No-Bake Pandan Cheesecake with Pandan Agar Topping
I made a Pandan Cheesecake for my daughter’s birthday last November.
This is a tweaked version of that recipe.
1 – 1 1/2 cup crushed biscuits
1/3 to 1/2 cup butter, melted
2 x 250g cream cheese, softened at room temperature
1 x 400g can sweetened condensed milk
1 Tablespoon pandan extract
1 teaspoon pandan essence
1 1/2 Tablespoons gelatine, dissolved in 1/3 cup water*
* sprinkle gelatine over cold water, stir well and heat gently in a saucepan until dissolved OR heat in a microwave oven on High for 45 seconds
1. Combine biscuit crumbs and melted butter. Press into a 24cm (9.5 in) square springform cake tin. Put in the refrigerator to chill and set.
2. In a large bowl, add ingredients for filling one at a time, beating well after each addition. Pour into cake tin over the base. Chill until firm.
100 ml coconut milk
400 ml water
1/2 teaspoon pandan paste
13 g agar powder*
75 g sugar
pinch of salt
* agar is a plant-based gelling agent. Commonly used in South-east Asian cuisines/desserts. Because it is plant-based, it is suitable for vegetarians/vegans, unlike gelatine which is animal-based. Agar can be found in Asian supermarkets and some urban/urbane mainstream supermarkets. If in a pinch, gelatine is a good substitute. (Pandan paste and pandan essence may be more difficult to obtain!)
Here is an interesting article about the difference between agar and gelatin.
Combine all the ingredients for the topping — except the desiccated coconut — in a small saucepan. Stir over high heat until it boils. Then, lower heat and let it simmer for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
If you are using gelatine, you do not need to boil the mixture. Using warm/hot water should be sufficient.
Pour agar mixture over the chilled cheesecake and, working quickly, remove as many bubbles as possible. Agar can set at above room temperature! It was >30C today and you can actually see traces where the bubbles were! The agar was setting as I was popping the bubbles!
Put back in the refrigerator to chill (if necessary).
Sprinkle desiccated coconut over the cake.