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Food

Plant-based New York Style Baked Cheesecake

Serves 10-12

  • 400g cashews

  • 120g light digestive biscuits

  • 120g ginger biscuits

  • 100ml light olive oil

  • a pinch of salt

  • 300g dairy-free white chocolate

  • 2 lemons

  • 340g silken tofu

  • 300g icing sugar

  • 2 tbsp coconut oil

  • 3 tsp vanilla extract

  • 400g strawberries

  • 50g golden caster sugar

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 180°C |

Place baking tray on the middle shelf of the oven |

Place large pan of boiling water on a high heat

Base-line a 23cm springform cake tin with parchment paper (don’t grease the sides)

Equipment:

Food processor

Small saucepan

Heatproof bowl

Liquidiser

Pastry brush

Medium saucepan

    • Put the cashews in the pan of hot water and boil for 15 minutes until soft and rehydrated (alternatively, soak them overnight in cold water) | Drain.

    • Put all the biscuits in the food processor and blitz to crumbs | Add the oil and a pinch of salt and pulse to mix | Tip into the lined cake tin and press firmly until well compacted and even | Put in the oven and bake for 15–20 minutes, until firm | Remove and leave to cool for 10 minutes | Lower the oven temperature to 110°C.

    • Next, pour 3cm hot water into the small saucepan and bring to the boil | Lower to a simmer | Put the heatproof bowl on top of the pan, ensuring the water doesn’t touch the bottom | Break the chocolate into the bowl and leave to melt (alternatively, melt in the microwave in 15-second bursts) | Remove the bowl from the pan and leave to cool a little | Separate 2 tablespoons of the chocolate from the main batch.

    • Zest the lemons into the liquidiser then cut them in half and squeeze in the juice | Add the main batch of chocolate, the silken tofu, drained cashews, icing sugar, coconut oil and vanilla extract and blend until smooth.

    • Layer up your cheesecake | Lightly brush the biscuit base with the reserved 2 tablespoons of melted chocolate | Pour over the cheesecake mixture and shake gently to level it | Lightly run your finger over the surface to get rid of any bubbles | Put the tin on the hot baking tray and bake for 80–90 minutes, until set but still slightly wobbly in the middle | Remove from the oven and run a thin spatula or knife around the edge to separate the cake from the tin, then leave it to cool to room temperature | Transfer the cheesecake to a plate and refrigerate.

    • Hull the strawberries and halve or quarter them | Put them into the medium saucepan with the sugar | Put the pan over a medium heat and stir | Macerate for 2–3 minutes so the sugar melts and strawberries soften slightly | Set aside to cool then pile on to the cheesecake | Serve.

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Food