most of the recipes featured so far on dos senoritas have been tasty, tasty concoctions, but i’m afraid this weekend i have one that fell far below dos senorita standards.
the vegan chocolate cheesecake
aka tofu cheesecake
i’ll admit, i had high hopes for this cheesecake. i was even secretly planning on making one for dani’s triumphant return to the united states next saturday if it turned out well. alas … i fear i’ve had to rechristen this monstrosity ‘to-pu cheesecake’ because that’s what it tasted like.
since i documented the steps of this recipe like i do all others, i am going to share it with you here, so you can mourn along with me. the question of the day: how could something so beautiful be so disgusting?
the recipe (adapted from this one on epicurious.com):
active time: 35 minutes
total time: 10 hours (includes chilling)
1 1/4 cups chocolate or regular graham cracker crumbs
3 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons vegan buttery spread, melted and cooled
the chocolate tofu filling
2 1/2 cups sugar, divided
1/3 cup water
8 oz bittersweet chocolate (no more than 60% cacao), chopped
2 1lb packages of silken tofu, drained
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, plus 6 tablespoons reserved for later
2 8oz packages of soy cream cheese at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
a rounded 1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
a 9 inch spring form pan
(if you’re like me and have no idea what this is, see the photo i took below)
the first thing you should know about this recipe is it lies. 35 minutes of prep? more like 90 minutes. 1 hour of baking? more like 2. don’t try to make this unless you have a lot of free time. actually, don’t try to make this at all.
1. preheat the oven to 350 degrees with racks in the middle and on the bottom. place a baking pan on the lower rack. flip the bottom of your spring form pan so the lip is facing down, then lock in place. grease the bottom and sides of the pan.
2. stir together all crust ingredients, then press onto the bottom and 1 inch up the sides of the pan. bake until set (10-12 minutes), then cool completely.
3. heat 1 cup sugar in a 2 quart heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring with a fork to heat the sugar evenly until it starts to melt (this is extremely tedious and takes a long time). stop stirring when the sugar begins to melt, swirling the pan occasionally so the sugar melts evenly. remove from heat and stir in the water (it will steam and bubble up, and the caramel mixture will harden), then cook over medium-low heat, stirring, until the caramel has dissolved. remove from heat, whisk in the chopped chocolate until smooth, then cool slightly. do not cool this fudge sauce for too long, as it will harden.
4. puree the tofu and 1/4 cup cocoa in a food processor until smooth.
this looks good enough to eat. it’s not. don’t let anyone you’re trying to trick into eating this cake try this mixture, either.
5. beat the soy cream cheese and remaining 1 1/2 cups sugar with an electric mixer until fluffy. at a low speed, beat in the tofu puree, vanilla, salt, cinnamon, and fudge sauce.
don’t wear white.
6. add the remaining six tablespoons of cocoa to taste. i used the full six tablespoons, but feel free to use less.
7. pour the filling into the crust and bake on the middle rack until the top of the cake is shiny, but the center is still slightly wobbly when gently shaken. this will take 1-2 hours.
8. turn the oven off and leave the cake in the oven for an additional hour.
9. run a knife around the top edges of the cake to loosen, then cool completely in the pan on a rack. chill the cake, loosely covered, for at least six hours. remove the side of the pan and transfer to a plate, then serve.
this looks lovely and rich and chocolate-y, but the tofu give it a strange, unpleasant aftertaste. the texture is odd, as well. as gorgeous as this cake looks, the only mouth it’s feeding is the garbage can’s. the graham cracker crust was good, though, so that’s a plus.