“I have so many friends that hate cheesecake these days and to them I dedicate this recipe.”
As a child if I could have lived off cheap, supermarket branded cheesecakes – the kind of ones you find in the chilled isle of the store – I would have, but Mum wouldn’t let me. I’d scrape off the sugary jus (usually raspberry) and stir up the biscuit base with the creamy filling until I’d finish one, and then I’d sneak the other two in the multi-pack and eat them in the same way!
Too much sugar, too much dairy and too much queasiness!
As I matured I developed a taste for the more expensive cheesecakes, chocolate ganache cakes and gateaux! Delicious for 5 minutes, until I’d finished them and felt bloated afterwards – I stopped sneaking seconds and thirds.
But that’s one thing I’ve got from experimenting with plant-based ingredients, many of them don’t give that feeling and all with the satisfaction of the sweetness, texture and taste – it just depends how much self-control you have to avoid those seconds and thirds.
So, this recipe is NOT a cheesecake.
Admittedly, I’ve dabbled with plan-based versions of cheesecake but I’ve not quite got the consistencies or textures right – the guys at Coco Cheesecakes certainly have though – so that’s where I get my fix of cheesecake these days – if you’re in the Midlands, definitely check them out.
But, when it comes to dessert pies, ganache and chocolate – I think I got this one right. But I’ll let you be the judge.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re vegan or not, if you love desserts and you love chocolate (and hate cheesecake) then I’m pretty sure you’ll love this.
Thick, creamy and with the right balance of sweetness and spice, the texture and taste of this dessert surprised even me, and it’s gone on to become one of my proudest kitchen experiments to date.
Ever since taking the vegan plunge in over a year ago I always thought the one thing I’d miss was milk chocolate – because boy oh boy did I used to eat a lot of it! But you know what? I don’t. When I think of the flavours I now treat my taste-buds to and compare it to milk chocolate, I actually think it tastes synthetic – like a diluted version of what it once was – cocoa!
And this recipe is testament to that. You don’t need milk chocolate to get that “chocolate” fix. If I want chocolate I’ll opt for plain, rich and dark – the good thing is, because of it’s rich quality I don’t eat as much, and with the range of flavours now available, I can still indulge free of guilt.
Asda stock an awesome range called Heidi which have some pretty impressive flavour combos ranging from mint and lemon through to my absolute favourite, Pistachio! I often keep some in my snack drawer at work for those weaker moments, and a bar in the fridge for a treat, when I’m not quite up to baking.
I don’t use Heidi chocolate for baking or cooking though. I’ll let you into a little secret…
Aldi’s chocolate range is INSANELY good
…for both cooking and eating (in moderation of course) and the best thing is, for this recipe, they’ve even added the chilli for you! I either opt for the Moser Roth dark chocolate with chilli.
Chilli and chocolate? You kidding?!
After once reading about the combination of chilli and chocolate when attempting my first proper chilli con carne a few years ago, I realised just how well the flavours combined and the depth, and warmth, it added to the flavour.
This dessert is no different – and with a collective prep time of less than 30 mins, and price tag of less than £3.50 if you know where to look – I’m surprised I’m not making these every week.
Of course you don’t have to add the chilli, and it can be a rich, sweet chocolate pie – but that’s the beauty of experimenting, right?
>The best thing is, as you’re mixing ingredients you can even lick the spoon without fear for your life or another animal’s.
Prep time: 20 mins
Cooking time: 10 mins
Cost: < £5
- 400g of silken tofu
- 3 tablespoons of almond or soy milk
- A pinch of chilli flakes (optional/depending on how spicy you’re feeling)
- 250g of plain (or chilli) chocolate
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon of cinnamon (optional)
- ¾ cup of caster sugar
- 100g of digestive biscuits (look for ones without milk)
- 100g of rich tea biscuits
- ¼ cup of coconut oil (melted)
- 1 x teaspoon of vegan butter
- ¾ cup of water
- Preheat oven to 200°C, grease and line an 8 inch cake tin with vegan butter
- Place digestive and rich tea biscuits into a food processor and blend until finely ground and combined. Add the salt.
- Pour in your almond or soy milk as well as coconut oil and pulse together, if it’s too dry add a little more oil
- Press the crumb mixture into the sides of the cake tin working your way around the sides and then pushing into the base – use your fingers
- Place into the centre of the oven and bake for 15 minutes or until a crisp golden colour
- Let the crust cool
- While cooling add the sugar to ¾ cup of hot water in a saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring until all the sugar is dissolved and being careful not to burn
- Allow to cool
- Place 200g of the chocolate, chilli, cinnamon, tofu, vanilla, salt and sugary water into a food processor and puree using the blender setting
- Pour combined mixture into the cake tin, on top of the crust
- Cover with cling film and refrigerate overnight
- Grate the 50g of chocolate on top of the pie before serving
It’s seriously that simple.
Have any hints, tips or ingredients you think may pair well with this or other recipes? I’m always down for new friends, get in touch.