Sugar-Free and Egg-Free No-Bake Chocolate Cheesecake!!! (and opt dairy/gf!) and a lesson in frugality…:)
They say necessity is the mother of invention, well, I say, frugality is the mother of invention in this case too! This weekend, I was headed to a baby shower and wanted to bring a yummy dessert that I could enjoy too but others wouldn’t notice was "healthier”. I was also searching for something I could make with what I had on hand since it is nearing the end of the semester and I am trying not to buy much more. So, as fate would have it, I went to a breakfast that morning for my church and afterwards, they asked if anyone wanted any leftovers. I said sure! I always do. This is one of those things that I feel no shame in doing and it allows me to gain a little extra food here and there and stretch my budget and frugality better. So, question was though, what to do with it when I got home.
Here’s what I was given:
- a couple of already cut-in-half bananas that needed to be eaten or used quickly
- about 7 mini muffins (not sugar-free or GF but I planned on bringing them to the party or giving them away or something!… and they were MOSTLY lemon and 2 were chocolate chip)
- a tub of original cream cheese
- a tiny tub of whipped berry cream cheese (again, not sugar-free, but I would use it for the party somehow!)
- three blueberry bagels (again, not sugar-free, but I was going to figure out a way!)
So, what would you do? I was like…ok, I could eat the bananas. I ate one or two of the halves and decided….I need to use the others…So I just left them there for a moment and started thinking. I looked at my cream cheese….oh, yum! Cream cheese….I haven’t afforded myself that in a long time…check the container…almost full (nice!) but no way I’ll use this all……what can I use it for? Cheesecake! Now it says on the container, don’t use for baking. So, why not make a no bake cheesecake? And that’s where it really started….
I looked around for ideas and remembered seeing a recipe for no-bake cheesecake on my gelatin box. So gaining inspiration from there I created this recipe. The cheesecake became chocolate because I also needed to use up the rest of my chocolate sauce that I had made from the other day. Plus, what girl doesn’t like chocolate?
And then there’s the crust….what to do, what to do….hmmm…it would be kind of awkward to bring 7 little mini muffins to a party…what if I used them as crumbs instead of using cookie crumbs or graham cracker crumbs (as in the traditional crust recipes out there, both of which I didn’t have, nor have time to make). Brilliant, if I do say so myself. Wanting to reduce the fat content a smidgen, take away at least some of the strong flavor of the lemon muffins, save money on butter, use up the bananas, I added a mashed banana to the muffin crumbs. I then added the butter. I tasted it….Hmmm…still lemony. Just not quite right yet…and though I’ve heard you can put chocolate and lemon together, it just didn’t fit, plus it seemed too wet. So, I added cocoa…and pressed it in a pie plate since I didn’t have a spring form pan. And that ladies and gentlemen, is how I roll!
And the results? They loved it. I got several compliments at the shower. And, yes, though I realize it wasn’t the exact ideal ingredients (the crust had sugar and white flour which I never use), it was mostly for others, still a lot healthier than your average cheesecake and the fact that I was able to use up my free ingredients was the big deal for me.
Oh, and what did I do with those bagels and whipped berry cream cheese? I used a tiny gingerbread boy cookie cutter and cut about 30 or so gingerbread boys from them. I then piped the whipped berry cream cheese on them to make them look like little girls with bows and dresses. I had cute pictures…but I accidently deleted them.
Anyways, sorry for being so long winded, but I just had to share what I was able to do with this recipe! (which for me to make cost me almost nothing!) But here’s the recipe….
- 1 and 1/4 c. chocolate sauce*
- 1 package unflavored gelatin (if you can’t use…try agar agar)
- Original cream cheese spread (1 lb tub) or about 14.5 oz regular block cream cheese (soften) or equivalent amount of dairy-free cream cheese
- 1 t. vanilla
- 3-4 T. butter or 3-4 T. earth balance
- 1 banana, mashed
- ~7-8 mini muffins (GF or not) or 3-4 regular size muffins, crumbled
- 1/4 c. cocoa
- Mix together crust ingredients. Press into pie plate. Use as is or cook at 300 for 20 mins if you desire a soft-half baked crust. After doing that tough, I think it would be just as great/better raw.
- Boil and mix with 1 package unflavored gelatin, stir well. Set aside.
- Whip cream cheese with vanilla. Slowly add in sauce. Blend. Pour into prepared crust. Let set for 3 hours or until set in the fridge.
- Top with bananas and serve as is or with extra chocolate sauce.