TToday’s recipe marks the fifth anniversary of my vegan column, and you can hit me with a (rubber) chicken if you don’t think it’s one of the best I’ve written to date. And I could only have written it with the help of others — like the dedicated minds and hands working to create a new world of plant-based foods, like vegan dairy, that are now better than ever. This cake is also much better for a reader, Chef Matthew Sogorski, who could see I was having trouble getting some ingredients to behave and came to my rescue. As a result, this isn’t just a vegan cheesecake; It’s a celebration of how far we’ve come in the last five years and a sweet little touch of optimism about how far we could still go.
Baked Vanilla Cheesecake
Not all vegan cheeses are the same. It is very important here to use one that is made from both coconut and soy. I recommend Sheese from Bute Islandor tesco or Sainsbury’s private label. You will need a springform pan with a diameter of 20 cm and a food processor.
preparation 5 minutes
Cook 1 hour 10 minutes
Relax 5 hrs+
Makes 1 x 20cm cakeserve 8
100 g shelled walnuts
100g shelled pistachios
30g unsalted vegan buttermelted
2 tablespoons agave syrup or brown rice syrup
⅛ tsp sea salt
750 g vegan cream cheese – I like Sheese (don’t use Violife: I tried it and it doesn’t work in this recipe)
300 g silken tofudrained (290g drained weight) – I like it clear spring
150ml vegan double cream
200 grams of powdered sugar
3 tbsp (30 g) cornstarch
1 tsp ground vanilla beansor 1½ tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 220°C (200°C fan oven)/425°F/gas 7. Cut a 38cm x 38cm square of parchment paper and slide into a 20cm springform pan, pressing to the Flatten sides and press it down and over the top edge.
Place nuts and melted butter in a food processor, add syrup and salt, then chop into coarse crumbs – don’t overprocess or you’ll end up with nut butter. Pour the nut mixture into the tin, scrape out the food processor well and press evenly into the bottom of the tin with the back of a tablespoon.
In the bowl of the food processor, combine the vegan cream cheese, tofu, heavy cream, sugar, vanilla, cornflour and lemon zest and blend until smooth. Pour evenly over the nut base, then bake for 50 minutes, turning the pan once halfway through. After this time, the cheesecake should have some blackened spots on top and wobble slightly.
Remove, let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for at least 5 hours or overnight until really cold. Slice and serve.