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Dairy Free Cheesecake

Posted on Thu Sep 2012 by Melissa

First things first, this dairy free  cheesecake is made with nuts (almonds) so if you allergic then it is unfortunately not for you. Also it is a little bit labour intensive but I find the final taste much closer to normal cheesecake then any other alternatives I have tried, so its well worth the time investment.

For the almond milk/ cheesecake topping you need:

1. Put the almonds in a food processor or blender and add the hot water. It should not be boiling but it should also not be cold. I have found that the warmer the water the higher the yield.

2. Close the lid and blizz on a high setting for about 2 minutes or until very fine. I say longer is better if you are unsure.

3. Have a separate bowl and a muslin cloth ready to strain the liquid. Gather the ends together and gently squeeze out as much liquid as you can. Now you have almond milk in one container and the ground almonds in the cloth. Don’t throw them away, they come in handy in other recipes. You need to dry them thoroughly (on a backing sheet in a warm oven or spread out in a warm dry spot).

4. To make the dairy free cheesecake topping. Pour all the almond milk into a saucepan and put onto the heat. You need to add something to coagulate the proteins. You can use Lemon or Lime juice but Cider vinegar works as well. If I make a plain cheesecake I use Cider and Lemon or Lime juice if I make more fruity cheesecake.

5. Once you have added your coagulant, the milk will start to separate and curdle. Bring it to a boil and then stir it a once or twice. Have another muslin ready to strain the liquid, best over a sieve or colander so the liquid can drip away easily. Very carefully and gently tip the curdled milk into the muslin and let it drip all out. This might take a few hours. Usually I make this the evening before and let it just rest over night. You can cover it with one end of the cloth or a plate it you like.

6. The liquid that dripped out should be clear (not milky) and a bit yellowish in colour. If it looks milky some of the protein passed through the sieve. That is nothing bad, you could pour it through once more but as long as you are left with a big lump of cheese in the cloth it does not matter too much. It should look something like the picture above and should weigh about 300-500g (this can vary).

Now you can make the base of the dairy free cheesecake.

For the base you need:

1. Combine the crushed biscuits, sugar (if using) and dairy free spread well and press evenly over the bottom of the tin.

2. Alternatively you can omit the base altogether (which I have done) or just oil the tin and cover with breadcrumbs.

For the dairy free cheesecake filling you need:

1. In a big bowl carefully mix the custard powder or corn starch into the almond cheese. Make sure it is smooth, you do not want any powdery lumps in your cake.

2. Add the eggs and sugar and combine well.

3. You could add more Lime/ Lemon juice, fruit purées or cocoa at this stage to make different flavours if you like.

4. If using pour the mixture on top of the biscuit base and bake in the oven at 160ºC for approx. 40-50 minutes until the mixture has set well.

5. Set aside to cool and then cool further in the fridge, you dairy free cheesecake is ready for the topping of your choice – Enjoy!

Thanks to FussyFoodie fan Melissa for sharing her dairy free cheese cake recipe with us, after discovering she was lactose-intolerant many years ago she has have adapted her diet accordingly. She  loves cooking and is very experimental, can’t wait to try the dairy free cheesecake and to see what other recipes she has to share.

3 responses to “Dairy Free Cheesecake”

  1. Lisa says:

    This looks amazing! I have tried to make cheesecakes before with tofu & fake cream cheeses but they always taste awful to me! Has anyone tried to make this using almond milk straight out of the cartoon because, like everyone else, I always seem to be busy & if I could create a bit of a shortcut & use that it would be even more amazing! Definitely going to give this a try though-miss cheesecake sooo much! mmm, thank you!

    • Melissa says:

      Hi Lisa,
      I totally know what you mean when you say that the tofu-versions don’t taste that great. That’s why I created this, well actually the idea has been around for a few centuries (almond milk and cheeses out of it where used widely in the middle ages), but I played around a bit and this is the result.
      In regards to the shop-brought almond milk, I have just tried it last night and I am afraid it did not work so well. It did curdle somewhat but for some reason would not settle (no idea how to describe this differently), also it would not strain off properly and had a strange taste.
      The problem I think is that there are other things added, like stabilisers and emulsifiers and such which obviously are meant to stop exactly this from happening. Also, I think the almond-liquid ration is way lower (only 2% almonds, whereas I have 20% upwards). So, no short-cut version, sorry.

      • Lisa says:

        Hi Melissa, thanks for letting me know! My mother in law kindly brought me a huge bag of blanched almonds at the weekend after I mentioned this recipe to her so I think that when I get a bit of time I shall be attempting this as cheesecake is about the only thing I miss & have not come up with a decent alternative too so far! It looks amazing anyway so I am sure it will be worth the time/work put in every once in a while 🙂

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