Melting

Today is day 7 of a heat wave. Every evening this week, at around 7:00 p.m., the hallway thermometer in my house has been averaging around 96°F (35°C).  Outside it has been even hotter at 103-6° F, depending on the day (39-41°C  or so), Forecasters promise some relief tomorrow (93! Never, growing up in England, did I imagine that one day I would look forward to a temperature in the 90s as as a ‘cool’ temperature!) All week, I’ve felt like I am melting. However, yesterday I decided to do some melting of my own…Melting of chocolate chips, that is.

I’ve mentioned before how I don’t really care to cook, but my husband had said something about cheesecake a couple of months ago. For some reason I decided right then to find a  cheesecake recipe.  and make it before the year was out. He likes cheesecake a lot, but I don’t because the cream cheese gives it a funny taste.  I looked online, however, I couldn’t get past the cream cheese issue and all the other recipes I found required gelatin. Powdered cow hooves? No, thanks.

Then, a few weeks ago, I came across a recipe on Made of Stars, a great blog with vegan recipes. Ally, the writer of Made of Stars, has a recipe for a no-bake chocolate Kahlua Cheesecake (minus the cheese!). It looked very easy – one of the most important considerations for me with any recipe – so I bookmarked it and decided to come back to it later. I usually bookmark recipes, only to delete them two years later without ever making them.

My husband doesn’t like alcohol, so my version was minus the kahlua. I also made a couple of other changes to use things I already had in the house. It came out looking really not too bad at all. DSC09978

This is the original recipe with my variations in italics.

The Base – 13 biscuits (I used Honeymaid graham crackers – the box had three packages and I used one. I crushed them by hand in a plastic bag)
1/2 cup walnuts (I used a handful of roughly chopped pecans),
coconut oil (I used 2 Tbsp of Earth Balance spread),
2 Tbsp raw cacao powder (I used cocoa powder),
1 Tbsp icing sugar,
orange zest, (I didn’t add this because my husband doesn’t like chocolate with orange)
kahlua, (I didn’t add this)
salt. (Nor this)
Melt the coconut oil/butter/butter substitute then mix everything together and press into a pan. (I lined mine with foil)
The base is required to spend an hour in the fridge in order to ‘set’.

Filling ingredients – 350g (12oz) firm silken tofu
300g (10oz) non-dairy sweetened chocolate chips, melted (I just used a bag of regular semi-sweet chocolate chips)
3 Tbsp raw cacao powder, made into a paste with 50ml(3 Tbsp)of hot water – cool slightly (I used cocoa powder and heaped up the spoons!)
1 Tbsp icing sugar, sifted (It was a very heaped spoonful and not sifted – didn’t notice that it should have been until now. Oops.
1 Tbsp Kahlua (none)
3 Tbsp maple syrup
2 Tbsp unsweetened almond milk (or other non-dairy milk) (I used skim milk)
Decoration: non-dairy white chocolate and dark chocolate (That’s going too far for me!)
Method:
1. Place the ingredients into a food processor in the order that they are listed. Process until smooth. Add additional almond milk if the texture is too thick. Taste the filling before adding it to the base. If it is not sweet enough, add an additional tablespoon of maple syrup. You may want to add more Kahlua! (I liquidized the tofu in my mini-blender with the milk, then just mixed everything together in a bowl because the blender was too small to fit in anything else.)
2. Remove the base from the fridge. Pour the filling into the base, and smooth the surface with a spatula.
3. Refrigerate for a few hours (or overnight).
4. For decoration, sprinkle finely grated white chocolate and dark chocolate across the surface of the cake. Decorate with small wedges of dark chocolate. (I skipped this.)

Result: I didn’t tell my husband that I’d made it with tofu. A previous experience involving black bean brownies taught me to keep quiet about unconventional ingredients. Once he’d declared it delicious, I revealed the secret ingredient (none of the fat of the nasty old cream cheese) and it was too late for him to change his mind! It’s not too sweet, with a very rich chocolate taste. I’d scale down the ingredients another time and make just a couple of small cups with the base crumbled on top instead. Overall – it’s a great recipe and it took very little time or effort to make. You can make it completely vegan, or make it a hybrid, like I did. Thanks to Ally for sharing it!DSC09982

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