry puree. He uses a piping bag and ring molds to plate the cake, which is finished with fresh strawberries and freshly cracked black pepper. He says the oat and black pepper biscuit provides a nice texture for the no-bake cake, which according to the food scientist, is more like a mousse than the typical cheesecake custard.
"This is a European-style cheesecake: It's set rather than baked, which makes it much less heavy," Chef Rory explains. "It's also made with a brie-style cheese, which is a much stronger flavor, so this cheesecake is not as sweet as normal. The strawberries and black pepper are the perfect matches to cut through the richness and give it a slight kick of heat."
Watch the video for more pro tips on cheesecake and get the complete recipe below.
Strawberry and Black Pepper No-Bake Cheesecake
- 200 grams Philadelphia cream cheese
- 300 grams Brillat-Savarin
- 500 grams cream
- 180 grams yolks
- 120 grams sugar
- 60 milliliters Frangelico
- 5 leaves gelatin
- Salt, to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 200 grams strawberry puree
- 200 grams fresh local strawberries
- Cream the cheese and the cream together in a KitchenAid stand mixer with a beater.
- Whisk together the eggs and sugar.
- Add to cream cheese mix, ensure there are no lumps.
- Soak gelatin in iced water, warm Frangelico, melt gelatin, add to mixture, pipe into molds.