I’ve been pretty much overdosing on sweets lately with the holidays and all. But since I recently received Vegan Pie in the Sky by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero to review, I absolutely had to try a recipe or two.
Unable to decide on which cheesecake to make, I half the recipes and made mini cheesecakes. That way I was also able to try out a couple of flavors instead of making one big 9″ pie.
Pictured above is the Chocolate Galaxy Banana Cheesecake – such a smooth and creamy texture! So very decadent-tasting, just like regular cheesecake. Unlike some other vegan cheesecake recipes, there’s no packaged cream cheese in these. The creaminess is from raw cashews, banana and silken tofu.
The other flavor was Raspberry Lime Cheesecake, pictured in the middle. Also very good. Never thought raspberry and lime go together but they do. Since I had a bit of the raspberry and lime topping leftover, I plopped some on top of the chocolate cheesecake, pictured below.
Both flavors were easy enough for me, a baking simpleton, to make. The cookbook is written in the same style as the authors’ other books – easy to understand, lighthearted, full of useful tips and suggestions. Besides the cheesecakes, there’s recipes for various pie crusts, fruit pies, creamy pies, cobblers, crisps and tarts.
When I fully recover from the overindulgence of holiday sweets, I have very high hopes of finally being able to actually make a real pie with a real pie crust and everything. I’m so excited!
Chocolate Galaxy Banana Cheesecake
Makes one 9 1/2 – inch cheesecake
1 recipe Graham Cracker Crust
1/2 cup whole unroasted cashews, soaked in water for 2 to 8 hours or until very soft
1/2 cup well-mashed banana (about 2 medium-size bananas)
1 (12-14 ounce) package silken tofu, drained
2/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons coconut oil, room temperature
4 teaspoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray. Prepare the crust and press it very firmly into the pan. Bake for 10 minutes and move the pan to a cooling rack.
2. Meanwhile, prepare the filling: Drain the cashews and blend with the banana, tofu, sugar, coconut oil, cornstarch, lemon juice, vanilla and almond extracts, and sea salt. Blend until completely smooth and absolutely no bits of cashew remain.
3. Set aside 1/3 cup of batter and pour the rest into the crust. Melt the chocolate chips over a double boiler or in a glass bowl in the microwave. Stir the melted chips with a spatula until smooth; add reserved batter and stir until smooth.
4. Spoon dollops of chocolate batter randomly onton the cheesecake. Poke the end of a chopstick into a chocolate batter blob and gently swirl the top to creat a marble-like pattern; repeat with the remaining chocolate blobs.
5. Bake the cheesecake for 50 to 55 minutes until the top is lightly puffed and the edges of the cake are golden.
6. Remove the cake from the oven and set on a cooling rack for 20 minutes, then move it to the fridge to complete cooling, at least 3 hours or even better, overnight. To serve, slice the cake with a thin, sharp knife dipped in cold water.
Graham Cracker Crust
Makes one 9- or 10- inch pie crust
1 3/4 cups finely ground graham crackers (made from 10 ounces of whole graham crackers)
3 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons melted nonhydrogenated margarine, melted coconut oil, or canola oil
1 tablespoon plain soy milk or almond milk
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and lightly spray a 9-inch pie plate with nonstick cooking spray.
2. In a mixing bowl, combine the graham crumbs and sugar. Drizzle in the oil or melted margarine. Use a spoon to blend the mixture thoroughly to moisten the crumbs, then drizzle in the soy milk and stir again to form a crumbly dough.
3. Pour the crumbs into the pie plate. Press crumbs into the sides of the plate first, then work your way down to the bottom. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes until firm. Let the crust cool before filling.
From the book Vegan Pie in the Sky by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero. Excerpted by arrangement with Da Capo Lifelong, a member of the Perseus Books Group. Copyright (c) 2011. www.dacapopresscookbooks.com
Disclosure: I received the book free of charge from the publisher to review. The opinions and experience with the book expressed herein are my own. There was no pay to say.
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