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:
- 200-300g blanched almonds
- approx. 800ml hot water (fill up to 1L mark)
- juice of ½ Lemon or Lime or 1-3tsp of Cider Vinegar (to make the cheese)
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:
- 125g of crushed biscuits (any dairy free biscuits that you like)
- 60g melted dairy free spread
- 30g demerara sugar (optional)
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:
- 300-500g of almond cheese
- 2 large eggs
- 150g sugar or vanilla sugar
- 1tbs. custard power (dairy free version) or corn starch (optional)
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.