Vegan Cheesecake

Pastry base:

5 tbsp finely ground toasted, unsalted cashew nuts
1 tbsp whole meal spelt flour / oat flour / buckwheat flour
2 tsp vanilla-infused grape-seed oil / walnut oil
1 tsp light agave syrup

Filling:

1 cup soy milk
2 tsp lemon juice / orange juice / apple cider vinegar
1 lemon, juice
2 cups firm tofu, drained and patted (very) dry, chopped
1 tbsp vanilla-infused grape-seed oil / walnut oil
6 tbsp light agave syrup
2 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 tbsp tapioca flour
20 ml corn starch

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C (360°F).
  2. Make the pastry by combining all the ingredients in a small bowl. It will be a firm, heavy mixture. Line the bottom of a 1 L round pie dish with the pastry and then oil the sides (or use a silicone baking dish). Press the pastry down firmly. Leave to rest in the refrigerator.
  3. Thicken the soy milk by stirring in the juice (or vinegar). It will thicken immediately. Set aside.
  4. If you have a food processor, fit the juicing part and squeeze out the lemon juice; or use a fork. Change to the plastic S-blade. Add the tofu, oil, syrup, zest and vanilla essence. Process until floppy. Sprinkle over the flours and pour over the thickened soy milk. Process until completely smooth. Pour the tofu mixture into the baking dish onto the pastry.
  5. Place on a shelf just below the middle in the oven and bake for 30 minutes, uncovered. Reduce the temperature to 160°C (320°F)and bake a further 15 minutes. Lightly drape a sheet of tin foil over the top if the cheesecake browns too much.
  6. Remove from the oven and cool completely. The filling will become firmer.
  7. Decorate with lemon and lime zest. Cut into slices, or lift the cake from the mould before cutting.

Serves 8.

Cook’s tip:

A cheesecake forms large cracks when the outside of the batter has firmed into a thin skin and the inner filling continues to expand with the heat. One can decrease this effect by placing a bowl of water on a lower shelf to create steam in the oven. The cracks can always be concealed by serving the cheesecake with slices of fruit on top. Or, simply don’t worry about it – it still tastes delicious!

Laurinda Erasmus is a vegan chef and author of a vegan recipe book, called Benessere well-being: vegan & sugar-free eating for a healthy life-style, by Quinoa Publishing. The book has over 520 recipes, each with a colour photograph, taken by the author herself. The book won a gold medal at the Living Now Book Awards in New York, USA. She is passionate about the vast possibilities of creating plant-based meals, the increased wellness and energy through plant nutrition and making a smaller impact on our precious ecosystem. Through her book and vegan classes, she shows healthy and fun ways of how to bring more plant-based meals into one’s diet. She also travels extensively, always collecting new recipes and re-writing them as vegan dishes.