Try my foolproof recipe for this chocolatey cheesecake that the whole family will love!
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 !
Mmmm. Miniature desserts. I love the novelty of making desserts smaller, it seems to add about.. 10% extra cute factor.
It’s also useful when you have the kind of dessert that is a little bit messy to cut up and serve up when everyone can just eat their own little version.. No cutting up involved. This is handy when you have that lemon curd which maybe didn’t thicken properly or that cheesecake mix that seems a teensy bit runny (horrible word to use, I know.) Nonetheless these mixes still taste delicious! But they’re just not going to set in a mix. Solution? Stick them in a small ramekin with some crushed biscuits as a base. Easy.
This post is also handy if you have that little bit of extra mixture left over and you’re not sure what to do with it. Stick it in a ramekin, I says.
Today I’m posting about mini cheesecakes and mini lemon tarts – two easy no bake desserts that are great for a dinner party, or any excuse, really…
This tip is not just handy for no-bake desserts though. The ramekin is your friend! Stick excess mix from brownies, cake mix, hell, even cookie dough into a greased ramekin and you’re sure to produce adorable miniature desserts. Other mini-desserts to stick in a ramekin that I love include:
* Apple crumbles (dump in apples, lemon juice, sugar & cinnamon in ramekin, cover with a mixture of oats/flour/butter/brown sugar/extra cinnamon and bake away. serve with cream or a scoop of ice-cream. a great winter warmer!)
* Berry crumbles same principle as above, only with berries
* Miniature pies (any other sweet fruit mixture into ramekin, cover with circle of pasty that fits the ramekin top. bake. this can also be used for savoury miniature pies.)
There are billions (i’m sure) of other ways you can utilise your ramekins, sweet & savoury to make those regular-sized pies and desserts into cute individual servings.
Ok, let’s get to the actual cheesecake and lemon tart. (Here’s one I prepared earlier!… lol.)
Ramekin Lemon tarts are so incredibly easy, it’s criminal.
Spoon about 1-2 tablespoons of crushed biscuit/butter mixture into the bottom of your ramekins.
Then fill ramekins up with lemon curd. This stuff is easy enough to whip up (a quick mix of butter, eggs, lemon juice and sugar). OR if you’re feeling super lazy (don’t worry, I won’t judge), you can buy this stuff in a jar from Coles or Woolies. For the general recipe that I used, click here. I did actually write a super long post with pix on lemon tarts but unfortunately Firefox erased it all, leaving me with a crushing sense of failure… Hopefully i’ll get the motivation to use up another 2-3 hours to rewrite it again sometime soon! For the meantime..
Easy. Delicious. Fun times!
Make this one today! ^^
Next up we have the lemon cheesecakes. This one is marginally more time consuming, but pretty much just as easy. We’re going for the no-bake version in this recipe.
Cheesecake mix is so, so, so easy. It’s basically a mixture of cream cheese (I use Philadelphia), 1 can of condensed milk and lemon juice. Seriously. That’s it!
Most cheesecake recipes tell you to use an electric mixer. Pfft. I just used a wooden spoon and it turned out perfect. (Plus, saved on the washing up.) Anything to save Mother Nature’s precious water resources…. Also anything to avoid washing up!
I only made 1 small variation to the recipe: I added a teensy bit of agar agar (seaweed based thickener, basically a vegan replacement for gelatine) to ensure that it would thicken up, which it did. The exclusively food blog noted that the lemon juice should be enough of a thickener, but I noticed some of the comments noting that their mix did not thicken enough – a problem I’ve had in the past, so I thought add to my chances with the agar agar. But its up to you – it’s all about experimentation. My mix however, did turn out perfectly – it set quite well.
So. Instead of ramekins, I was at a friend’s place in Japan, he did not have ramekins… long story short – we used small tin foil cake tins, which I think are adorable. I don’t think I’ve seen them in Australia before, but hopefully I can find them again! Either way, you can definitely replace the foil tins with the ramekins.
Same as with the lemon tarts, begin with lining your tarts with tasty biscuit mix.
Start pouring in your dreamy-creamy-delicious cream cheese/condensed milk/lemon juice filling.
Continue pouring in all your filling until you have used up all your ramekins/filling…whichever comes first.
Until you’re all done!
Yay! Finished. Now stick them all in the fridge for an hour or two, or until completely set (test it for firmness by giving it a bit of a nudge.)
Obviously nothing is finished without my scientifically acclaimed ‘test bite’.
Yum! Super simple and totally tasty. Give these ones a try today!