Sunday, November 27, 2011

turtle cheesecake

turtle cheesecake

i think i over did it this thanksgiving

every year i prepare a thanksgiving dinner that would easily feed 15 people, in reality there are only 2 of us ( insert the song just the 2 of us) - we do have an open door policy, anyone who wants to celebrate the best day of the year vegan style is more than welcome to join us

my family is scared of a vegan thanksgiving - they cannot fathom the idea of thanksgiving without a turkey...well actually my uncle mike is all about a vegan t-day however we are lacking in the football category- we have 2 strikes against us

no turkey
no cable for football

but what we do have is delicious turtle cheesecake amongst 3 other desserts, copious amounts of food and a small microbrewery - justins contribution to thanksgiving

turtle cheesecake turtle cheesecake
turtle candies are by far one of my favorite candies - every year my gram would give my dad a large candy tray from kellerhause - included on that tray were turtles; which happen to also be a favorite of my dad's...
my sister and i were lucky, i mean really lucky if my dad let us split one between the two us

whats not love about nuts, caramel and chocolate - kellerhause even makes a version with cashews

turtle cheesecake
turtle cheesecake

 it can be a challenge perfecting a vegan cheesecake - it is hard not to compare it to non-vegan cheesecakes; the best by far i have tasted to date was from busboys & poets

turtle cheesecake comes in at a close second - next time though i will use 2 tubs of tofutti versus one and will make a traditional graham cracker crust
turtle cheesecake turtle cheesecake

um yeah the crust-  biscoff cookies + earth balance + 350* oven = charred crust

for the life of me i cannot figure out what happened to the perfect crust i had envisioned 

really. no really now. 
i  thought i was going to blow people away with my super amazing creative crust-
yeah, not so much - major fail

so the pecan crust was born - i had to improvise, there was not a graham cracker or cookie to be found in my house

turtle cheesecake

a show stopper is what i would call this cheesecake- impressive at its best

turtle cheesecake

homemade caramel tops a fudgy layer riddled with pecans

a little sinful hand in hand with a little heart healthy

turtle cheesecake turtle cheesecake
a cheesecake that isn't a cheesecake
its cheesecakes healthier cousin "cheesecake"
when explaining anything that remotely resembles what some people choose to view as "normal" food i "air quote" whatever it is we are discussing

non vegan: i thought you were vegan
me: i am vegan
non vegan: then how can you eat cheesecake
me: because it's "cheesecake"

Turtle Cheesecake
serves 10-12

you will need:
  • 1 prepared graham cracker crust or 1/3 cup finely ground pecans
  • 1 - 14oz package silken tofu
  • 2 - 8oz packages tofutti cream cheese - better than cream cheese
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup apple cider (not vinegar, real apple cider)
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips + 2 tbsp cream
  • 4 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup cream (i used silk)
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 pecans for garnishing
  • preheat oven to 350*
  • in a food processor or using an immersion blender (use a medium bowl), process silken tofu and cream cheese for about a minute
  • add sugar & process until smooth 3-5 minutes
  • in a small bowl combine apple cider & 2 tsp vanilla with cornstarch, whisk until smooth and cornstarch has dissolved
  • pour apple cider mixture into food processor or bowl, process until very smooth
  • pour mixture into prepared pan or crust- if using the pecans for the "crust" simply sprinkle on the bottom of the pan note: the pecans will not entirely cover the bottom
  • bake for 45 minutes - allow to cool at room temperature for 2 hours and refrigerated overnight
preparing the topping - after the cheesecake has cooled the full 2 hours
  • in a double boiler melt the chocolate chips - keep warm until ready to use, then add the cream just before you spread the mixture on the cheesecake
  • in a small sauce pan over medium/high heat melt the butter and add the brown sugar- cooking until the sugar granules have dissolved and mixture begins to thicken and bubble
  • add a 1/4 cup of cream and continue to cook over medium high heat stirring constantly - the mixture is ready when it will coat the back of a spoon. the caramel will continue to thicken as it cools
  • once the cheesecake is completely cooled (after the 2 hours) evenly spread the chocolate, sprinkle with pecans and drizzle the desired amount of caramel over the cheesecake
  • any remaining caramel can be stored in an airtight container up to a week- reheat in microwave or loosen under hot running water
  • refrigerate cheesecake until ready to store





  1. i'm a little confused about the topping... the ingredients list only counts 1/4 c of cream, but cream is mentioned twice:

    "in a double boiler melt the chocolate chips - keep warm until ready to use, then add the cream just before you spread the mixture on the cheesecake"

    and then

    "add a 1/4 cup of cream and continue to cook over medium high heat stirring constantly"

    how much cream do you add to the chocolate?

    also: for the 2/3 c sugar, do you use powdered or granulated sugar?

    thanks in advance!

  2. Hi Vegantester! The cream is mentioned twice in the above recipe:

    - 3/4 cup chocolate chips + 2 tbsp cream

    - 1/4 cup cream (i used silk)

    The 2/3 Cup Sugar is Granulated Sugar

    Thanks for stopping by!

  3. omg i'm BLIND... apologies... i read over the recipe multiple times and somehow totally missed that!

  4. No worries! Good luck with the recipe, I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!
    ...I actually just made mini versions of these with a cupcake pan for a party - they were super adorable!

  5. this was amazing! i used the plain chocolate (vegan) chocolate teddy bear cookies from trader joe's as the base - soooooo good. my husband said that he never liked cheesecake before he tried this! it's a pretty fussy dessert to make (and i admit i totally burned the caramel on the first try), but so impressive.

  6. YUM - the chocolate base sounds wonderful! I do have to admit there are quite a few steps , you can always just use the base recipe for the actual cheesecake and switch up the toppings :-)

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