Thursday, August 22, 2013

"I'm so EASY," said the vegan cheesecake.

"Cheesecake" Treats - Small Wonders
Aside from this recipe, I do not have that much too share with you today. This has been and still is, a tough week for me. I can't sleep, and...yada yada yada. Any Seinfeld fans out there?

[Back to the recipe.]

For some reason, I woke up today with my mind set on making a vegan cheesecake. I am lucky to have a vegan cookbook collection filled with fantastic "cheesecake" recipes, but I did not have all the ingredients required to make any of them. Although, I am certain that if I looked more intently, I would have been been able to find a recipe matching my pantry and refrigerator contents. Oh contradiction!

This recipe is loosely based on my mom's Polish Cheesecake recipe which includes raisins. Eating this tiny treat took me back to my childhood - a feeling that was helpful today in more ways than one.

Rock on Vegan Cheesecake!

What is that line on the strawberry? Ha! Made you look...
"Cheesecake" Treats - Small Wonders (Makes 12 servings)

2 (14-oz packages) organic firm tofu, drained (do not use silken or extra firm tofu)
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest (from about one lemon)
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon pure bourbon vanilla extract or pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup organic powdered sugar (or more depending on sweetnes prefrence)
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
3/4 cup golden raisins
Fresh or frozen fruit of choice for garnish (optional)

(12 cupcake liners for baking)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a muffin baking pan with cupcake liners. Set aside. In a food processor or high-powered blender, add one package of drained tofu at a time, and process until smooth and creamy, for about 3 minutes. Transfer the blended tofu to a large bowl. Combine the tofu mixture with lemon zest, lemon juice, vanilla extract, and powdered sugar. Mix well. Taste to see if the sweetness is to your liking. Add more sugar if necessary, but keep in mind that the raisins will add extra sweetness as well.

Divide the tofu mixture "equally" between two bowls. Add raisins to one bowl - raisin mixture - while adding the cocoa powder to the other - chocolate mixture. Mix both mixtures well, in separate bowls.

To assemble, add one to two tablespoons of the raisin mixture to each cupcake liner.

Raisin mixture. 
Now, top each one with the chocolate mixture.

Chocolate mixture on top of raisin mixture, prior to baking. 
Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes. These will be done when the texture feels springy to the touch.

Allow 20 minutes cooling time before removing from the baking pan and adding garnish. When cooled, remove from the cupcake liners and garnish with fruit. Store in a tight container, in the refrigerator. Be sure to line the container with paper towels to absorb the excess moisture.

Garnish with fruit and eat! 

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