An almost no bake, simple & easy black sesame cheesecake that’s fluffy and lightly sweetened with a toffee-like crust. A perfect treat for afternoon tea!
Before we start, let’s talk cheesecake. This recipe is not your typical decadent New York style cheesecake, in fact it’s the opposite – it’s soft, fluffy, lightly sweetened and has crazy nutty flavours from the roasted black sesame and the toffee-like crust. I adapted this recipe from my mother-in-law’s cherry cheesecake – which is to die for but that will be another recipe in the near future. 🙂
I know I always say I am not much of a baker, but there’s a little baking in this but you know what? That 10 minutes of baking is SO WORTH IT. I’d barely even call that baking, it’s more like toasting! There’s something about browning the crust that makes it almost taste toffee-like. (Like a Skor bar!) I seriously think the crust is the best part but I’ll let you be the judge.
Most ingredients can be bought at the local grocery store.
Black sesame seeds may or may not be found at your local grocery store but can usually be found at an Asian supermarket or a specialty grocery store. It can also be purchased online as well here.
Note: When shopping for black sesame seeds, do not confuse black sesame seeds, with black sesame ‘dessert powder’. Check the ingredients, it shouldn’t contain any sugar. Black sesame dessert powder contain sugar and are meant to be used as an instant black sesame dessert. Look for the whole black sesame seeds and grind them up at home.
For the graham cracker crumbs, you can buy pre-ground or the actual graham cracker cookies and grind them up at home. We found it to be easier to just buy the pre-ground ones, so I used that.
Normally, we would use unsalted butter for cooking and baking but for this recipe go with the salted butter.
Yup, salted butter. The salt in the butter gives the crust a lightly salty flavour which gives it an almost toffee bar flavour and the salt and sweet combination is absolutely fantastic together. Seriously!
PUTTING IT TOGETHER
Pre-baking the Graham Cracker Coconut Crust
- Melt the butter in the microwave 15 seconds at a time for approximately 45 seconds until it has melted. (Don’t do 45 seconds all at once, unless you enjoy the sight of exploding butter, followed by a intense clean up! 😛 Sadly, I found this out the hard way.)
- In a large bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs (if you are using whole crackers, put it in the food processor to finely ground it first), the unsweetened shredded coconut, sugar and melted butter and mix well until it has the consistency of wet sand.
- Press them into a tartlet shells, starting with the sides first, then the bottoms. I found it easiest to just use your hands to do this.
- Pre-heat the oven to 350F (177C) and bake them for 10 minutes.
- Once baked, remove them from the oven and let it cool before taking them out of the tartlet shells.
No Fuss Version
Use a 9×11 pan! If you don’t want to fiddle around with the tartlets you can make these into squares. Use a 9×9 pan and pre-bake the crust with that. Once the creamy filling has been mixed together, scoop it into the baked crust and chill it in the fridge – and voila! An even easier, less fuss black sesame cheesecake! 🙂
Making the Black Sesame Cream Cheese Mix
- Measure out the black sesame seeds and grind them in a food processor until it is crumbly and fine in texture. Then add in the sugar and blitz it for 1 more minute.
- In a bowl, combine the softened cream cheese and black sesame/sugar mixture with a fork or spatula. (If your cream cheese is not soft, this will not evenly mix – you can quickly warm up the cheese in the microwave for 25 seconds to warm it up to a soft consistency)
- In another large bowl, add in the heavy cream and use a hand or stand mixer and mix it until it forms a thick whipped cream. This will take about 5 minutes or so.
- When the cream is thick and holds it’s shape, add in the black sesame cheese mixture into the heavy cream bowl and mix some more until it has evenly combined into a creamy mixture.
There are 2 ways you can build it, use the method that you find most appealing! 🙂
- No Fuss [9×9 pan] – Pour the cream cheese mixture into the 9×9 glass pan (assuming you used that method to make the crust) and then toss the whole pan into the fridge to cool. Once cooled, you can scoop it out messily and serve it up that way or cut them into squares. Top it with a few black sesame seeds, toasted coconut or whipped cream.
- Build it When You Eat It – Put the cream cheese mixture in the fridge first to cool for a few hours so it has a thicker consistency. Once it is thicker, you can dollop the cream cheese mixture into the crust! Top it with a few black sesame seeds, toasted coconut or whipped cream. We prefer this method so we don’t need to keep a large pan in the fridge – we store the crusts in a well sealed container on the counter. Bonus: The tarts stay crisper for an extra crunchy texture! 🙂
Yay for simple sweets!
An almost no bake, simple & easy black sesame cheesecake that’s fluffy and lightly sweetened with a toffee-like crust.
Coconut Graham Cracker Crust
- 4 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1 cup unsweetened dried shredded coconut
- 1 cup salted butter (melted)
- 2 tablespoons sugar
Black Sesame Cream Cheese Filling
- 1 1/4 cups toasted black sesame seeds
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 250g cream cheese (soften)
- 250 ml whipping cream/heavy cream (minimum 35% fat)
Making the Coconut Graham Cracker Crust
- Melt the butter in the microwave 15 seconds at a time for 45 seconds
- In a large bowl, combine the graham cracker crust, shredded coconut, sugar and butter and mix well until it has the consistency of wet sand
- Pre-heat oven to 350F (177C)
- [If you’re using tartlet shells] Press the graham cracker crumbs into the sides of the shell and then the bottom
- [If you’re using a 9×9 pan] Press the graham cracker crumbs onto the bottom or the pan
- Bake for 10 minutes
- Set aside to cool, once it has finished baking. (If you are using tartlet shells, do not remove them out of the shells until they are full cooled, or they will fall apart)
Making the Black Sesame Cream Cheese Filling
- Measure out the black sesame seeds and grind it in a food processor until it is fine and crumbly
- Add sugar into the food processor and blitz it with the seed mixture for about 1 minute
- In a large bowl, combine the black sesame seed/sugar mixture and soften cream cheese with a fork or spatula. (Cream cheese must be soft else it will not mix with the black sesame seeds evenly)
- In another large bowl, use a hand or stand mixer and mix the heavy cream for about 5 minutes until it has formed a thick whipped cream that can hold it’s shape
- Add in the black sesame mixture into the whipped cream and mix it until it is evenly mixed.
- [9×11 pan] Pour the cream cheese mixture into the 9×9 pan on top of the crust and put it in the fridge to cool and set. To serve, this you can cut them into squares or scoop it out messily for a more rustic dessert
- [Tarlets] Put the cream cheese mixture into the fridge to cool and solidfy for a few hours, when ready to serve, scoop a mound of the mixture out on top of the tarts
- [Toppings] Serve it with whipped cream, black sesame seeds, toasted coconut or topping free! 🙂
- Microwave the butter in 15 second increments, else the butter will sputter and explode in the microwave and make a mess.
- If you’re pressed for time, soften the cream cheese in the microwave for 25 seconds.
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