We are making a simple graham cracker crust and to keep it light and balanced, we will not add any additional sugar to the base. If you do want to sweeten it up, you can add 1/4 cup of light brown sugar but it's sweet enough as it is. Crumble the graham crackers in a food processor, if you don't have one available, place them in a zip lock bag and lightly smash them with a meat tenderiser or rolling pin until you have a rough crumble. Now add in the melted butter and whisk until well combined. Place into your baking form and using the back of a glass press and compact until its all set. You can smoothen out the edges using the back of a table spoon. Place in the fridge and let it cool for 10-15 minutes
Whisk the Philadelphia cream cheese with a stand or hand mixer until smooth, note it should be at room temperature when you start. Now add in the sugar, condensed milk, Vanilla extract and lemon juice, and whisk until smooth. In a separate bowl, whisk the heavy cream to stiff peaks. Just before you reach stiff peaks, add in the confectionary sugar and finish. Add the whipped cream into the cream cheese mix and fold until well combined.
500 grams Philadelphia Cheese, 2 Tbsp Condensed Milk, 1 Tbsp Lemon Juice, 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract, 3/4 cup Heavy Cream, 1/4 cup Heavy Cream, 65 grams Confectionary Sugar
Spread the cream cheese topping on the set graham cracker crust and smoothen out using a small palette knife or the back of a spoon.
This step is optional but a nice touch, Using a knife, I mark my bar potions out. This way I know where to cut later and can find the center of each bar. Now using the back of a small spoon, I make a grove in the middle of each bar. This will hold the strawberry jam later.
Place in the fridge and cool for at least 8 hours, to get a nice clean cut.
Getting a Clean Cut Bar
To get a perfectly clean cut bar, make sure you cool the cheesecake bars completely. Once cooled use a sharp straightedge knife. Clean it and damp it lightly before each cut. This will give you razor edges for every bar.
Optionally you can add either white chocolate ganache or save some cream cheese topping and drizzle it over the top as decoration. For the chocolate ganache, simply melt the white chocolate in a bain marie (hot water bath). Now add the heavy cream until combined, let it cool a little and drizzle over the bars.
100 grams White Chocolate
Make sure you let the bars cool overnight for a perfect cut and texture