Strawberry Cheesecake

October 20, 2011

 Strawberry Cheesecake

Everybody loves cheesecakes. Given their reputation, I tried a slice years ago and, sadly, it made no good impression on me. It was stale and too sweet, as I remember. I had no interest in giving it another try afterwards...until I became vegan and started baking heavily. Not having much to compare with, it wasn't easy finding a good vegan recipe, especially since there weren't many available last year. Jolinda Hackett's tofu cheesecake recipe on About.com seemed perfect and I went with it.

Now, vegan cheesecakes don't have a good reputation because of tofu. I noticed that many people focus more on getting a good texture and less on the taste. Well, tofu has quite a bland, vegetable taste...but that's the beauty of it - it absorbs the flavour of anything it combines with. So when you follow a basic recipe, improvise. Add cocoa and maple syrup for a deep taste, add orange/lemon zest and juice for a tangy flavour, add cinnamon, allspice, mint, vanilla, rum, peanut butter, even sneak in some fruit - sky's the limit for what you can turn a simple recipe into. More importantly, don't overload the cake with sugar in order to mask the taste of tofu, after all you want people to enjoy it and eat more.


This particular recipe doesn't have anything spectacular in terms of flavour, but that's just what I loved about it - simplicity. I topped it with some freshly made strawberry jam and the combination was delicious. Silken tofu, egg replacer and corn starch give it a smooth yet dense texture, making it more custard-like than creamy. I welcomed this change with so much delight, I ended up eating almost half the cake that day. I didn't have maple syrup, so I used agave instead. Later on I made it with plum jam and that was so much better.

Strawberry Cheesecake

My conclusions after trying this recipe:
  • you can't go wrong with it;
  • you can omit the egg replacer and corn starch for a softer, creamier texture;
  • blend tofu until very smooth and keep the oven temperature on moderate, otherwise the liquid inside will start simmering and evaporating too fast, creating small inaesthetic holes in the cake and giving it a curdled texture.
If you have any questions or doubts before making this recipe, please leave a comment below.

Strawberry Cheesecake

This recipe makes a 20 cm (8") cake.

Crust:
Using a removable bottom pan, line the bottom with parchment paper. Mix 1 cup crumbled/powdered rich tea biscuits with 3 Tb melted butter and 1 Tb agave syrup. Arrange into the prepared pan and press down with your fingers or the back of a spoon to form a compact even layer. Refrigerate while making the cream.

Ingredients for cheesecake:
  • 1 tub (225 g) cream cheese (choose trans-fat-free version available in health food stores)
  • 1 pack (349 g) firm silken tofu
  • 1/3 cup corn starch
  • 1/3 cup soy milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 Tb agave syrup
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 Tb freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 tsp egg replacer
  • 2 Tb water
  • 2 Tb sunflower oil

Method:
  • Preheat oven to 325°F (160° C).
  • Blend tofu until smooth.
  • Whisk egg replacer with the 2 Tb water until frothy.
  • Add all ingredients to tofu except oil and blend on medium till incorporated.
  • Add the oil and blend for a few seconds on low.
  • Pour over the prepared crust and even out with the back of a spoon. Bake for 40-50 minutes until just barely firm and still jiggly in the middle. The edges will be slightly puffed up.
  • Remove from the oven, cool on a wire rack and refrigerate for a few hours to firm up.
  • Carefully remove from the pan, peel off the paper and place on a serving plate.
  • Add the topping and cut into slices.

Easy Strawberry Jam
1 1/2 cups medium strawberries - cut some of them in half and leave the rest whole. Sprinkle with 3-4 Tb sugar and let sit for an hour to release juice. In a small pan on low heat, bring to a simmer and stir occasionally until it thickens. Remove from heat and add some lemon juice. Taste and adjust if necessary. Let cool and add to the cake. To make plum jam, use 1 1/2 cups and cut some into quarters, others in half.

