April 27, 2009

DB Toasted Almond and Honey Tofu Cheescake w/ Pretzel Crust

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

I'm celebrating a full year of being a Daring Baker this month! This month brings me back to my beginning with the group since my first challenge was last April's Cheesecake Pops. As a new member last year I didn't want to change much to the recipe so I trudged ahead and used Tofutti cream cheese but this year Jenny of Jenny Bakes wanted us to the be creative so I went for a less processed version using almond butter, honey and silken tofu. It was my variation on the great looking cheesecake from Diet, Dessert and Dogs. Even though I made several changes to her recipe I think the spirit remained and it was awesome! The honey and toasted nuts worked well together and the flavor and texture definitely satisfied my cheesecake cravings without dairy. Best of all I got to add in my new pet project, perfecting a pretzel crust. I last used this crust on the bottom of the vegan turtle cupcakes but didn't have the ingredient proportions quite right. After a few more trials I'm quite happy with recipe now and it was PERFECT with the honey and almond cheesecake filling. Salty, sweet, nutty--mmm!

Toasted Almond and Honey Tofu Cheesecake
Here are the changes I made to the Diet, Dessert and Dogs recipe for Vegan Farmer's Cheesecake:
-raw honey (thick set) for the light agave nectar
-roasted almond butter for the cashew butter
-no lemon zest (called rind in her recipe)
-no lemon extract
-2 teaspoons of vanilla extract, instead of 1
-I baked the cheesecake in a 6-inch springform and it needed more baking time. Even with the extra baking time mine was a smidge runnier in the middle than would have been perfect. I plan on using a larger pan next time.
-And the last change was...

The Pretzel Crust!
Here are the amounts for the best version I've made so far.
For one 6-inch pan (double for larger) take 1 cup of fine pretzel crumbs, 1/4 cup Earth Balance margarine and 2 tablespoons of brown sugar. Blend all the ingredients together and press into the pan before adding the filling.

*Don't forget to take a look at the other cheesecake creations by visiting more blogs in the Daring Baker Blogroll!

**Ricki of Diet, Dessert and Dogs has a cookbook called Sweet Freedom that is currently going into production and should be available for purchase by late May. With her creative mind, it looks like a must have for those looking for "sweet things free of wheat, eggs, dairy and refined sweeteners". I've been very happy with all of her recipes I've tried and the cheesecake recipe is going to be in the upcoming book. Click on either of her links to learn more.

House update:
I'm moved! This past Friday I finished what packing I could and we moved about 80% of our stuff into our new house. After the exhausting weekend packing, unpacking and enjoying our new house I'm back down state while a few new house details get finished and we get the old house ready to go on the market. I'm still too busy to have time to spend online but the end of the craziness is in sight AND I got to cook in my new kitchen for the first time this past weekend!! Lots more pictures will be coming soon, in the meantime enjoy a glimpse of my box filled life.