Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Success! Lemon chezzcake

A bit of clarification first: I've taken to using the word "chezz" to denote any food product which is used as a cheese-substitute. Some examples are Tofutti's Better than Cream Cheese (nearly indistinguishable from real cream cheese), Galaxy Nutritional Foods Vegan Slices (which don't melt as well as cheese slices, and have a sharper flavour, but which make grilled chezzes possible) and Vegan Gourmet's Cheese Alternatives (of which the Mozzarella flavour — at room temperature — is almost like mozzarella, but melts atrociously).

I've been making home-made graham cracker cookies for about two years now, adapting from the recipe I found at

Homemade Graham Crackers

1-1/2 cup all purpose flour
1-1/4 cup graham flour1
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon2
3/4 butter3
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla4
1 lrg egg5

1. Mix dry ingredients together.
2. Cream butter, add sugar, add honey, vanilla and egg. Beat until combined.
3. Add dry ingredients to wet, beat together to make a fairly firm dough. Wrap the dough in plastic and chill until firm enough to roll.
4. Preheat oven to 350°F. Roll dough out to 1/4" thick.
5. Cut dough into 3" squares or cut into shapes, scrape from countertop with a metal spatula. Space squares apart on baking sheet. Pierce crackers with a fork.
6. Bake 10 minutes or until edges brown. Transfer to wire rack to cool.

On to the chezzcake

So, I use the homemade graham crackers in many of the pie bases I make by adding honey to the crumbs in my food processor. This is, of course, much lower fat than traditionally adding butter and sugar to the crumbs.

This is the vegan cheesecake recipe I used:

(Vegan) Lemon Cheesecake

14 oz package firm silken tofu6
8 oz package Better than Cream Cheese
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 tsp almond extract7
2 tbsp cornstarch
9" pie crust6

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Place silken tofu and vegan cream cheese in the food processor. Process for 1 minute, then add sugar. Process until smooth and no sugar granules remain, 3-5 minutes.
In a small bowl, combine lemon juice and almond extract. Whisk in cornstarch. Pour mixture into the food processor and process until very smooth. Pour into prepared crust and bake for 45 minutes.
Allow to cool at room temperature for 2 hours, then refrigerate overnight.
Serves 10

Sadly, my chezzcake is nowhere near as photogenic as bakingsheet's, so no photos this time.

Tomorrow, I think I'll make a wild blueberry syrup to top the slices.

Updated: Now featuring lemon chezzcake with blueberry topping photo-pr0n!

1 I use whole wheat flour
2 I use a coffee grinder to grind fresh cinnamon and nutmeg, and don't usually make note of how much I use for this recipe
3 I use dairy-free margarine
4 I've had homemade vanilla for about two years now, too. Just use a litre of a "neutral" spirit like vodka or rum, add 4 whole vanilla beans to it, and leave to sit in a cool, dark place for a few months before using.
5 I've taken to adding 1-1/2 tbsp of flaxseed meal and using 1/2 egg per batch — I usually make two batches of graham cracker dough at once.
6 I doubled the tofu and cream chezz quantities as I was using a 9" springform pan, instead of a pie plate. The baking time was almost doubled as a result.
7 I use vanilla instead of almond extract.



At Thu Feb 15, 02:17:00 pm GMT-5, Blogger Caty said...

My poor poor sister. No wonder you're sad if all you can eat is chezz! Yes, you're right, it's almost as good as real cheese. Keep telling yourself that if it makes you feel better. ;p

At Fri Feb 16, 08:47:00 am GMT-5, Blogger Emma said...

Well, it's looks terrible! ;)

At Fri Feb 16, 09:56:00 am GMT-5, Anonymous Austin said...

Mmmm... terrible...

At Fri Feb 16, 04:29:00 pm GMT-5, Anonymous brew-san said...

Mmmm.. chezz cake..


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