A classic Western dessert with a contemporary Eastern twist. Subtly spiced and perfectly sweet, these no-bake, heavenly cheesecakes are one way of lighting up your Diwali celebrations!
So, Diwali is definitely looking a little different this year for those of us celebrating, but that doesn't mean we can't still get creative in the kitchen!
These cheesecakes have all the textures of a classic cheesecake, but with all the flavours of India hidden inside. The base uses homemade ghee and jaggery powder for a little extra authenticity, whilst the filling includes cardamom and saffron (obviously), which is balanced out by the white chocolate and coconut milk. I topped them with toasted pistachios and rose petals (if you want to go the extra mile, you can also add toasted coconut).
Adapting the cheesecakes
If you don't require lactose-free, switch the lactose-free cream cheese and cream for full-fat cream cheese and double cream.
Using these ingredients in place of their lactose-free versions will give you a thicker cheesecake that will hold together better, so you may not need to use any gelatin. Only use the gelatin if the mixture is loose.
To make them vegetarian
Swap the gelatin for a vegetarian version. If you can get your hands on Dr. Oeteker Vege-Gel, I recommend using this!
If you're vegetarian and you don't require lactose-free, you can follow the same process as above.
Lactose-free/vegan brands I recommend
Vegan white chocolate - ichoc.
Lactose-free cream and cream cheese - Arla (if you're in the U.K., you'll find this brand in most supermarkets).
Coconut milk - Biona.
Saffron, Cardamom and White Chocolate No-Bake Cheesecakes (Lactose-Free, Gluten-Free)
Makes: 12 muffin-sized cheesecakes
Total time: 35 minutes, excl. setting time
For the base:
130g gluten-free oat flour
50g walnuts, chopped or ground
35g jaggery powder or coconut sugar
75g ghee or grass-fed butter, melted
Pinch of salt
For the filling:
250g canned coconut milk (use the cream only)
100g vegan white chocolate
Generous pinch of saffron, lightly roasted
240g lactose-free cream cheese
120ml lactose-free cream
1/2 tsp cardamom
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp gelatin granules dissolved in 30ml hot water
1. For the base, add all the ingredients into a bowl and mix until a wet sandy consistency has formed. Distribute evenly across 12 compartments of your muffin tin(s). Ensure you press down firmly to prevent breakage. Transfer to the fridge whilst you prepare the filling.
2. To make the cheesecake filling, heat the coconut milk up in a saucepan over a medium heat (ensure you are only using the thick creamy parts and not the water left at the bottom). Once hot, remove from the heat and add in the saffron and white chocolate. Stir continuously until the chocolate has melted and you can start to smell the saffron. You should have a thick-ish liquid that is pale yellow in colour. Leave to cool for 10-15 minutes.
3. Add the cream cheese, cream, cardamom, vanilla extract and honey to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Beat at a high speed for around 2 minutes until thick and creamy. Add in the coconut milk and beat for a further 2 minutes at a medium speed. If your mixture is a little loose at this point, fold in the gelatin. If it's thick and holds together, there's not need to add it.
4. Remove the cheesecake bases from the fridge and place even amounts of filling on top of each of the bases. Place in the fridge and leave to set for at least 4 hours, or overnight for best results.
A little tip...
Place the cheesecakes into the freezer 1-2 hours before serving. This will make it easier for them to come out in once piece.
I hope you love this recipe!
Wishing you all a very Happy Diwali!