Vegan? Yes. Creamy? Yes. Cheesecak-y? Yes. Yes. Yes!
I don’t know about you guys but to me, a good baked NY stay cheesecake is the ultimate dessert; its creamy, tangy and oh so delicious, it’s almost like eating a slice of cream cheese frosting (vegan of course!)
So, this baked cheesecake combines the two classic flavours ‘cookies ’n’ cream’ but in a healthier, and in my opinion, more delicious way! You won’t find a single Oreo in this cake, but magically it sure tastes like one, and yes it is possible without all the sugar and palm oil!
If you want to impress your non-vegans and vegans alike then this is a bake you must bake, and despite looking tough, it’s an extremely easy bake to make that simply requires a long baking time and a proper chill before slicing.
All of you nut allergy folks will be happy to hear that this one is cashew-free, meaning no soaking nuts for hours and praying your blender will deal with them okay. What makes this cheesecake so creamy is a combination of firm tofu (just hear me out), tangy Coyo coconut yoghurt and millet grain – I’m aware its an unconventional combination but with maple syrup and lots of vanilla the final product is a delicate silky cheesecake filling.
1 2/3 cups light spelt flour (or all-purpose white)
1/3 cup cacao powder
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup solid coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla
4 tbs non-dairy milk
360g firm tofu
1/2 cup uncooked millet
1 x 400g tub of Coyo Coconut yogurt*
Juice of 2 lemons
2 tbs corn starch or vegan custard powder
2 tsp vanilla extract or paste
1/2 – 3/4 cup sweetener of choice (caster sugar, coconut sugar, maple, honey, agave etc.)
- If you have a food processor place all of the chocolate biscuit base ingredients in it and blend until the dough comes together. If you are doing it by hand, combine the dry ingredients then rub in the coconut oil to form a coarse crumb then add the renaming wet ingredients. Leave the dough to chill in the fridge whilst you make your filling.
- Preheat the oven to 180℃.
- Begin by rinsing the millet with some hot water to remove the bitter taste (the water should turn cloudy) then cook as you would rice until soft.
- Add the millet, tofu and coconut yogurt to your blender or bowl if using a handheld one, and blend until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients adjusting the sweetness to your preference. The mix should be runny.*
- next, take 3/4 of the chilled dough and using parchment paper roll into a large circle around 3mm thick (a few centimetres larger than your tin) then press it into the base and sides of your lined and greased tin. Poke a few holes with a fork and bake for 5-7 minutes.
- Remove the base from the oven and pour in your cheesecake filling, bake this at 180℃ for 15 mins, after which recuse the heat to 120℃ and bake for a further 40 minutes.
- After the baking time is up carefully remove the cheesecake from the oven and crumble over the reserved 1/4 of dough, increase the temperature back to 180℃ and bake the top until its crispy (around 5-7 mins)
- Allow the cheesecake to cool for 15 mins in the oven, after which you can remove it and let it cool completely, it is best served chilled as it slices best.
Coconut yogurt – if you don’t have access to a high-fat yogurt like Coyo you can use any non-dairy yogurt but also add a few tablespoons of fat such as coconut oil or peanut butter as this give the cheesecake its creaminess. Alternatively, you could use a can of coconut milk (only the creamy layer) but the flavour will be milder and less tangy.
Millet – Millet is a grain the can be found in most health food shops and supermarkets, it a crucial ingredient as it helps to remove tofu’s spongy texture.
Corn starch – if this isn’t an ingredient you have on hand you can substitute it for potato starch to tapioca flour; this helps the mix come together and hold its shape.
Flavours – feel free to skip the vanilla and add any flavours you like for example raspberries, orange extract, chocolate chips or even raisins will all work!