Italian Cashewcotta Cheesecake

With Fresh Balsamic Strawberry Topping

Italian Cashewcotta Cheesecake With Fresh Balsamic Strawberry Topping

This vegan cheesecake recipe which is also a mini-cheesecake recipe, from Terry Hope Romero's new cookbook Vegan Eats World, is a cashew ricotta version of a classic Italian cheesecake.

Served with Fresh Balsamic Strawberry Topping this vegan cheesecake is over-the-top delicious. My tasters loved the balsamic strawberries so much that I wished that I had doubled the strawberry topping recipe.

Total prep & cook time: 1 hour 40 min

Makes one 8-inch cheesecake or four 4-inch mini cheesecakes (12 servings), and 2 cups Strawberry Topping

Nutrition Data for Cheesecake, 95g Serving: 204 cal, 7g Calories From Fat, 0mg Cholesterol, 27g carb, 9g fat, 3g Saturated Fat, 70mg sodium, 1g fiber, 21g Sugars, 6g protein, low Cholesterol low sodium. Estimated glycemic load 17

Nutrition Data Strawberry Topping, 48g Serving: 27 cal, 7g carb, 0g fat, 1mg sodium, 1g fiber, 0g protein, 5g Sugars. Estimated glycemic load 3

Cheesecake Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unroasted, unsalted cashews
  • 24 ounces extra-firm tofu (Mori-Nu boxed tofu recommended), drained
  • 2 Tblsp. coconut oil, softened
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  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 Tblsp. lemon juice
  • 1 Tablsp. White rum or brandy
  • 1 Tblsp. cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp. orange extract or grated zest from 1 orange
  • 1/2 tsp. lemon extract or grated zest from 1 lemon
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tblsp. powdered sugar for sprinkling (optional)

Balsamic Strawberry Topping Ingredients:

  • 1 pint fresh strawberries
  • 2 Tablsp. Sugar
  • 2 tsp. good-quality balsamic vinegar or white balsamic vinegar

Cheesecake Directions:

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  1. In a small bowl cover the cashews with 2 inches of hot water and soak overnight or until cashews are very soft and hard bits remain
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  3. Spray the insides of an 8-inch round baking pan or four 4-inch mini-springform pans with cooking oil spray. Line the bottom with a round of parchment paper to cut to fit the bottom of the pan
  4. Drain the cashews, transfer them to a blender and blend until the mixture is completely smooth; depending on how powerful the blender is this can take 1 to 3 minutes.
  5. Add the remaining ingredients to the blender, except for the 2 Tblsp. of powdered sugar, pulse until very smooth, and use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the blender frequently
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and use a rubber spatula to get every last drop of the batter from the blender into the pan.
  7. Lift the pan a few inches off the kitchen counter and drop a few times to help release some of the larger air bubbles from the batter.
  8. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until the top of the cake feels firm and the edges are just starting to turn golden.
  9. For mini-cheesecakes, bake for 25 minutes, check the top of the cakes for fimness, and continue to bake for 5 to 8 minutes longer if necessary
  10. Remove from the oven and set on a wire rack to cool for 25 minutes.
  11. Run a knife around the edges of the cake and stretch a piece of plastic wrap on top of the pan. Place a large dish on top of the pan and invert the cake pan. Tap the bottom of the pan a few times to release the cake, lift the pan, and peel off the parchment paper.
  12. Now place a serving dish on top of the cake and invert one more time, then remove the plastic wrap from the top of the cake.
  13. If using mini-springform pans, remove the outer ring and use a spatula to lift cakes off the metal bottoms and transfer to serving plates.
  14. Optional: sprinkle the top with the 2 Tblsp. of powdered sugar (sift the powder through a wire mesh sieve and gently tap it over the top of the cake for a pretty dusting).
  15. Store the cheesecake tightly wrapped in the refrigerator.
  16. For cleaner slicing of this cake, try using a plastic knife

Balsamic Strawberry Topping Directions:

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  1. Clean the strawberries and remove the stems. Slice them into thin, 1/4 inch slices and combine with remaining ingredients. Set aside for 3 minutes before serving
  2. To use frozen strawberries, slice unthawed berries, combine with the remaining ingredients and stir occasionally until the berries are completely thawed

Recipe Tips:

  1. Make sure that your use extra-firm tofu for the best results.
  2. These cheesecakes taste best when served fresh, but don't worry, eating them within a couple days of baking them should be no problem.
  3. When making the topping use the highest quality balsamic vinegar that you can afford, it is a worthwhile investment.
  4. Place the topping on individual slices as you serve them. Topping the whole cheesecake at once means that any leftover cake will end up soggy and pink.

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