Monday, April 27, 2009

Daring Bakers Cheesecake Challenge!

The April 2009 challenge is hosted by Jenny from Jenny Bakes. She has chosen Abbey's Infamous Cheesecake as the challenge.

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.



I unmolded it onto a platter full of juicy, delicious starfruit.


And finally, plated with a nice slice of starfruit.



This cheesecake was so light and fruity, truly an incredibly delicious, guilt-free treat. As a testament to its goodness, I kept a piece to photograph, then gave the rest of it to my skinny son. He gave one piece to his girlfriend, then ate all the rest of it in one sitting!

34 comments:

jessy said...

you are just too awesome, Diann! that's gotta be the most glorious cheezecake i've ever seen! i can't believe you only kept a slice, you're too good! :) you've got way more willpower than i have! ahahahahahaa! hooray!

it looks sooo light 'n fluffy - and i love that you used agave nectar and crushed pineapple! mmmmmmmmmmmmm! dan and i will have to make this when we get a cheezecake pan - it looks DIVINE!

Katy said...

Oh my gosh, that cheesecake looks so tasty and refreshing!

Don't you just hate how boys can eat everything? Not fair! ;)

Andrea said...

I've never been a big cheesecake fan but this one looks deliciously light. I'd like to try this next time I have enough people here so I don't eat the whole thing like Chase did!

Macie said...

Wow, that's beautiful! What a pretty cheesecake :) I've always wanted to participate in the challenge... you've inspired me!

swellvegan said...

That looks flippin' amazing! I love all the fruit! I don't even like cheesecake too much, and I want to eat all of that...

Ruby Red Vegan said...

That cheesecake has so many colors!! It is absolutely gorgeous - and I totally want a bite. No, wait, I want to eat the whole cake! :)

Still Life in South America said...

Gorgeous presentation, Diann. It was such a good idea to use starfruit for flavor and garnish.

Laura said...

He ate the rest in one sitting!! Where did he find the room! Looks lovely though, the fresh fruits look delicious on top.

VeganLisa said...

Sooooo beautiful. The presentation is amazing. Your cheesecake variation looks so lovely topped with all that fresh fruit. I'm glad you adapted the challenge to meet your needs-I think that's what makes the DB events so fun, all the creativity!

celine said...

that's just beyond beautiful, Diann!
I'm craving cheesecake like I've never craved before. the deco is pretty fantastic, too.

miss v said...

beautiful and super creative. too pretty to eat! :)

A_and_N said...

This is unbelievable! I loved every bit of the description. Starting from the silken tofu to the starfruit! Kudos!

Jes said...

OH my goodness, that is gorgeous! I would have never thought of making a banana pineapple cheesecake! But the thought sounds so good and summery!

Melomeals: Vegan for $3.33 a Day said...

Oh Diane! That looks and sounds delightful! I love love love all the fruit and gluten free crust.

Ricki said...

What a stunning presentation! And I love the idea of the tropical filling. You could get your day's worth of fruit in one slice! ;)

Lisa -- Cravin' Veggies said...

Wow, Diann! That is gorgeous!! You did a fantastic job!!!

Paulina said...

What a gorgeous cheesecake and what a lucky son you have!

Cafe Cyan said...

So pretty!!!

Erica said...

that is the most beautiful cheesecake I have ever seen!!!

Steph said...

i love the wonders of a yummy vegan cheesecake. at chicago diner i had a raw blueberry cheesecake -- how do they do it!? and yours looks just as good, and fruit on top looks so pretty and extra delicious!

lazysmurf said...

wow! This is just beautiful! I want to make one!

urban vegan said...

That is so colorful and tempting. I could eat it all in one sitting, too, I am sure!

Hannah said...

Wow, I love how colorful and fresh your cheesecake looks! Fantastic adaptation of this challenge. :)

Liz² said...

beautiful!! that is totally my kind of cheesecake!

Oraphan said...

Looks fantastic!=D

Monique a.k.a. Mo said...

Wow. That sounds so tropical and delicous.

Karyn said...

That look so good. I may have to try making one this weekend.

Tami (Vegan Appetite) said...

Amazing looking cheesecake! Just beautiful!

Thanks for your post about the book deal. I appreciate it a lot!

Charlotte (Music and Veganism) said...

Beautiful!!

vuejardin said...

Very beautiful cheesecake, looks yummy!

shellyfish said...

That is the most beautiful cheese cake I've seen yet! I love all the fruit, and it's so classy looking. You really went all out - and I love that Chase ate most of it in one sitting. I would totally do that!

tahinitoo said...

That is, without a doubt, the most beautiful cheesecake I have ever seen! Nice work!

Jenny said...

This is a beautiful take on the cheesecake centerpiece challenge. I have really enjoyed reading the vegan versions, and this one I might have to try. Definitely more healthy than the myriads I made in the last few months. Thanks for being a part of the April Daring Bakers challenge!

Jenny of JennyBakes

Erin said...

Woah, Chase is a cheesecake monster! Although, I don't know who would try to resist eating the lot of it when it looks that good.