Bake Well, Bake Vegan: Vegan Bakewell Cheesecake

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Hello lovely readers, I hope you’ve all enjoyed your weekend. I spent much of mine cooking, recipe writing, photographing and best of all, baking this delicious cheesecake! This was my breakthrough cheesecake recipe! It was the first cheesecake that I made and thought, “this could beat shop-bought non-vegan cheesecake any day of the week”. It really does have something special about it. Maybe it’s the scrumptious almond crust. Maybe it’s the silky smooth creamy filling. Maybe it’s the homemade jam topping. Who knows? I’m happy just to eat!

For those who don’t know, Bakewell is an English market town famous for it’s delicious Bakewell tart, probably the best dessert in the world apart from cheesecake. It consists of a pastry crust holding an almond frangipani and jam filling, usually topped with a layer of icing. The main flavours of a Bakewell tart are cherry and almond; the flavours you’ll find take precedence in this cheesecake. Since I love Bakewell tart and I love cheesecake (understatement) I thought, “What could be better than a Bakewell cheesecake?” The answer is, quite possibly, nothing at all.

A note on the agar powder listed under filling ingredients: agar is a setting agent which can be hard to get hold of; I ordered mine online. I’ve listed it as optional as the cheesecake should still set without it, but be aware it won’t set as well as the one photographed and some of the filling may fall away a little when you remove the cheesecake from the baking pan. You could probably replace the agar with a more readily available thickening powder such as arrowroot, but I haven’t tried this so can’t vouch for its success! Please, however, do not omit the coconut oil. Coconut oil acts as a setting agent in chilled desserts because it solidifies at room temperature. If you were to omit both the agar and the coconut oil, your cheesecake might not set. Don’t despair; although coconut oil is quite expensive a little goes a long way and it has a variety of uses beyond culinary; apparently its very good for the skin.

Enjoy the recipe! I’ll be back soon with another Indian feast; this time on the menu is Secret Ingredient Saag Aloo, Cabbage Bhajis and Fluffy Coconut-Cardamom Rice.

See this and other great recipes at The Culinary Mama’s link party:

The Culinary Mama

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Bakewell Cheesecake

Serves 8-12

Ingredients

For the jam: 125g each frozen summer fruits and frozen cherries

3 tbsp light brown sugar

¼ tsp mixed spice

½ tbsp chia seeds (optional – available in large supermarkets and health food stores)

½ tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp agave or other liquid sweetener

For the crust: 150g almonds

100g wholemeal plain flour

50ml golden syrup or other sticky liquid sweetener

¼ tsp mixed spice

2 tbsp coconut oil, melted

For the filling: 350g silken tofu

200g vegan cream cheese (I used Violife, available from Tesco)

1 tsp almond extract

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tbsp coconut oil, melted

½ tsp agar powder (optional, see note above)

  1. First, make the jam. Combine fruit, sugar, mixed spice, vanilla extract and chia seeds in a non-stick saucepan over a medium heat. Bring to a low boil, reduce heat and simmer until the fruit has broken down and the jam has thickened, stirring occasionally. This takes about 15-20 minutes. Leave to cool. Strain through a sieve to remove seeds. Set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 200oC/gas 6/400o Grease a loose-bottomed round baking tin (about 8-9”).
  3. To make the crust, first place the almonds in a food processor and process until crumbled. This takes about 5-10 minutes depending on how powerful your food processor is. Add remaining crust ingredients and process until well combined, scraping down the sides of the processor bowl as necessary. Transfer to the prepared baking tin and press down in an even layer. Bake for about 10 minutes while you make the filling.
  4. To make the filling, combine all the ingredients in the (washed) food processor and process until smooth and creamy. Pour over the crust and smooth out the top. Pour the jam on top and swirl around to create a marble effect. Bake for approx 20-25 minutes until the edges are bubbling and lightly golden. Leave to cool, then place in the fridge to set for about 2-3 hours before removing from the tin and slicing.

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10 responses to “Bake Well, Bake Vegan: Vegan Bakewell Cheesecake

    • Thanks so much! There are so many things I thought I would miss that I now have vegan versions of. I genuinely don’t miss anything at all. I used to think people who said they didn’t miss cheese were crazy and now I’m one of them!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah not sure! I’m veggie at the moment (although a lot of what I eat is vegan) but I’m doing a vegan challenge during June. I do love good cheese, but I’m sure I’ll manage! I’ll keep stealing recipes from you!

        Like

      • Good luck! I recommend looking around the Internet for cheese recipes and trying out different shop bought brands. Don’t pressure yourself, it took me 4 years to transition from veggie to vegan. I would thoroughly recommend the book Artisan Vegan Cheese by Miyoko Schinner and check out The Post Punk Kitchen blog and Chloe Coscarelli’s website. I swear that without these resources I would never have stuck with veganism!

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      • Good luck and enjoy yourself! I’ve just been looking at your blog and I can see that you’re a great cook and baker, I think that’s half the battle to being able to stick with a vegan diet 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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