Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Eggless,No-Gelatin Cheesecake | Vegetarian Cheesecake with Raspberry coulis


Eureka!! Atlast I could figure out the ultimate recipe for the best Eggless, Gelatin-less super-delicious Cheesecake.Though I have had Cheesecake only a couple of times, I would say, it got me seriously addicted, to the core. The taste of each bite is still tickling in my palate...When I was on the lookout for eggless cheesecake recipe, came the shock of my life. Most recipes called for Gelatin which is made from beef. Though I was aware that commercial cakes contain egg,we were quite used to eating Bakery cakes since childhood and hence not very much guilty about it. But, I felt this beef product is definitely unacceptable. So, a strict no-no to my favourite store-bought Cheesecakes,I decided. I tried a vegan Cheesecake recipe from a renowned Vegan blog, but is was a serious disaster. The Cheesecake was all wobbly and could'nt set at all. Finally, I had to bake it without the water bath and it turned into a dark brown cheese blob. Thereafter, I did'nt want to waste ingredients simply, so decided to surf the net as much as possible and read some books on the science of Veg/ Vegan baking. After I gained some knowledge and understanding of the replacers and how they work hand in hand, I went with my gut and developed this recipe. Hence, all that excitement and joy associated with this particular recipe. As you see, Egg replacer, Agar-agar and a small amount of All-purpose flour work together and help in binding and stabilising the cheesecake without affecting its delectable taste. Do try these Cheesecakes, they will sure blow you off!


Preparation time : 25mins
Baking time : 1hr 20mins
Chilling time : Atleast 2-3hrs
Makes : 1 Round 7" Cheesecake


Ingredients:

For the crust:-
Graham crackers /Digestive Biscuit - 1 cup, crushed (approx. 7 nos)
Butter - 4 tblsp, melted
Sugar - 3 tblsp

For the Cheesecake:-
Cream cheese - 1cup / 250gm
Sour cream - 1cup / 250gm
Sugar - 1/2cup
Agar-agar powder - 2tsp
Ener-G egg replacer - 1tblsp
Water -1/4cup
Vanilla extract - 3/4tsp
Orange zest - 1/2tsp
All-purpose flour - 1/4cup
Homemade Raspberry puree /coulis - As needed for topping (See Notes)

Method:

1.  Pre-heat oven to 180C / 350F. Pulse the Graham crackers/ Digestive biscuits in a food processor until they are fine crumbs. DO NOT powder finely. I just put the biscuits in a Ziplock bag and ran the rolling pin over it with some pressure and I could get perfect crumbs.In a bowl, combine biscuit crumbs and sugar.

2.  Add the melted butter and stir to combine. The mixture will hold and bind together well.


 

3.  Press the crust mixture into a 7-inch Springform pan, making sure that the mixture is evenly pressed across the bottom of the pan. Do not push the crust up the sides of the springform.Let it bake for 10-12mins and while that’s getting done, let’s whip up the Cheesecake mixture.

4.  In a bowl, using the electric mixer, beat cream cheese for 3mins until soft and smooth. 


 

5.  Mix the sour cream to this and beat for another 2mins. Add sugar and Agar-agar powder and continue to beat until fluffy, about 3mins.


 

6.  In a small cup, whisk together the egg replacer and water.

7.  Add the egg replacer mixture, vanilla extract and orange zest to the cream cheese mixture and mix until thoroughly combined. Finally, add the flour and whisk until smooth.

 

8.  Pour the Cheesecake filling into the prepared crust. Top up with Raspberry puree and give it a gentle swirl. 


 

9.  The key to perfect Cheesecake is in the baking. We use the water bath method to bake the cake very gently, so that it won’t darken or curdle. For this, we need to prepare the Springform pan which holds the prepared crust. Wrap aluminum foil around the bottom of the pan and three-fourth up the sides of the pan. Ensure you do this step TWICE, ie, double wrap with foil to prevent water from seeping into the removable bottom of the Springform pan.

