Food / Gluten Free / Vegetarian

Almond Cheesecake

This is an excellent variation that is reduced in calories and cholesterol, high in protein and can be completely dairy and gluten free  – just sub in ingredients as required.  It has eggs in, so this is not vegan, but if you’re talented/clever you might be able to use some vegegel or equivalent to help it set…For best results bake at a time when you can leave in the oven to cool to prevent cracking (see below).

Almond Cheesecake

Equipment: 9inch springform or loose based cake/cheesecake tin – greased; blender/food processor

Heat oven to 160 C

For the base:

1 box of g/f digestives approx 150g – crushed with a rolling pin or whizzed in processor to crumbs

50g porridge oats (rolled oats are a bit too big for this job) – optional, just add more digestives or perhaps amaretti biscuits if you prefer…

75g ground almonds

75g fair trade demarera sugar (unrefined granulated would also be fine)

100-125g goats butter or dairy free equivalent (melted) – if this is not quite enough, then add a bit more!

Combine ingredients until you have a mixture that looks a bit glossy with butter and presses together.  press flat into the greased baking tin and bake for 10 mins – allow to cool a bit before adding the topping.

For the topping

1 box of silken tofu about 349g

300g Lactofree soft cheese or equivalent tofutti (try soft goat’s cheese?)

2 large free range egg whites

100g fair trade golden granulated sugar

1tsp Vanilla ESSENCE (not flavouring) – or a bit of vanilla bean extract if you prefer

1.5-2tsp Almond ESSENCE (with almond oil, not flavouring)

1-2tsp Amaretto (optional)

Combine the ingredients in a large bowl, beat or blend with your chosen gadget for about 3 minutes until creamy and soft – or for about 5-8mins by hand (man up! it’s worth it).  Pour onto the slightly cooled base and bake in a water bath, or with a tray of water underneath in the oven (i put mine on the grill tray and filled the base with hot water underneath the tin to provide some steam).  Bake at 160C for about 1 hour (don’t let it get too golden), after which you should turn the oven off and leave the cheesecake in until the oven cools to prevent the topping from cracking (over night for example!).

Beautifying – optional

If it is not beautiful enough at this point, warm a tablespoon of honey in a small saucepan and pour/brush onto the top of the cheesecake to make it glisten and sprinkle on some toasted almonds (and honeycomb pieces of you like, I did!) – voila!

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