Plum Cheesecake


A lot of time, effort and passion goes into each recipe I post. My greatest satisfaction comes from your feedback. If you made this recipe, then please take a minute of your time to leave me a comment. And if you like it, please share it so that others have access to it as well. Thank you all in advance!

19 comments:

Gluten Free Vegan Journey

I think you meant to say Tofutti better than cream cheese, not cream cheese in the ingredients? I can't wait to try this =)

Vegan Magic

Hello Michelle, I'm so happy that you like this recipe. I used the general term "cream cheese" because Tofutti is not available everywhere. The Tofutti better than cream cheese is the American version, in the UK it's Tofutti creamy smooth. There are other brands as well. I would love to have your feedback after trying it out:) Thank you for stopping by.

Anonymous

This was awesome! I made it for a luncheon and it was a massive hit. I made a couple of changes-mainly due to the resources I had at hand, but it came out perfectly. I added a couple of drops of gold rum, cinammon and a little more vanilla. Used coconut oil instead of sunflower oil, unsweetened almond milk instead of soyand granulated sugar instead of powdered and the recipe is so great thatt even with the changes it was tasty and everyone wanted more. I even made the strawberry topping!

Thanks so much for sharing this recipe!

Vegan Magic

It is an absolute pleasure reading comments like this, thank you so much for taking the time to share your experience with this recipe and your own version of it. The added flavours sound delish! I hope you find more inspiring desserts on my blog:)

Anonymous

HELLO, i'am Helen i live in italy .i dont know what's egg replacer can you help me?
thank you.i love your recipes...

Vegan Magic

Helen, sorry for the late reply, I was away on holiday. Egg replacer is a powder that works as a binder, just like eggs. The brand we find here is Orgran. If you browse the net for "egg replacer" I'm sure you can find a brand that's available in Italy. Thank you for stopping by.

Anonymous

Hello, thanks for the recipe.
I am wondering whether this cream cheese is with cow milk, I do not know any vegan cream cheese.

Vegan Magic

Hi there, this is definitely vegan cream cheese, please have a look at the comments above. If you have vegan stores in your area you can ask them to order for you if they don't already have the vegan one. Thanks for stopping by.

Unknown

I made this recipe and it is examplery!
I didn't have cornstarch so I used regular organic flour and it was the best cheesecake we ever had! Today I made it again n had potato starch.it came out rubbery :( I have another one in the oven with the flour I used the first time fingers crossed!!!

Vegan Magic

That's fantastic! I'm thrilled that your cheesecake turned out great. Thanks so much for the feedback:)

Lucy Grist

Oh this cheesecake looks incredible!! Quick question, does it need to be frozen before serving so it doesn't go soft and smooshy? I'm planning to make a cheesecake to take on a trip with me, and it'd be unfrozen/unchilled for at least 8 hours. Would it fall apart in that time? Thanks!

Vegan Magic

Lucy, thank you:) No, it doesn't need to be frozen. If you can chill it in the fridge for a bit before serving that would be great. I hope everyone enjoys it:)

Anonymous

This recipe came out amazing for me! I altered to use maple syrup in place of agave and it tasted amazing. I even had non-vegans enjoying it,

Vegan Magic

Hi, thanks so much for the feedback. I too love maple syrup in desserts, the taste is amazing. So glad everyone enjoyed the cake:)

Neha

Hi thanks so much for the recipe you have posted. The picture of the slice looks really good and I wish to try this recipe of yours. I would like to ask if I could use another tub of cream cheese instead of the tofu? Thank you

Neha

one more question, if I use two tubs of cream cheese instead of tofu (each 225g),what adjustments do i have to make to the rest of the ingredients? Hope you could assist me in this. Thanks so much!

Vegan Magic

Hi Neha, thanks for your comment. I haven't tried that version, but I would increase the amount of egg replacer an/or corn starch to keep it together. I hope this helps:)

Neha

I measured out 349g of tofutti cream cheese instead of tofu. It came out perfect. Thanks vegan magic for your brilliant recipe:)

Vegan Magic

Hi Neha, thanks so much for the feedback. I'm very happy the substitution turned out well:)

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