vegan rhubarb cheesecake

Vegan Rhubarb Cheesecake

Rhubarb season isn’t too long, so it’s a good idea to make the most of it while you can. I developed this vegan rhubarb cheesecake with that in mind. The great thing about this recipe is that, once the season is over, you can use the same cheesecake recipe in combination with any other fruit you have to hand, from blueberries to blackberries, even apples or pears if you like. You can also use some of the many frozen fruits available in most supermarkets these days. Try this rhubarb version though, while we have a glut of it available, as you’ll have to wait a whole year to try it again.


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This recipe had a nut and tofu base, which I have found to be the most useful for the firmness and consistency of a baked cheesecake. If you have a nut allergy, you can try adding extra tofu instead. Soak the nuts for a couple of hours first to soften them and make them good for blending.

The dish is gluten-free apart from the biscuit base, so all you have to do is switch to gluten-free biscuits if you are intolerant or coeliac. I have gone for ginger biscuits in the recipe, which is my personal favourite for a cheesecake base, but feel free to go with your own preference.

What you will need for this Vegan Rhubarb Cheesecake Recipe.

Fresh Rhubarb:

A lot of people grow their own rhubarb as it is quite easy to get a good crop if you have a bit of garden space or access to an allotment. Don’t fret though if you are not green fingered. During its season rhubarb is readily available in supermarkets and greengrocers, so anyone can take advantage of its unique flavour. Rhubarb is very sharp and is ideal cooked with plenty of sugar. There is a fine balance though to not make it overly sweet.

Biscuit Base:

Most cheesecakes have some form of biscuit base, sometimes just on the bottom, other times (like with this one) all the way up the sides as well. I’ve chosen standard ginger snap biscuits, which I think have the perfect texture when crumbled. Try your own favourites here.

Macadamia Nuts and Almonds:

Not everyone can use nuts in cooking, but I do think it’s the best way to achieve the firm texture of a baked cheesecake without using eggs. These nuts are, of course, plain and soaked in water for about 3 hours before blending. They are readily available in supermarkets.

Firm tofu:

Used in conjunction with the nuts, the tofu helps to firm up the cheesecake as it is setting. Again, firm and extra firm tofu is very easy to get hold of.

Vegan Cream Cheese:

This is available in most supermarkets these days and is an essential ingredient in the baked cheesecake. I used the Violife brand for this recipe.

Vegan Crème Fraiche:

This can be a little harder to get hold of. Oatly is the only brand I’ve come across that make it so far. You can make the cheesecake without it if you need to, but it does add an extra dimension.

vegan rhubarb cheesecake

Vegan Rhubarb Cheesecake

Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 2 hrs
Chilling Time 6 hrs
Course Dessert
Cuisine American

Ingredients
  

Easy to make gluten-free.

    Ingredients:

      For the Base:

      • 400 g ginger snap biscuits use gluten-free if required
      • 100 g vegan butter melted, plus extra for greasing

      For the Filling:

      • 2 rhubarb sticks sliced into 1cm pieces
      • 100 g golden caster sugar
      • A splash of cold water
      • 200 g macadamia nuts soaked for 2-3 hours then drained
      • 75 g blanched almonds soaked for 3 hours then drained
      • 2 x 200g cartons vegan cream cheese
      • 200 g firm tofu pressed and drained
      • 220 g golden caster sugar
      • 200 ml vegan crème fraiche
      • 2 tsp vanilla extract
      • Juice and zest of 1 lemon
      • 75 ml vegan cream

      For the Topping:

      • 3-4 sticks of rhubarb cut into 2cm pieces
      • 170 g golden caster sugar
      • A splash of water

      Instructions
       

      • To make the base, put the biscuits in a food processor or blender and whizz until they are crumbs. You can do this by hand with a rolling pin but it takes a long time and doesn’t come out as smooth. Transfer to a bowl and mix in the melted butter until completely incorporated.
      • Grease a deep, 20cm springform cake tin with vegan butter then empty the biscuit crumbs into it. Spread them all along the base and up the sides with your fingers. Press firmly to allow the biscuit crumbs to stay in place. Once it is all smooth and up to the top edge of the tin, place in the freezer for about 30 minutes to set.
      • Meanwhile make your filling. Put the rhubarb, the sugar and the splash of water into a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer gently for about 10 minutes, until it has a slightly jam-like consistency. Set aside to cool.
      • Now put the drained nuts, cream cheese, tofu, sugar and crème fraiche into a blender and blend several times until completely smooth. Now add the vanilla, lemon and cream and blend again. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and, once it is cool, add the rhubarb mix and gently marble it in with a spoon (stir lightly until it is only partially mixed and has a marble effect).
      • Take the base out of the freezer and pour in the filling. Preheat the oven to gas 3/170C/325F.
      • Place the cake tin onto a baking sheet to catch any leaks and put the cheesecake in the lower part of the oven. Cook for 1 ½ to 2 hours, until the filling is browned on top and has a slight wobble. Now turn off the oven and leave the door ajar. Leave the cheesecake to cool in the oven until at room temperature.
      • While the cheesecake is cooling you can make the topping, so that it has time to cool. As with the rhubarb in the filling, put the rhubarb, sugar and water into a saucepan and simmer, this time for about 15 minutes, until you have a similar jam-like consistency. Try not to stir too much so that the rhubarb remains as whole as possible. Turn off the heat and cool.
      • Once the topping is cool and slightly thickened, and also once the cheesecake is firm (you may want to chill the cheesecake for a couple of hours first to achieve this), pour the topping on top and allow to set in the fridge for 6 hours or overnight. Serve when completely firm and chilled.
      Keyword cheesecake, rhubarb, vegan
      vegan rhubarb cheesecake

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