For Olivia's first birthday, even though I was pretty darn sick, I still managed to make her a cake (yay hooray!) and for some reason, a cheesecake seemed just the thing...but all that dairy? Especially for a baby who's never even had a little bit? (ok, maybe she's snuck a sip or two from her siblings sippy cups, but still...
So, a tofutti vegan cheesecake it was! I found a great recipe in this cookbook and even my hyper-critical mother liked it! My dad liked it! The baby liked it! No one knew they were eating tofuuti and not rich, fattening cream cheese! (and then I told them, and, well, that sort of put a damper on things)...but they ate every bit!
Here's the recipe:
1 1/2 cups vegan cookie crumbs (we used vegan organic oreo cookies)
3 Tbs refined coconut oil. melted
1 cup plus 7 Tbs turbinado sugar
2 pounds tofu cream cheese (Tofutti)
1 pound silken tofu
3 Tbs arrowroot ( or 3 Tbs plus 2tsp cornstarch)
1 Tbs pure vanilla extract
Zest and juice of one lemon
Fruit glaze topping (optional, recipe follows)
Preheat oven to 325 F
In a medium bowl, combine the cookie crumbs, oil, and 3 Tbs of the sugar, stirring until the mixture is uniformly moist. Transfer to a 10-inch springform pan and press the mixture evenly up the sides of the pan. Place the pan on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until the crust is lightly browned and dry, 15-20 minutes. Cool on a cooling rack.
While the crust is cooling, increase the oven temp to 350 F.
In the bowl of a food processor, combine about 1/4 of the cream cheese and the tofu; process until smooth. Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl with a hand mixer. Add the remaining cream cheese and the remaining 1 1/4 cups sugar and mix on medium speed until smooth.
In a small bowl, combine the arrowroot or cornstarch, vanilla, and lemon juice.
Add this mixture, along with the lemon zest, to the cream cheese mixture, beating until just smooth. Pour the entire mixture into the cooled crust. (Ours was a tad warm still, came out fine). Place the pan on the rimmed baking sheet and bake for 50 minutes.
When the time is up, turn off the heat, but leave the cheesecake in the oven until the edges are set and lightly browned but the center is still wobbly, about 60 minutes. Remove from the oven, run a knife around the edge of the crust, and let cool completely.
Cover and chill for at least 4 hours and up to a day before removing the sides of the pan. Just before serving, pour the glaze on top, spreading it evenly.
Fruit Glaze Topping:
1 cup all-fruit jam or preserves, whatever flavor you like (I used strawberry)
1 Tbs arrowroot disolved in 1/3 cup water (or 3 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch disolved in 1/3 cup water)
In a small saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the jam and the arrowroot mixture. Bring to a simmer, whisking until thickened and no longer milky-looking, about 3 minutes. Cool and spread on the cooled, chilled cheesecake.
That's a lot of work, and waiting, but worth it! Enjoy!