This week I have been exploring the world of vegan baking and I wanted to start with a Vegan Raspberry Cheesecake. Truthfully I am not, and never will be, a full time vegan. However I have learnt to cook food that is often more delicious than a meat or dairy counterpart meal. On the days or weeks that I do eat a full plant based diet I feel more energetic, healthier and generally much better within myself. It may seen from that statement that going fully vegan would be a no brainer. The trouble is that when I did go vegan for a whole month for veganuary I missed cheese…. Like a lot. In fact an unreasonable amount. Now I am happy to work past that but what I can’t work past is my baking.
My Baking Addiction
I love baking. I do it most weekends and if not at the weekend then I’ll squeeze in a bake during the week. I don’t even mind swapping some ingredients to make my bakes vegan. For example, I can use vegetable fat or oil instead of butter. This is actually a swap I make quite often and no one has ever noticed. I really want to attempt vegan brownies and see if anyone can tell the difference. But the things I really don’t want to give up eating and making are Macarons and Swiss Meringue Buttercream.
These little baked treats and the filling I make for them are my two favourite things. If a cake needs icing then I make meringue buttercream. Do I need a little homemade gift? I make macarons. And there is always some left for us to have.
I decided to start my vegan baking with a cheesecake because I love normal cheesecake and because the recipe is so nut heavy I thought it would be a good way to show myself how delicious nuts can be when used the right way. I chose to make a raspberry flavour with a coulis as I felt the tartness of the raspberries would cut through the sweet and creamy cheesecake and nut base. The base is made with almonds and pistachios as I know I like those nuts but you could replace these with your own favourite nuts if you prefer. But I can assure you this combination is delicious.
I was of course dubious making this. It isn’t cheesecake, lets be honest. Not a gram of cheese goes anywhere near this. Nor is it baked or chilled, it is a frozen dessert as many vegan desserts are. I have never made anything like this before so I wasn’t sure how the taste or texture would turn out. I read about 20 different recipes as research and they all seemed to contain similar ingredients with small alterations. I have done enough baking in the past to know which I would and wouldn’t like and so I set out to buy the ingredients and then basically made it up as I went along. I opted to use coconut milk as I felt it would give a creamier texture but you could use coconut oil instead. The amounts may need to be altered but I am not completely sure as I haven’t tried it.
My Doubts Were Needless
Well, my doubts were needless. The taste of this vegan raspberry cheesecake is fantastic if a little coconutty, the texture is smooth and creamy just like a real cheesecake. The dessert as a whole worked perfectly and tasted amazing. For a first go I got it spot on (that never happens). The one thing I would still say is this isn’t a cheesecake. It just isn’t. That doesn’t stop it being delicious but it is a lot more enjoyable if you consider it a frozen mousse cake or an ice cream cake. Perhaps that is just because cheesecake is one of my favourite desserts, if I didn’t like it then this would probably be the best possible alternative. Either way I will be making this again and in many different flavours. It tastes great, looks impressive and was surprisingly easy to make.