[donotprint] Last weekend was the weekend of the cheesecakes…or cheese less cakes rather!
Before I became vegan my lemon cheesecake laden with cream cheese, yoghurt and gelatine was one of my favourite go to recipes when we had a family occasion to celebrate. Not that I ever ate it myself being in the throws of my eating disordered ways at the time but repeatedly indulged in the making of it for others; my dad being it’s number one fan.
Now when I make something be it savoury, sweet or anywhere in between I do so with my own tastebuds and appetite in mind and of course my plant based approach to eating. Last weekend I took full advantage of the kitchen and got experimenting. First up was a lime “cheesecake” with a silken tofu and coconut creamy filling and oat, date and coconut base. It all came together pretty well and when I finally managed to get it out of the pie dish or rather off of the loose bottom…much shifting, manoeuvring, huffing, puffing and near heart attacks were involved in the process… I was delighted to see it in one piece, set and quite easily sliced.
There were a few things I wasn’t happy with…
- The base was a little soggy
- It could have done with a bit more lime and wee bit more sweetness
- The texture needed to be slightly creamier
That said I had no intention of whipping up another one straight away but of course if played on my mind and I became a woman on a mission. A mission to perfect the vegan version of my old time classic. With not a lime left in the house I went with lemons for attack of the “cheesecake” take two.
I stuck with the silken tofu and this time went with a hell of a lot more juice, left out the coconut milk and included soaked and processed cashews. The result was a thicker, creamier filling that set almost immediately. I made the base a little drier and both the consistency and the fact that the filling set more quickly made for a much more solid staple base.
The filling was a zillion times better! The lemon really packed a punch and I got the sweetness levels just right. My dad delved in to a slice (a tofu phoebe) unknowingly, clearing the plate in mere seconds. To say I was delighted would be a massive understatement. Not only did it get his approval, my perfectionist two thumbs up and two slices tested to confirm, my little niece literally licked the plate clean. She LOVES lemons even going as far as sucking the slice on top
Sometimes two cheesecakes just need to be made in succession regardless of the fact that no special occasion is on the horizon! Quite the effortless dessert, relatively healthier…it’s like a plate full of green veg when you compare it to it’s cheesy forefather!
What’s your favourite go to dessert recipe you make for family and friends? [/donotprint]
Vegan Lemon Cheesecake
Servings – 6
Preparation Time – 30 minutes
- 3/4 cup (125g) soaked dates
- 1.5 cups (150g) oats
- 2 tbsp water
- 150ml (1/2 cup + 2 tbsp) lemon juice
- 1 heaped tbsp lemon zest (zest of one large lemon)
- 1 pack of firm silken tofu (300g/10.5oz)
- 1/2 cup cashews (70g) soaked for at least 4 hours
- 60ml (1/4 cup) maple syrup
- 1.5 tbsp agar flakes
- Blend dates in a food processor to form a paste. Remove and process oats until you have a coarse oat flour. Drop back in date paste broken up in to a few pieces. Blitz until combined. Add in water and process until it comes together in a ball. The dough should be soft and pliable a little sticky but not overly so.
- Place the mixture in to a non stick lightly greased loose bottom tart/pie dish. I used an 8 inch round fluted loose bottom pie dish.
- Press down evenly pushing the mixture right the way to the edges and up the sides of tin. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes before the filling goes in.
- Get to making your filling when the base is ready to be filled.
- Blend silken tofu, maple syrup, lemon zest and soaked cashews in a food processor until smooth and creamy.
- Place lemon juice in a pot, bring to the boil and sprinkle in agar flakes. Stir occasionally until the flakes are dissolved…2-3 minutes.
- Place juice in to food processor and quickly blend with the silken tofu mixture.
- Pour “cheesecake” filling in to the base and return to the fridge to set for at least four hours; I made mine the night before slicing but it was completely set within four hours. Garnish with slices of lemon.