Thanksgiving was last week. Thanksgiving is unimportant, actually. It is merely the stepping stone to CHRISTMAS!!! The day after Thanksgiving is wonderful because it is then finally socially acceptable to hum Christmas music and hang up lights and look at trees and make presents for people…(also, ps. friends & family, I’m taking my first pottery class these past few weeks, so every last one of you is getting a misshapen and rather homely looking cup for Christmas. Just so you know.)
And what better way to kick off the Christmas season than with cheesecake? Cheesecake is like Christmas in that they both begin with the letter “C”, everyone gets excited about them, and they’re both cold!
Vegan cheesecakes fall under two categories. The first is the health cheesecake. That is the cheesecake that you eat when you want to look like the always-exercising-sports-bra-booty-shorts girl that is always gracefully exercising. Unlike how you feel when you run, which is a flailing chicken. Usually, these vegan health cheesecakes are made out of cashews and coconut oil. These are tasty, but definitely not what you want to give to your already skeptical of veganism mom.
Second category of vegan cheesecake: the overpoweringly yummy cheesecake! This is the type of cheesecake that you eat when you cuddle up to a heater, a hot boyfriend, and Battlestar Galactica! Hey, it’s Christmas, give yourself a:
Chocolate Cherry Swirled Cheesecake Once I heard a song, and all the lyrics in it were just, “Cheesecake”. I found it for you guys, here! It’s fantastic! The agar helps the cheesecake set, but if you don’t have agar (they’re expensive, right?!), don’t worry, just add 2 tablespoons less milk, and bake it for 15 minutes longer.
- 8 oz of graham crackers (about half a box)
- 1/2 cup Earth Balance, melted
- 3 (8 oz) tubs of Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese
- 1 cup sugar (evaporated cane juice)
- 1 tablespoon of agar-agar flakes
- 3/4 cup soymilk or almond milk
- zest + juice of one lemon
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 cup warmed cherry preserves
- broken up chocolate bar or chocolate ganache (recipe follows)
1. Beat up the graham crackers until they are really crumby. RAWR! Take out your aggression! They’re crummy, after all!
2. Mix this with the Earth Balance. Press into the bottom of an 8″ or 9″ springform pan.
3. Dissolve the agar flakes in the soy milk by simmering it for five minutes in the soy milk.
4. Blend the Tofutti, agar/milk mixture, sugar, the lemon zest and juice, and vanilla together in a food processor until well blended.
5. Pour the blended stuff onto the graham cracker crust, and then place the cherry preserves in dollops on top of the cheesecake. Drag a knife through these dollops to create the swirls.
6. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes (30 minutes if you aren’t using agar), and then crank up the heat to BROIL!!! AS HIGH AS IT CAN GO to brown the top. (Vegan cheesecake takes a little while to brown because it doesn’t have eggs, which is why we are doing the broil step.)
7. When the edges begin to brown, take it out and let cool for 1 hr at room temperature, then move to the fridge to cool for at least 4 more hours. I waited only 3 hours and it was a little gooey. It was much better looking the next day!
8. Top with chocolate bars or chocolate ganache. For chocolate ganache, melt 1 heaping cup of chocolate chips with 2/3 cup soy milk and 1/4 cup Earth Balance together, and let cool for 2 hours at room temperature.
* This is my 42nd post! Obviously, this means that cheesecake is the meaning of life!