10.  Place the pan inside a deep baking dish which is a few inches larger than the Springform pan.


 

11.  Gently fill the outer baking dish with hot water to reach halfway up the Springform pan.


12.  Carefully place the pan in the oven and bake for 1hr15mins, until the cake rises slightly and begin pulling away from the sides of the pan. 


 

13.  Remove the pan from the water bath and completely cool.The middle will be shiny and not set, but will firm up as it cools. But, with this perfect recipe, it will not be uncooked or wobbly though. Also,you would find a thin layer browned on top. My daughter came up with a good idea! She used a zester to peel out the browned layer. It came so..effortlessly and you can see the gorgeous raspberry topping. 


 

14.  Once cooled to room temperature, cover with a cling-wrap and refrigerate the Cheesecake for 2-3hrs until chilled. I remembered by previous disaster wherein the cake was all sticky and wobbly inside and it could hardly get out of the Springform. Now,was anxious to know the result of all my Cheesecake researches and....wow..it came out with a perfect colour, texture and a heavenly cheesy flavour.


 

Look at the below pic to believe it for yourself. I could get a perfect slice of my lovely, oh-so-deary Cheesecake. This was the ultimate Cheesecake I would ever dream of.

Notes:

1.For a vegan Cheesecake, just replace butter with vegan margarine and use Vegan cream cheese and vegan sour cream. 'Earth balance' vegan margarine and 'Tofutti' Vegan cream cheese and sour cream can be found at 'Supernature' store at Orchard and sometimes at 'Cold Storage' outlets. 

2. If you do not like the sourness from sour cream, you may reduce it and replace that quantity with cream cheese itself.

3. Make sure to pre-bake the crust before pouring the filling in.

4. For the crust, butter and sugar can be replaced with oil and honey.

5. Do ensure you wrap the aluminium foil without any openings in between or tearing the foil. Also, wrap twice.

6. Bring the cream cheese to room temperature before making the cheesecake for a smooth, lump-free cheesecake.

7. For homemade coulis,combine a cup of washed Raspberries with 2-3tblsp of sugar in a saucepan and bring to boil over medium heat. Simmer it for 5-7mins until sugar is completely dissolved and the mixture thickens. Remove from heat and once cooled,puree it in a blender. Pass through a fine-mesh colander to get a lovely Raspberry sauce / coulis which can be served over puddings, ice-creams or poached fruit.You may use a store-bought Raspberry puree or any of your favourite topping too.


8. (Updated) In Chennai,you would get cream cheese and sour cream at 'Amma Nanna', 'Gormei market','Brown tree' and 'N2H' outlets. Agar-agar, also known as China grass is available at 'Nilgris'. However, am not sure about the availability of 'Ener-G egg replacer' in Chennai. Else, you can simply replace it with cornflour and cut the water by half and proceed with the recipe. With all other stabilising ingredients, hope it will turn out good. 




10 comments :

  1. Wow!! This looks perfect & yummy!!! Wonderful effort :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Sundari. Pls do give it a try!

      Delete
  2. Omg, they are just prefect.. That slice is torturing me..Well done Suja.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Priya ka. Your encouraging words mean a lot to me.

      Delete
  3. Nice recipe...where does one get cream cheese, sour cream, agar agar and egg replacer in Chennai? :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. You would get cream cheese at 'Amma Nanna', 'Gormei market','Brown tree' and 'N2H' outlets. Agar-agar, also known as China grass is available at 'Nilgris'. However, am not sure about the availability of 'Ener-G egg replacer' in Chennai. Pls do check with the above supermarkets. Else, you can simply replace it with cornflour and cut the water by half and try the recipe. With all other stabilising ingredients, hope it will turn out good. Pls post your result.

      Delete
  4. Replies
    1. Thanks a lot Jey..Pls do try it sometime.

      Delete