Peek to the right and you’ll see my June badge for NaBloPoMo… FANS. Fans? This will be a tricky month. Especially since I’ve yet to last a whole month… here’s hoping, right?
With fans in mind, I’m sharing a cheesecake recipe today. Cheesecake? Fans? The correlation may seem silly but in our house, anything that goes in or out of the oven, on the stove, in the microwave, or into the toaster – requires the use of the fan above our stove. The delightfully humorous builders that erected this Rear-Window rewrite of an apartment complex, had many hobbies. Beyond the clear love for Hitchcockish building plans and downsized drawers, horribly placed smoke detectors top the list. Want some toast? Boiling some water? Zapping leftovers? Baking a cheesecake? Turn on the fan. Our smoke detectors are very temperamental, and it’s really not their fault. Of course the system is hardwired, so there’s no where else to place the alarm, no way to move it further down the hallway. Next time they should just skip the use of a ladder and install it right next to the fan under the hood of the stove!
Without further adieu… the cheesecake recipe that has caused all this ruckus. With a [vegan] cheesecake this good, I’d deal with 10 smoke detectors.
2, 8-oz containers of Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 tablespoons lemon juice
5-6 tablespoons coconut milk (I had vanilla soy on hand)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
strawberries, to taste
Sammi, from VEGANPANDAMONIUM, did her cheesecake in a pre-cooked pie crust (9-inch if you’d like to go that route). I didn’t have any on hand – what I did have was a box of graham crackers and a food processor. 🙂 I did a quick Google and found a recipe to make your own cheesecake crust and broke out my new spring-form pans! So while this isn’t included on her recipe, it certainly doesn’t hurt her delicious cheesecake!
(Please note, most graham crackers are made with honey, to make the cheesecake totally vegan you’d need to buy vegan [sans honey] graham crackers. The ones that I had were basic and NOT vegan. The second time I made this I used chocolate graham crackers, which ARE vegan! And super yummy with this recipe! While I am a vegan and I do my best, I also have issues with throwing away food when some people around the world can’t even feed themselves or their children. I’m blessed to be able to send my children to bed with full tummies, and even more so to be able to treat them to something fun like cheesecake!)
2 cups of graham crackers, about two of the plastic packages within the box
1/2 cup of sugar
6 tablespoons of melted vegan butter, I used Smart Balance
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
Process your graham crackers in the food processor until they’re just crumbs. (If you add them in slowly you’ll get a better result without random large chunks of cracker left over!) Dump the crumbs into a mixing bowl and add sugar and melted butter. Mix until combined. Press into a spring-form pan with a flat measuring cup – using the measuring cup will help to keep the crust even and not too thick. Set your lovely homemade crust aside.
Rinse out and dry the food processor. Add your Tofutti cream cheese, vanilla, and sugar. Blend until mostly combined and then add the lemon juice and coconut milk (or soy, etc.) and continue to blend. Then add your cornstarch and blend some more! Scrape the sides of the bowl and blend until combined and smooth. Pour the mixture into the crust in the spring-form pan (or pie crust).
Bake for 45 minutes, or until slightly golden on top, and then let the cake cool. After it’s cooled, let it set in the fridge for at least an hour.
While you’re waiting for your cheesecake to set in the fridge you can slice up strawberries for the top. I generally slice them, plop them all into a glass bowl and let them sit in the fridge to juice together. If you prefer, you can add a teaspoon or two of sugar, then mix, and this will help the strawberries make a LOT of “strawberry water” (as my kids would say).
After the cheesecake has completely cooled and set, carefully pop off the spring-form pan, slip the cake onto a dish or platter, cut a slice of HEAVEN, add strawberries, and eat! I promise not to say “I told you so,” while you weep over the deliciousness of this recipe. Sammi – I think I love you. 😉
More tomorrow. 🙂