Monday, April 27, 2009

Daring Bakers' April Showers... Tofu-Amaretto Cheesecake

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

Now, I can't say I'm cheesecake's #1 fan. I have eaten a slice or two in the past few years, so I can't say the word "psyched" came to mind for this challenge. I wasn't keen on using the recipe provided either, which was full of heavy cream and full-fat cream cheese. Having recently worked hard to lose an entire stone (woo hoo!) the past few months, I just wasn't going to go there for something I wasn't dying to have, although I am sure it made a lovely treat for cheesecake lovers.

SO- what did I do? I went on the alternative forums and found a recipe that used tofu! I adapted this recipe on Fat-Free Vegan. The result was a [very twisty] twist on the Scottish dessert cranachan, which is a whiskey-cream topped with raspberry and oats. Mine was amaretto cheesecake instead of whiskey cream, topped with crunchy almond-oat flapjack bits and raspberries. The result was so good, I made it a second time for guests a week later. No one can taste the tofu, so no worries there!

Below are the recipes I created by making large modifications to other recipes:

Amaretto Tofu-Cheesecake

(not vegan, but sub Tofutti for the cream cheese and you're good to go)

  • 6 light rich tea biscuits
  • 6 light digestive biscuits
  • 70 grams margarine (I used Flora)

  • 14 ounces silken tofu
  • 8 ounces light cream cheese
  • 80 grams golden granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup Amaretto
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch

Preheat the oven to 350 F/160 C (fan). Boil a liter or so of water for a water bath.

Melt the butter in a small bowl or saucepan. Crush the biscuits in a blender/food processor and then mix them into the butter. Press this into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan (although, I used a large, loose-bottom tart pan and it worked very well). Bake this for 5-10 minutes to set up, then cool on a wire rack.

Place the water bath (I used a large ceramic dish) on the bottom rack of the oven, and place the other rack in the slot above it, to set the cake on.

Drain the tofu and put it and the cream cheese into blender. Blend until smooth. Add the sugar, and process again until sugar is dissolved, about 3 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and process until completely smooth, about 3 more minutes. Pour into the fairly cool pie crust and bake in the middle of the oven for about 55 minutes (40 minutes in a fan oven). Filling will be slightly jiggly, not completely set until chilled.

Remove from oven and allow to cool. Refrigerate until completely chilled (I made this the day before).

Cranachan bits (ingredients adapted from BBC):
  • 140g butter
  • 4 tbsp honey
  • 200g whole jumbo porridge oats
  • 100g golden caster sugar
  • 100g almonds, ground or chopped
  • 85g plain flour
Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Melt the butter and honey in a large saucepan, then stir in the other ingredients until everything is well coated. Spread out on a baking sheet, then bake for 20 mins until crisp. Cool, crumble into pieces, then set aside. Can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Raspberry Sauce: Blend 1 cup or so of raspberries (thawed or fresh) with a couple tablespoons of powdered sugar until smooth.

To serve: Put a stripe of raspberry sauce on a plate, then place a slice of cheesecake next to it. Top with raspberries and cranachan bits. Voila!