While I didn’t have the biggest sweet tooth growing up, one thing I absolutely loved was a solid slice of my Mum’s cheesecake. And then my sister began making cheesecakes of a HUGE variety (Toblerone, being her speciality) and I really enjoyed them too! But growing up with hereditary high cholesterol and being dairy intolerant made this a rare delicacy.. And a painful one at that!
However, now that I’ve transitioned to a completely cruelty free lifestyle, it is an even more rare, dare I say it, almost impossible treat to get my hands on! Now I’m not knocking the raw treats, don’t get me wrong. They have their own place, and, if done well, are an amazing substitute. But being realistic, when the cravings are real, raw treats just don’t cut it! And let’s be real for a second too, there are only so many raw cakes, slices and bars you can eat before you’re just crying out for a cruelty free BAKED or at least somewhat traditional tasting version.
And that’s where this tasty creation comes in! You can, of course, make traditional-style cheezecakes vegan by using vegan cream cheeses etc, but personally, I’ve always enjoyed a good baked version, and well, I liked the challenge of creating my own, as it’s one of the very few treats I’m able to find. No, it’s not the healthiest cheesecake in the world, but quite frankly, who cares! Life is all about balance, and sometimes there’s nothing better for your MENTAL (or emotional) health than chowing down on that decadent treat. If it’s what you want, then why not! No deprivation here, folks 😉
For the base, I’ve kept it easy and used the fabulous new Orgran Health + Nutrition Itsy Bitsy Gingerbread biscuits! After trying and devouring these biscuits for myself (many packets, in fact, because you know, ol’ cookie monster over here!), I just KNEW I had to use them for this recipe. Of course you can use any old ginger style biscuits, but to keep this cheezecake accessible for those of all dietary requirements, using these Orgran biscuits is 100% your best (and tastiest!) option. As for the filling, I’ve used the surprise ingredient of silken tofu! Sounds weird, but just go with me on it, and don’t judge a book by its cover. And lastly, with regards to the caramelised fig topping, feel free to use whichever fruits you like/are in season! Figs are my perfect match to accompany a ginger base, but passionfruit, berries, apples, pears, plums, and many others I’m sure would also compliment this cake perfectly.
And that’s it! Super easy, definitely delicious, and perfect for sharing with family and friends to see if they can tell what it’s made from 😉 So enjoy creating, friends! I genuienly hope you all enjoy it, and don’t forget to show me your recreations over social media! I love seeing my food made, shared, and most of all enjoyed.
RECIPE: Gingerbread + Vanilla Baked Cheezecake
Vegan. Gluten Free. Nut Free. Refined Sugar Free.
220g Orgran Health + Nutrition Gingerbread friends biscuits (approx. 8 packs)
Scant 1/4 cup Nuttelex (or other vegan butter), melted
400g silken tofu, drained weight
5 tblsp rice malt syrup
2 tsp pure vanilla essence
2 tblsp coconut oil
2 extra Gingerbread friends biscuits
2 – 3 figs, top discarded and sliced
- As always, start by preheating the oven – 190C (170C fan).
- To make the base; Crush the biscuits into a mostly fine crumb. It is more than okay if some chunkier bits remain! Pour the melted butter over the crumbs and stir to coat the crumbs.
- Using your hands, press the crumb firmly into the base of a 7.5 inch cheesecake tin, making sure it’s evenly spread. Place in the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes. Once baked, set aside to cool.
- To make the filling; Crumble and blend the tofu with the remaining ingredients. Taste and adjust sweetness or vanilla to preference. Pour over the cooled base and carefully place the slices of fig around the edges of the cake. Finish the cake by centring with the extra two Gingerbread friends biscuits.
- Bake in the oven for 35 – 40 minutes, or until the top is golden. Once baked, let the cheezecake cool for half hour before placing in the fridge to cool completely and set for a further few hours, or until completely set. Serve cool as is, with extra fruit or Gingerbread biscuits, or even some dairy free ice-cream!
Happy eating, fellow cheezecake lovers!