Saturday, July 16, 2016

No-Bake Neapolitan Cheesecake

Hey, hey, hey! I'm back to blogging!

Or at least I'm trying to :) I've been inactive for weeks because I have a lot in my plate: work, trips with friends, and money budgeting. Adulting is hard. No one told me that in college. -_-

But despite my battle with time and bills, I am enjoying it! What I do not enjoy, however, is how fast-paced our generation can be. Now, everyone wants everything in a snap. It's like everyone is expecting you to be on top at your early to mid 20s - and if you miss that time frame, it's too late to succeed. Who made that freakin' time frame??

And that affected my blogging. I started this food blog even without a formal background in cooking because I love and want to bake, to take photos, and to write. I was happy. I know my blog (still) isn't the prettiest, but at least I'm documenting (the best of) my baking adventures.

And then I learned that I can earn from blogging, because I saw that others can. And I was thinking, that this could be my way to succeed in life early! That I can earn a lot at home just by blogging. So I worked harder for better content and tried to expose my posts more - and then I let it consume me to the point that I forgot to have fun on the process. I got frustrated because I think that my growth is too slow, because I'm still not earning from this blog after my first post in December 2014. Baking is an expensive hobby, and I just keep on spending without anything in return. So unconsciously, I stopped.

But then the other day, someone talked to me about his passion for music. How he and his friend is willing to invest thousands of money (literally) in music, and then share it underground to real music enthusiasts with no money in return. Because earning from passion is just a bonus - the real return there is the fulfillment of doing what you love.

Right on the next day after that talk, I made this No-Bake Neapolitan Cheesecake. Because life is full of colors, and mixed with different flavors. It can be easy if you choose it to be (just like choosing baked vs no-bake), and needs to invest some time on (because baking in general needs time!). I am now writing this post with a refreshed outlook: that I am doing this because I love to bake, and I want others to spark their inner-baking diva as well! :) If I do earn from this in the future, then His will be done. But for now, I want to share my passion with fellow passionate bakers.

So I know that this has been a lengthy post already, and I have to get to the cake:

In the original recipe, it called for a 9" springform pan. I opted for 8", just because it is prettier in a photo. Seriously. So as a result, the supposedly 3rd layer of cheesecake - or the vanilla layer - became a layer of whipped cream. If I continued with another layer of cheesecake, this cake would've been a tower already! But at least I managed to do the aesthetic of a Neapolitan dessert - a chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla layer.

Graham Cracker Crust
  • 1 1/2 cups Graham Crackers, crushed
  • 1/4 cup Butter
Chocolate Cheesecake
  • 1 cup (8 oz) Cream Cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup Sugar
  • 3/4 cup Bittersweet Chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tbsp Butter
  • 1 cup Whipped Cream
Strawberry Cheesecake
  • 1 cup (8 oz) Cream Cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Strawberry extract (I used McCormick)
  • 1 cup Whipped Cream
Vanilla Whipped Cream
  • 1 cup Whipped Cream
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup Sugar* (optional)

Prepare crust:
  1. Crush graham biscuits using a food processor, or place it in a ziplock back and press using a rolling pin until it turns into fine crumbs. 
  2. Melt butter, and mix into crushed grahams. 
  3. Press the mixture firmly on the bottom and sides of an 8" springform pan. 
Chocolate Cheesecake Layer:
  1. Melt chocolate in a microwave for 30 seconds. If lumps are still present, continue to heat it in 10 seconds intervals until it is smooth. Cool chocolate for 10 minutes. 
  2. In another bowl, whip cream cheese until light and fluffy. Slowly add in sugar, then continue beating until sugar is dissolved. Beat in melted chocolate. 
  3. Fold in whipped cream using a spatula.  
  4. Pour mixture on prepared springform pan. Place pan in the freezer.
Strawberry Cheesecake Layer:
  1. Whip cream cheese until light and fluffy. Slowly add in sugar, then continue beating until sugar is dissolved. Add in strawberry extract, then continue beating mixture until it is evenly distributed.
  2. Fold in whipped cream using a spatula.  
  3. Pour mixture on prepared springform pan as the second layer. Place pan in the freezer.
Vanilla Whipped Cream:
  1. Whip whipped cream on high for 5 minutes. Add vanilla extract. If desired, you may slowly beat in sugar. I opted not to because the brand of whipped cream I use is already sweet on its own.
  2. Pipe whipped cream on top of the strawberry layer. Or if you prefer a rustic look, drop a cup of whipped cream on top and spread freely using an icing spatula or spoon.  
Makes 1 8" cake.
Recipe adapted from iambaker.

Take a step back from your busy life, and give some time doing what you really love <3