Friday 10 February 2012

Raspberry Cheesecake

Here's a fabulous recipe, ideal for spoiling your sweetheart or someone special on Valentine's Day!

This delicious Raspberry Cheesecake looks really impressive and super-indulgent yet it's relatively low in sugar and contains no dairy produce.  The lovely vanilla filling is made using firm silken tofu, readily available in supermarkets and inexpensive too.

Many cheesecake recipes have crushed digestive biscuits as a base which can really add to the sugar content.   It's just as easy to make your own base from scratch and bake it in the oven whilst you make the tofu filling.

I've used raspberries in a vegan raspberry jelly for the topping but you can decorate the top with any fresh fruit such as strawberries or cooked fruit such as blackcurrants.  You can also use arrowroot to thicken the fruit topping instead of jelly - full instructions below!


For the base:
75g dairy free margarine e.g. Pure
50g demerera sugar
75g ground almonds
75g plain flour 
(half white/half wholewheat)

For the filling:
1 x 349g pack firm silken tofu  e.g.Mori-Nu
Juice and zest of a large lemon
1 tbsp vanilla extract
150ml soya milk
2 tbsp arrowroot
75g golden castor sugar

For the topping:
200 - 250g raspberries, fresh or frozen
85g packet of raspberry flavoured vegan jelly crystals 
(available from Holland and Barrett)

Grease a 20cm (8") loose bottomed cake tin.  I use a springform cake tin from Lakeland.

Preheat the oven to 190C/170C fan/Gas Mark 5.

First make the base by creaming the margarine and sugar in a bowl until light and fluffy.  

Then add the flour and ground almonds and beat until the mixture comes together to form a soft dough.

Press the mixture into your prepared tin - best to use your fingers for this!

Bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes.


When the almond base is golden brown,  remove from the oven and lower the oven temperature to 180C.

Meanwhile, make the filling.  Open the pack of tofu and, using a sieve,  drain away any surplus liquid.

Grate the zest of the lemon on a fine grater.

Then place the tofu, lemon zest,  vanilla extract,  soya milk,  arrowroot and sugar into a food processor with the juice of the lemon (approx 3 - 4 tbsp)  Blend well until smooth.  

Pour the cheesecake filling evenly over the base and bake for 45 minutes.   
Allow the cheesecake to cool,  before making the topping.

To make the topping,  empty the packet of vegan jelly into a glass measuring jug and add 250ml of boiling water. 
(NB Don't follow the instructions on the packet as we're adding more fruit) 

Stir well until dissolved.  

Then add the fresh or frozen raspberries and, using a hand blender,  blitz the mixture until smooth.    If you want to remove the seeds,  press the raspberries through a large sieve at this point.    

Carefully pour the raspberry mixture over the top of the cheesecake and leave to set.  Chill until required.

If you can't get hold of vegan jelly,  mix 1 tbsp arrowroot with a little cold water in a cup or small bowl to make a runny paste.

Place the raspberries in a pan over a medium heat.  Stir in the arrowroot mixture and cook gently until the raspberry sauce thickens, stirring frequently.   

Allow to cool a little before pouring over the cheesecake.  

TIP:  If your raspberry mixture doesn't thicken as it cools,  repeat the above with a little more arrowroot dissolved in water and reheat until it thickens.

Happy Valentine's Day!