I was really excited to finally be a part of the Baking Partners monthly challenge! This month was cheesecake. Okay. I have to admit, I wasn’t super excited. I don’t really like cheesecake, and uh, veganizing cheesecake is kind of hard. I do make a pretty tasty pumpkin pie cheesecake for the husband around his birthday but I generally don’t partake. So I didn’t really know what I was doing.
But I didn’t have to worry! Tofutti was there to help with their cream cheeze and sour cream. But sweetened condensed milk? I had to make my own. I took 3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut, about 1 cup of water, 2/3 cup of agave nectar, 1/4 cup of coconut oil and a splash of vanilla. Whirled it all up in the blender to break down the coconut. The cheesecake had lemon in it but I could really taste the subtle coconut flavour from the “sweetened condensed milk”.
I did bake it for a bit longer than an hour. I kept on jiggling it, seeing how done it was. If I hadn’t manhandled it so much I probably wouldn’t have gotten any sinking. But I was nervous. Letting it cool in the oven help but shaking it every 5 minutes was probably not amazing. The texture was so light and fluffy! I actually ate a piece myself (the photo piece) I couldn’t help myself.
I didn’t know what to serve it with so I made a vegan dulce de leche. I figured since I had used coconut in the milk cheesecake then it would be a great topping. I boiled up 1 14oz can of coconut milk with 3/4 cup of brown sugar for about 20 minutes.
Oh yeah, it brought it to the next level. I like adding it to individual slices. That way you can go heavy or light. You can still taste the tang of the cream cheese and sour cream and also the lemon in the batter. The coconut was subtle but a great addition. The dulce the leche just brought everything together and made me, a person who would turn down cheesecake in a heartbeat to go get another piece.
Adapted from Baking Without Eggs
- For the crust:
- 1 1/2 cups finely crushed chocolate cookie crumbs or graham cracker crumbs
- 1/2 cup margarine, melted
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- For the filling
- 3 (8-ounce) packages Tofutti cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/2 cup vegan sweetened condensed milk (home made is easy, see the body of the blog post)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind (optional)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1.5 packages (16 ounces) Tofutti sour cream
- To prepare crust: In a small bowl, combine chocolate cookie crumbs, melted margarine, and sugar; blend well. Press into bottom of an ungreased 9-inch springform pan. Put foil around bottom of pan so it does not drip. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
- To prepare filling: In a large bowl, with a handheld electric mixer set on medium speed, beat cream cheese, condensed milk, sugar, baking soda, bakingpowder, cornstarch, lemon juice, lemon rind (if used), and vanilla. Beat until smooth, approximately 3 minutes. Add sour cream; blend well. Pour into prepared pan.
- Bake for 1 hour on center rack. Knife inserted in outer side of cake shouldcome out clean when cake is done. Middle will still be creamy.
- Turn off oven and open door; let cake sit in oven for another 2 to 3 hours to cool slowly.