Before I get to this month’s delicious Daring Bakers challenge, I’d like to say thank you to three wonderful bloggers and participants in the 60-Day Project for my mother’s 60th’s birthday: Tacha of Haines, Jessica of Awesome. Vegan. Rad, and Miss V of Miss V’s Vegan Cookbook. It would be impossible for me to articulate the joy this project has brought my mother. Her fragile health has really isolated her from the “outside” world, and these bits of happiness coming from all over the world are such a ray of sunshine.
I wish I could make you each a lovely vegan cheese cake to thank you. I could make you a vegan cheesecake, but I doubt it would survive the post from France to you! I guess I could eat it for you, too (yes, I would do that for you. I’m a giver). If I did make you a vegan cheese cake, I would want to make you the most delicious, and healthy cake possible, because I like you and I want you to have your cake and be healthy, too.
Making a delicious vegan cheese cake isn’t really very difficult : you can make any number of tofu variations, mouth-watering raw “cheese” cakes, and if you don’t mind the hydrogenated oils, you can make vegan cream cheese versions, too. When this month’s Daring Bakers challenge was announced, I was rather excited, because I love cheese cake. It’s one of my very favourite desserts, and I’d like to thank Jenny of Jenny Bakes for offering us such a straight-forward and honest challenge. A cheese cake is like a blank canvas – you can make it as elaborate or as basic as you wish.
I considered many possibilities to fancy this up : key lime or lavender flavoured cake, or maybe an elaborate coulis to add a touch of sophistication, finally settling on one of my family’s favourite cheese cake recipes, by one of my very favourite bloggers (and good friend) Ricki of Diet, Dessert and Dogs. This recipe makes a beautiful, “genuine” cheese cake in all it’s authentic-tasting glory. It’s like a good friend or your favourite pair of jeans : it just feels right. It doesn’t need any fancy sauce or flavouring to state it’s case – it stands on its own two feet with grace.
This luscious vegan cheese cake usually has a lovely lattice top crust, but my sous-chef (a.k.a. Guppy) thieved my reserved dough and ate it. Sigh.
I first made Ricki’s cheese cake last summer for my family when I was visiting them in the United States. They have very high cheese cake standards, because my mother’s Omni cheese cake is nothing short of phenomenal. Suffice it to say they were all “bluffé” as we say in French – bluffed – by the light as chiffon texture in tandem with the deep, rich, lemony cheesy taste this cake has to offer. This has become one of my family’s “classic” cheese cake favourites and easily found a home in the rotation.
You can find the recipe here, and it will be appearing in Ricki’s up-coming cookbook Sweet Freedom, available May 15th! Sweet Freedom is more than just another vegan dessert book! It’s about the freedom to enjoy desserts even if you normally can’t due to allergies and dietary restrictions, with about a quarter of the book featuring gluten-free or grain-free recipes! Ricki shows you that you can snub refined flours and sugars and still rub elbows with mouth-watering treats – yippie! You can read more about the cookbook here, or visit the official Sweet Freedom blog to drool over the amazing photos and check her Diet, Dessert and Dogs blog where she has shared some of the upcoming recipes.
Now do go check out all the Daring Baker loveliness around the net, and let’s not forget the official lingo of the month :
The April 2009 challenge is hosted by Jenny from Jenny Bakes. She has chosen Abbey’s Infamous Cheesecake as the challenge.