1 ½cupsfinely crushed graham crackers,about 1 1/2 sleeves
2tbspdark brown sugar,optional
1tspcoarse Kosher salt(if using table salt, use half the amount)
1 ½cupscold heavy whipping cream,divided
1envelope (1/4 oz)unflavored powdered gelatin
1 ½lbscream cheese,softened to room temperature
gel food coloring(red or pink, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple)
1cupheavy whipping cream,cold
pinchcream of tartar
lemon slices, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 325F. Lightly spray the bottom of an 8-inch springform pan with non-stick baking spray.
Combine the crushed graham crackers with the sugar and salt. Drizzle with the melted butter, and toss with a fork until moistened and crumbly. Dump the crumbs into the pan, and press the crumbs firmly against the bottom and several inches up the sides of the pan.
Bake the crust for 10 minutes, until fragrant and golden brown. Cool completely.
Note that you can skip the step of baking the crust, but I like to bake it briefly just to toast the graham crackers for a richer, nuttier flavor.
In a microwaveable glass measuring cup or bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup of the heavy whipping cream with the gelatin. Let stand for 5 minutes.Microwave on high for 1 minute, stirring after 30 seconds, to dissolve the gelatin.Set aside while you make the filling. If any small lumps of undissolved gelatin remain in the warmed cream/gelatin mixture, pour it through a mesh strainer.
In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla bean until smooth, about 2 minutes. Beat in the sour cream.
Gradually add the remaining 1 cup of heavy whipping cream, and beat until soft peaks form.
Add the strained cream/gelatin mixture to the mixing bowl and beat until smooth and thick.
Working quickly, divide the filling into 6 bowls. Tint each portion with food coloring until it’s your desired color. Spread one color onto the crust, smoothing it out, and repeat with the remaining colors. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 4-6 hours, or overnight.
Run a sharp knife around the sides of the cheesecake, and carefully remove the sides of the pan.
For the topping, beat the cream with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Add the cream of tartar (for stability) and the powdered sugar and beat until thick, stiff peaks form. Spread or pipe on top of the cheesecake.
Leftover no bake cheesecake should be covered and refrigerated, and is best eaten within 3 days.