Cheesecake is one of my favorite desserts – especially New York cheesecake. I love tangy cheesecake with the sour cream layer. So when you suddenly can’t eat one of your favorites, you look for a substitute. Enter this carob dessert.
Chocolate substitute? Easy – carob. Cream cheese substitute? It’s a little different – tofu. I know that sounds weird, but please bear with me. This dessert is greater than the sum of its parts.
The tofu in this is different from what most people think of when they imagine tofu. The first picture that comes to my mind is the firm tofu strips that come in my hot and sour soup from my favorite Chinese restaurant.
But how can that be turned into cheesecake? Well, it can’t, as far as I can tell. There are different kinds of tofu. There’s that firm (or extra-firm) tofu used as a protein replacement in savory dishes, and then there’s also silken tofu used to make custards or as part of a smoothie base.
Thanks to the internet, I found this recipe for carob tofu “cheesecake.” I made some adjustments to the original recipe because I am not gluten-free and I still eat sugar.
Without further ado, the recipe!
[Note: Yes, I do know that butter does have dairy in it. I’m fine with eating that little bit in butter, so I still use it in my recipes. If you can’t have any dairy, replace the butter with dairy-free margarine, coconut oil or any other fat of your choice.]
Crush graham crackers in a gallon zip bag into oblivion (until they turn into crumbs). Add sugar and melted butter and coconut oil and squish until combined. Dump mixture out of bag into baking dishes (I used a small 4″ springform pan and four custard cups). Tamp down mixture in baking dishes and bake at 300 degrees until golden brown. For me, the custard cups took about seven minutes, and the springform pan ten. Let cool while making the filling. (This crust is vital to the recipe. The dessert would not be worth eating without it.)
Dump tofu, honey, sliced bananas, carob, lemon juice, vanilla and coconut milk powder if using into food processor. Pulse until thoroughly blended, scraping down sides of bowl if needed.
This is a good option for a dessert – it’s edible, but I wouldn’t want to eat this all the time. It’s definitely not cheesecake (especially since the last cheesecake I had was authentic New York cheesecake, this doesn’t even come close to that). It is a viable dessert option as long as you’re not expecting the same texture and flavor as cheesecake made with cream cheese. I wouldn’t liken this to a cheesecake, but it’s only the first in a long line of my experiments to perfect a “cheesecake.”
Overall assessment: edible, definitely not cheesecake, not really my cup of tea (or slice of cheesecake), and a good start to find a decent cheesecake replacement. But this is not that cheesecake replacement.