Sunday, July 17, 2011
Simple Vegan Cheesecake
Hey there, long time, no see. My hiatus was partly laziness, partly technical difficulties, but I'm back with a new computer and new photo editing software and hopefully it will be better than ever?
This week was my friend Derek's birthday. He recently went vegan and wanted some cheesecake. I took the challenge and scoured the internet for recipes, eventually settling on the first one that comes up when you google "vegan cheesecake." It seemed to have good reviews and didn't require any fancy, expensive ingredients so I was all for it.
I started this morning by making vegan graham crackers because all the ones at the store contained honey. I was afraid they wouldn't crisp up properly and some of the thicker ones didn't, but that was mostly my fault for not rolling the dough thin enough. Most of them crisped up perfectly though.
I was a little nervous about the cheesecake base setting, but it turned out perfectly. Turns out, vegan cheesecake isn't so scary after all! Give it a try for the lovely vegans in your life.
Part One: Crust
About 10 graham crackers (store bought or from recipe posted above)
1/4 cup evaporated cane juice
1/3 cup Earth Balance, melted
Put the the graham crackers in a zip lock bag and pound them with a meat hammer (ironic, no?) or a rolling pin until broken up into fine crumbs. In a bowl, combine the crumbs with the sugar, then add the Earth Balance and mix well. Press into a pie plate and chill until ready to use.
Part Two: Filling
Adapted from All Recipes
12 oz. silken firm tofu
1/2 cup almond milk (or any non-dairy milk)
1/2 cup evaporated cane sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
Scrapings from one vanilla bean (optional, I used one from an old jar of homemade vanilla extract
2 tbsp maple syrup (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350.
Combine all the ingredients in a blender or food processor until well combined. That's it. I almost forgot the maple syrup and tried the filling before hand it and it was definitely sweet enough on it's own. I added half the amount the original recipe called for and end result did have a subtle maple flavor. If you aren't a maple fan or want a plainer flavored cake, try adding even less or skipping it completely.
Pour into the graham cracker crust and bake for 40 minutes or until the middle is just barely jiggly.
Put in the fridge and allow to chill completely. Garnish with fresh berries, chocolate, or whatever else you can come up with!