Monday, January 3, 2011

Recipe: Vegan Peanut Butter S'mores Cheesecake

Nearly every vegan cheesecake recipe I found called for silken tofu.

Here's the thing... I hate silken tofu. I hate the feel of it. I hate its strange, gelatinous texture and the slimy way it slurps out of its aseptic packaging and sits there, quivering and staring at me until I blend it or run out of the kitchen, screaming in terror and disgust.

So, I simply don't use it unless I absolutely have to. I'll always try to modify a recipe to use regular tofu, if at all possible. Therefore, my experiment creating a peanut butter-chocolate layered cheesecake was... extra experimental.

I'm happy to report it worked.

This cheesecake has a very thick graham crust, a layer of chocolate cheesecake, a layer of peanut butter cheesecake, and a layer of traditional vanilla cheesecake.

The first bite was bliss. The second was almost orgasm-inducing. By the third sweet, rich bite I realized I actually wouldn't mind dying at that very moment, except it would mean I wouldn't get to finish the entire slice.

I hope you find it equally gasp-worthy.

Sorry for all the photos. I just couldn't stop taking them. It was so beautiful!

Vegan Peanut Butter S'mores Cheesecake

Crust Ingredients:

1 - 14.4 oz. package graham crackers (Check for honey, milk and whey)
1/2 c. dairy-free margarine, melted (I use Nucoa, which my local Fred Meyer has strangely stopped stocking, but I can still find it at Safeway and even *gasp* Walmart.)

Crust Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Use a food processor or blender to whiz the graham crackers into fine crumbs. Add melted margarine and stir thoroughly. Press into bottom of lightly oiled 9-inch spring-form pan.

Tip: Cut a circle of parchment or waxed paper slightly smaller than bottom of pan and line for easy removal from pan.

Bake for 5 minutes and remove from oven. Set aside.

Filling Ingredients:

1 - 14 oz. package firm tofu (not silken)
1/2 c. soy milk
1 8 oz. package vegan cream cheese (I use Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese)
3/4 c. cane juice crystals or vegan sugar
3 T. egg replacer powder (I use Ener-G. Do NOT prepare "egg;" just use the powder.)
2 T. lemon juice
1/2 T. vanilla extract

1 c. dairy-free chocolate chips, melted (Use microwave, stirring every 30 seconds.)

1/2 c. smooth peanut butter (Tip: spray measuring cup with nonstick spray before filling)

Dairy-free chocolate chips and chocolate syrup (for garnish)

Filling Directions:

Put tofu and soy milk into a large blender pitcher or food processor and blend until creamy. (I use the blender attachment on my Magic Bullet.) Add cream cheese and blend until smooth.

Add cane juice crystals or sugar, egg replacer powder, lemon juice and vanilla. Blend until sugar crystals are dissolved. Set aside two cups of filling, separated.

For chocolate layer, combine melted chocolate chips with one cup of reserved cheesecake filling, mixing until smooth. Pour over graham cracker crust and evenly spread.

Optional Note: At this point, you may refrigerate the crust and first layer for 30 minutes to make spreading the peanut butter layer easier. I didn't. It worked out fine, though I believe my feelings of urgency may have had a negative result on the evenness of my layers.

For peanut butter layer, combine peanut butter with remaining cup of cheesecake filling, mixing until smooth. Pour and spread over chocolate layer.

Optional Note: Again, you may pop your project into the refrigerator to allow the second layer to set before spreading the final layer. If you insist.

Spread remaining filling over top of peanut butter layer.

Baking Directions:

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Wrap bottom of spring-form pan with several layers of foil.

Set wrapped spring-form into bottom of a deep, larger baking pan and fill with boiling water. This water bath will bake the cheesecake from the sides and result in more even cooking.

If you're lucky enough to live with an active or former firefighter like Mr. Wright, have him use hot pads to put the bubbling setup into the oven. Firefighters are accustomed to performing under conditions which may leave them with third degree burns. Not so lucky? You'll have to manage on your own. Please be careful!

Bake until cheesecake begins to pull away from edges of pan - about 55 to 60 minutes. Don't let it brown!

CAREFULLY remove pan from oven (or have your firefighter do it). Let stand for 15 minutes, then carefully remove spring-form from larger pan and peel away foil. Chill for two or more hours before serving. The longer, the better.

Garnish with chocolate chips and drizzle with chocolate syrup before serving.

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  1. Mouthwatering! Thank you for sharing this!

  2. WOW! This looks great!...kuddos for creativity too!

  3. It looks very delicious, I'll be sure to try this later. Thanks.
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  4. I baked this for my mom and she loved it a lot, she was surprised that it was vegan.
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  5. That cheesecake looks so scrumptious! I can't wait to make this at home and have a bite! My only worry is that my brother would surely eat too much of this and he'd end up having toothaches. Good thing we have a trusted dentist in Jackson that could assist us anytime.

  6. This looks a really tasty Vegan recipe. I was vegetarian for 10 years but didn't ever quite get to Vegan due to a lack of good recipes but yours looks wonderful. I'll pass this on as an idea to the local York Caterers in the Yorkshire area here to try improve the state of play for Vegans and Vegetarians! Thanks again!