It’s Daring Bakers time again!
The April 2009 challenge is hosted by Jenny from Jenny Bakes. She has chosen Abbey’s Infamous Cheesecake as the challenge.
I took one look at the challenge and knew I’d have to join the ranks of the alternative bakers this month. Some months I’m able to go with the recipe as written, but Rich can’t eat cheesecake (he can’t do that much lactose) and I can’t eat an entire cheesecake on my own. So my challenge was to find a suitable vegan substitute.
Fortunately, the Daring Bakers alternative forum is a great place to get ideas, and one baker suggested using Susan from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen’s Eggnog Cheesecake recipe as the base, modifying as needed. Having had great success with Susan’s recipes in the past, I went with it, plus a graham cracker crust based on the original recipe Jenny had provided. My cheesecake was flavoured with frangelico instead of eggnog and rum, and topped with hazelnuts and dark chocolate.
Rich and I loved the cheesecake, and ate the entire thing over the long weekend in April. Ooops. At least it took us three days to polish it off instead of one? Funny enough, neither of us are big cheesecake fans, but we really did like this. I think I’d make it again, although next time in a smaller quantity, or maybe to take to a party or something.
One big tip before I give you the recipe: it’s way better if you leave it in the fridge at least a day after baking. That allows the flavours to develop and the yummy frangelico really comes out.
Vegan Hazelnut Cheesecake
heavily based on this recipe from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen. Thank you Susan!
1 12.3-ounce package extra firm light silken tofu
1 8-ounce package non-hydrogenated vegan cream cheese (I used Yoso plain cream cheese)
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup vanilla soy milk
1/4 cup frangelico
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup vegan butter substitute
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Mix together the crust ingredients and then spread into a pie plate. Bake for 8-10 minutes or just until very lightly browned. Set aside to cool.
Drain the tofu and put it and the soy cream cheese into a food processor (or a tall bowl if you want to use a stick blender to blend it). Blend until smooth. Add the sugar and soy milk and blend again until the sugar is dissolved, about 2 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and blend again, about 3 more minutes or until smooth. Pour into the crust and bake for 55 minutes. When done, the cheesecake should not be browned and should be just slightly jiggly in the middle – it will firm up completely once you refrigerate it.
Remove from oven and allow to cool, then refrigerate for at least a few hours, preferably a day to let the flavours meld.
Decorate with melted dark chocolate and sliced hazelnuts (optional, but tasty!).
For more cheesecake goodness, check out the Daring Baker’s Blogroll!
Oh, and if you’re wondering about the cheesequake: Cat & Girl is one of my favourite comics.