Ken had to go out of town this week, so I'm going to miss his actual birthday tomorrow. To that, I say Boo. Let's all celebrate with some vegan cheesecake, eh?
As I mentioned in the last post, the original cheesecake recipe I used can be found in the book Sinfully Vegan by Lois Dieterly. In all honesty, I've had pretty poor results with many recipes in this book. The exception to this is the cheesecake chapter, which is stellar. Ken's birthday cheesecake recipe was adapted from the NY Style Cheesecake recipe. Here you go:
1 bag of vegan chocolate cookies. I used these.
1/4 cup canola oil
Preheat oven to 350F. Crush up the chocolate cookies into a fine crumb. I used a mini food processor, which worked great. You can also put the cookies in a bag, then proceed to hit them with a mallet or some sort of heavy implement. Food processor=easy or mallet=releasing pent up aggression. It's your choice!
Once you've got some good crumbs, mix in the canola oil. Proceed to press the oily crumbs into the bottom of a 9" springform pan. Place the pan into preheated oven and bake for about 10 minutes. Take out and set aside to cool. Keep your oven on for the cake!
4 8oz. containers of vegan cream cheese, softened at room temp. I use the non-hydrogenated Tofutti.
1 box (12oz.) firm silken tofu
1 1/4 cup granulated vegan sugar, such as Florida Crystals
1/4 cup flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips. I like the Tropical Source brand.
1 Tsp canola oil
A food processor would be perfect here, but I only have a little one. Therefore my immersion blender had to do the job. So use whatever you have that has a blade and can handle this much stuff at one time!
In a food processor (or whatever...) combine all four cream cheeses along with the silken tofu. Blend until smooth, scraping the sides as you go. Add your sugar, flour and extracts, and blend until very creamy.
Take out approx. 1 cup of this mixture and set aside. Pour about half of the remaining mixture into the springform pan, covering the crust. Set the remaining mixture and the crust aside.
In a double boiler, melt the chocolate chips with the canola oil over medium-low heat. Once melted, remove from heat. Immediately mix the melted chocolate with the small, one cup of reserved cream cheese mixture until thoroughly combined.
Take this chocolate mixture and spread evenly over the already-poured cheese mixture that's in the springform pan. Follow this by spreading the remaining cream cheese mixture over the chocolate layer.
Now for the swirl: With a butter knife, carefully create swirling patterns in the mixture by mixing the chocolate and vanilla layers together. Don't go overboard, or you'll end up with a full-on chocolate cheesecake. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but this is a swirl cheesecake.
Place in the oven (top rack). On the bottom rack, place an oven-safe bowl filled with water. Bake the cake for 60 minutes.
After one hour, turn off the oven and leave the cake in the oven with the door closed for an additional hour. Remove from the oven and cool completely at room temp. At this point, you can add a variety of toppings, such as strawberry slices and chocolate ganache. Place cake in the fridge and let cool overnight, for at least eight hours.