Finding a vegan cheesecake is hard enough. Finding a baked vegan cheesecake is close to impossible. Finding a vegan cheesecake without nuts? Now we’re diving into mysterious territory.
Don’t think the addition of tofu to this bake is weird. If you are vegan, you’re probably familiar with the ingredient, if not – you’re missing out. Organic tofu (we don’t want GMO soy, please) is bloody delicious when cooked right. Lucky for us, it has a very subtle flavour and can add a good amount of substance to our ‘cheesecake’ filling.
The base for this cheesecake is simple. Find any gluten-free biscuits you fancy and whack the shit out of them. Add some coconut oil et voila, you have your base. You can find these pretty easily at your local grocery store in the health aisle. In my case, I had some leftover gingerbread men and they were perfect for a flavoursome and sturdy base.
For the base:
- 5 medium- large leftover gingerbread biscuits
- 4 big dessert spoons of coconut oil, melted
For the filling:
- 300g of organic silken tofu (it’s important you use silken – you can find this at your local grocery store)
- A can of full-fat coconut milk (try and find one with the highest percentage of coconut – I used this one which is 85% coconut and 15% water)
- Zest and juice of one lemon
- 1 tsp of vanilla extract
- 4 tbsp of maple syrup
- 4 tbsp of corn starch dispersed on 3 tbsp of cold water
Set your oven to 180ºC and line a baking tray with baking paper. I used a 23cm x 23cm brownie tin. You can use a small cake tin but make sure you line the tin well so you can get the cheesecake out easily when cooled.
In a ziplock bag, smash your biscuits until they form a crumb. Mix them with the melted coconut oil, and press evenly into your baking tray to form the cheesecake base. Use a spatula to make sure that the base is even. Place in the fridge to harden.
Open your tofu, and try and press all of the liquid out of it as best you can. I put it on a plate and gently pressed it with a paper towel. Pop it in a nutribullet along with your coconut milk, vanilla essence, lemon juice, lemon zest and maple syrup. In a separate bowl, mix your cornstarch with the cold water. Blitz the mixture in the nutribullet until smooth. Taste and see if it’s sweet enough for you. If not, add another tablespoon of maple syrup.
Once you’re satisfied with the flavour, add your cornstarch mix and blitz. Once combined, remove your baking tray from the fridge and slowly pour in your mixture.
Place in the oven and bake for 40 minutes. Do not open the oven before 40 minutes as this can cause the cheesecake to sink. It should have some nice colour on top of it. After 40 minutes, switch off the oven and open the oven door but leave the cheesecake in there for another 15-20 minutes to cool down.
Once you’ve removed it, use a toothpick to check if the centre is cooked. It may still look underdone but if a toothpick comes out clean you’re in the right track. Leave it outside the oven to cool completely before transferring to the fridge for an hour.
Cut and serve with some fresh berries or coconut yogurt!