Serves 12-16 Must be made 1 day ahead
All of my testers were amazed when I told them that the cheezecake they were eating was dairy-free. It just seemed impossible that this rich cheezecake, topped with a spoonful of gooey pecan toffee topping, could be completely safe for someone allergic or lactose intolerant. But safe it is! The sauce is also superb on ice creem.
Shortbread Cookie Crumb Crust
12 non-dairy pecan shortbread cookies, such as Keebler® Sandies®
3-5 tablespoons unsalted non-dairy stick margarine
(such as Fleischmann's®), melted
32 ounces Totutti® Better than Cream
Cheese, softened for 15 minutes at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pecan Toffee Topping
1-1/3 cups packed light brown sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted non-dairy stick margarine
(such as Fleischmann's®), room temperature
2/3 cup Silk® soy creamer or non-dairy creamer, room temperature
1 tablespoon corn syrup
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup pecan pieces, toasted for 2-3 minutes until fragrant
16 whole pecan halves
1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. With a rack in the lower third of the oven. Have a 9-inch springform pan ready. Have ready a pan big enough to hold the springform (such as a 12-inch square or round pan). Boil water to be used for a water-bath.
2. Crush the cookies in a plastic bag using a rolling pin (or use a food processor, see Tip below). Measure out 1-1/3 cups crumbs (packed), and discard any remainder. Stir the margarine into the crumbs, using just enough margarine for the crumbs to hold together when you press them together with your fingers (the exact amount will depend on the cookies used). Press the crumbs into the bottom of the springform pan. Bake for 10-12 minutes until the crust is just starting to brown. Cool until the pan can be handled and then wrap the outside of the pan with heavy-duty foil, bringing the edges up over the rim of the pan to secure it.
3. For the filling, place the Tofutti® in a mixer bowl and beat on low until blended. Beat in the granulated sugar. Scrape down the bowl and beat a few seconds. Add the eggs, two at a time, beating on low, just until the eggs are incorporated. Beat in the vanilla. (For processor directions, see Tip below).
4. Pour the batter into the crust. Place in the larger pan. Pour boiling water into the larger pan so that it comes halfway up the sides of the springform. Bake for 75-85 minutes until the cheezecake is set, but still quivers in the center. A toothpick inserted into the center will come out just barely clean. Remove the cheezecake from the water bath. Cool for about an hour and then refrigerate until completely cool. Cover with plastic wrap and chill overnight.
5. For the sauce, combine the brown sugar, margarine, creamer and corn syrup in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the mixture starts to simmer. Stirring continuously, simmer the sauce for 3 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the vnilla. Let the sauce cool until just warm. Transfer to a storage container, cover and refrigerate overnight. Serve the sauce at room temperature or warmed, stirring in the toasted pecans just before serving.
6. To serve, run a knife around the perimeter of the cheesecake and remove the spring-form rim. Gently place a paper towel on top of the cheezecake to mop up any liquid that has accumulated. Let the cheezecake stand at room temperature for 15-20 minutes. To make the cheezecake more festive, lightly brush the pecan halves with a little of the sauce and then arrange them around the perimeter of the cheezecake. Serve each slice with a spoonful of topping, and pass the extra sauce.
Baking, Serving and Storing Tips
To make cheezecake in a processor, place the cream cheese substitute in the processor bowl. Process until creamy. Add the granulated sugar, and process until well mixed. Scrape down the bowl. Add the eggs and vanilla and pulse until blended. Scrape down the bowl, and then pulse until blended. Continue with step #4.
Unlike traditional caramel, this sauce gets stirred as it is simmering, which prevents the margarine from separating out upon refrigeration.
The cheezecake will keep in the refrigerator for several days. Do not freeze.
Amazing Dairy-Free Desserts
A Comprehensive Collection of Dairy-Free Desserts and Information for all Occasions
by Penny Wantuck Eisenberg
Trade Paperback; $24.95
Information provided by the publisher.
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This page created September 2006
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