On my latest adventures in ‘no gluten or dairy’ land (see here to read more), I came up with this dessert gem. I’d often seen Tofutti ‘cream cheese’ in the cold section in supermarkets, but dismissed it as being one of those tofu replacements that tasted, well, kind of awful. Not to mention the price – almost double what I would normally pay for cream cheese.
Well, I decided to give it a try, and was pleasantly surprised with the results. The texture is pretty much exactly the same as cream cheese and it tastes very similar, without a soy or tofu-like aftertaste. I was very impressed and tried it out with my vegan mushroom pâté and it worked out really well. I am looking forward to trying it out in new recipes – definitely more cheesecake flavours. Maybe even some frozen cheesecake pops? Cream cheese frosting?! The possibilities are endless!
I had a jar of American marshmallow cream sitting in my cupboard waiting to be experimented with and wondered how it would go when combined with Tofutti and lime juice and it was a surprisingly delicious and easy to make filling.
For the cheesecake crust, I wanted to go with something gluten free without compromising on flavour. Why avoid the gluten? Well I’ve been having a few digestive issues lately and gluten doesn’t seem to help, plus experimenting with gluten free foods is always a fun challenge! I wanted something biscuit-y tasting but without the gluten. Enter roasted almond meal mixed with coconut oil – it tasted soo biscuit base-like, your guests really will never be able to tell the difference 😉 I also added some vanilla bean paste to give it some extra flavour, yum! I was really surprised how similar this tasted to regular cheesecake bases.
In future, I’ve love to experiment with making this the more traditional cheesecake route, pressing the crust into a pie pan and filling like a tart, but for small dinner parties, the deconstructed look in pretty glasses works well and is incredibly easy to put together. I was really amazed how much these tasted like ‘real’ cheesecakes as well, I could barely taste the difference! So rejoice, gluten and dairy free foodies, there is still cheesecake-y hope for the future! 😉
Lime Cheesecake with Vanilla Almond Crust (100% gluten and dairy free!!) an original recipe by Cooking Crusade
Serves: 5 (I half-filled 5 drinking glasses)
Time to prepare: About 10 minutes to prep and at least 2 hours to chill in the fridge
- 2 x 227g tubs Tofutti cream cheese (or regular cream cheese if you like)
- about 1 cup of marshmallow fluff (I used a 7oz container I found at the Reject Shop)*
- zest and juice of two limes
- 1.5 teaspoons of agar agar, dissolved in cold water (optional) I think it would still set pretty well without this. This was more of a ‘just in case’ measure
- 1 lime, sliced, to decorate (optional)
Vanilla Almond Crust
- 1 cup roast almond meal (I used Lucky Nuts)
- 1.5 T coconut oil, melted
- 3/4 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
Equipment needed: Chopping board, sharp knife, a food processor/blender, 5 decorative cups or dessert glasses to serve in
- Place cream cheese, marshmallow creme and zest/juice of limes into food processor and blend. Add dissolved agar agar (if using) and blend again until creamy.
- To make crust, mix together all vanilla crust ingredients in a bowl and stir until fully combined.
- Place 1 tablespoon of crust mixture into each glass and press down with the back of a spoon. Divide cream cheese mixture among glasses equally and top with another tablespoon of vanilla crust. Add sliced lime to decorate and chill in the fridge for at least two hours before serving. Serve and enjoy! There, wasn’t that easy?!
If you don’t have marshmallow creme, don’t despair! It’s quite easy to make (from what I’ve seen online anyway – I haven’t tried it yet) – it seems like it’s basically a meringue made with egg white, sugar and corn syrup. I reckon this would probably work well without the corn syrup as well. Here’s a great recipe for a handy guide.
If you’re not averse to using gluten/dairy in your cooking, then I’m sure that using regular cream cheese and/or replacing the almond meal with crushed bikkies would also work a treat, but give this is a try anyway as I think you may be pleasantly surprised! Additionally, Tofutti cream cheese has lower fat content than regular cream cheese, making this dessert a good alternative for those trying to cut a few calories.
Hope you all had a super relaxing weekend full of lovely sleep and incredibly delicious food and are looking forward to the week ahead, I know I am !