Monday, June 15, 2015

Vegan-ish Gluten-Free Toasted Coconut Cheesecake

      So just last week I made a Lemon Raspberry Cheesecake and my customers loved it!  But I had several of my dairy-intolerant customers ask if I could make a vegan or dairy-free version so that they could enjoy a slice too.  So back to the kitchen I went!  The reason this is called vegan-ish is because, yes, there is a bit of honey in the graham crackers, so it can’t be considered a truly, completely vegan recipe.  But if you're someone who's okay with just a small amount of honey, then this recipe is for you!!!  It’s as creamy and yummy as the real thing, so grab a fork and enjoy…

You’ll need:
1 package of Schar Gluten-Free Graham Cracker Cookies

1/3 cup macadamia nuts, finely chopped
2 1/2 tbsp coconut oil 
You can either crush the cookies by hand in a small bowl, pulse them a few times in a food processor, or put them in a nut grinder, which is the method I used.  I broke the cookies in half then ground them on the 'fine' setting of my nut grinder.  Whichever method you choose, you will need to use all of the cookies from the package. 
       In a bowl, combine cookie crumbs, macadamia nuts, and coconut oil.  Stir until the mixture starts to hold together.  Press into the bottom of a greased 10" spring form pan and set aside.

1 2/3 cups sugar

1/4 cup + 2 heaping tbsp of tapioca flour

2 tsp natural caramel flavor

1 tbsp vanilla extract

3/4 cup Coconut cream 

       Preheat oven to 325°F.

       Using an electric mixer on medium speed, mix the dairy-free cream cheese together, one at a time until smooth, soft, and creamy.

       Beat in sugar, tapioca, and extracts, mixing well to be sure all the ingredients are completely combined.
        If you don’t have pure coconut cream, then open a chilled can of coconut milk and drain off the coconut water from the top, leaving the cream at the bottom.  I prefer to use the Thai Kitchen brand.  If you’ve never done this before, (click here) for complete instructions on how to get the perfect coconut cream.

       Now that you have coconut cream, beat it into the cream cheese mixture until smooth.  Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a silicone spatula then whip the ingredients again to make sure everything is blended and there are no more chunks of cream cheese or coconut cream.
       Pour the mixture into the prepared spring form pan and place the pan on a round cookie sheet (just in case there is any spillage!).  Put it into the oven and bake for an hour and 15 minutes.  Once the cheesecake has finished baking, allow it to rest in the oven for another hour with the oven door shut. 
       After that, take it out of the oven and place it on a hot pad, then put it in the fridge so it can finish cooling.

       Now on to the topping! And I could give you a fancy recipe and pretend that it was what I did for my recipe but that would not be an untruth!  I’ll admit I cheated on this one...I used a new item to the natural foods industry, made by So Delicious.  it’s a pre-made coconut whipped cream.  Now, I have made this before from scratch and it’s fairly easy to do, but I’ve be waiting for the perfect recipe to try this whipped cream on.  So if you want to go the easy route, then pick yourself up a container of coconut whipped cream.

       Now it's time to cut and serve the cheesecake with a scoop of whipping cream over each piece and a sprinkle of Dang Toasted Coconut Chips over the top for garnish and to add a nice crunch.