This month’s Daring Bakers Challenge was to make a cheesecake. We were given a basic recipe and told to play with it, make it beautiful, and of course incorporate any changes for dietary needs. A good vegan cheesecake just has to have tofu, silken or cream cheese style, so I knew I wouldn’t be eating more than a bite or two. (I know I could have made a raw cheesecake, but this IS a BAKING challenge.) Believe me, my imagination went into overtime for all the flavor varieties to make a truly decadent cheesecake. Have you seen fondant covered wedding cheesecakes?!!!
My son and I are trying these days to eat light and grain free, making the majority of our diet fruits and vegetables. Money is tight, and since I wouldn’t be eating this cake, I made it specially for Chase. So here is my very colorful, delicious, and healthy cheesecake, light on crust and cheesy filling, and heavy on the fruit topping.
I began with a gluten free crust using our favorite crumb crust, the one used in Vive’s Pineapple Bars. I pressed it into an 8-1/2 inch springform pan sprayed with cooking spray.
I was thrilled to find this recipe for Vegan Tropical Cheesecake. It has banana and pineapple in the filling! Here is my adapted version of the filling:
1 box (12 oz) lite firm silken tofu
½ cup tofutti cream cheese
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 can (20 oz) crushed pineapple in its own juice
1 medium banana, peeled
1/4 cup agave nectar
3 tbsp cornstarch
Put everything but the cornstarch into a food processor and process until smooth. Add in the cornstarch and continue blending until completely smooth. Pour the filling over the crust.
Bake at 350 degrees for one hour or until edges are browned and center is set.
For my fruit-full topping, I made a strawberry puree from 4 cups of fresh berries and cooked it with a little cornstarch and sugar, then spread it all over the top of the cake. I topped the puree with starfruit.
Next I added sliced kiwi and Chase’s current fruit obsession, mango, just diced and piled in the middle.
And finally, plated with a nice slice of starfruit.