26 December 2010

What?! Cheesecake?!

Yes! Cheesecake! With tofu! The recipe is at the bottom of this post! [I haven't posted a recipe in a LONG time... a whole semester, right?]
I had a problem. I wanted to make cheesecake because BV likes cheesecake. However, I have never used sour cream or heavy cream or whipped cream or dairy products like that in my cooking before, so... I felt scared using them. Okay, I've used whipped cream before, but that was at least 5 or 6 years ago, and that was whipped cream used as... whipped cream.

On the other hand, I squeezed a piece of tofu. [haha. weak joke...]...I mean, on the other hand, I know very well how tofu works. I can make food with tofu.
BV hates tofu but I used it anyway...
The first cheesecake turned out tasting like tofu, because I had used approximately 20 ounces of tofu in it... along with some cranberry juice, because, why not? I also threw in some corn starch to keep it from falling apart, although I'm not sure whether it's necessary.
It looks like cheesecake, right?
Or, it looks like stained bacteria cultures...
I personally like frozen cheesecake, and I think this is due to the fact that the first few times we bought cheesecake in HK [33HKD for a plain Sara Lee cheesecake - that's what I remember], we never followed the "leave cheesecake at room temperature for 20 minutes before eating" instruction. Honestly, frozen cheesecake, with the hard, ice-blockish texture, tastes better than creamy, room temperature cheesecake.
I used Grape-Nuts for the crust, because ever since I found out that every graham cracker at Shoprite has PHO, I've decided to dislike them [yes, I'm biased!! But so are you!]. Maybe Trader Joe's has nicer graham crackers?
I've also decided to dislike Keebler because everything they make [that I know of] is grossly full of HFCS and/or PHO.
So, in my second batch, I gave some leftover batter to my sister who ended up decorating them with candy and sprinkles. It is utterly overkill.
This is the cheesecake I gave BV. I probably shouldn't've told him that there was tofu in it... but I guess he couldn't taste it [except for the "weird texture"] because he didn't say that it tasted tofu-y.
This is the 3rd cheesecake [from the second batch] that I gave to JM, and I decorated it using the leftover icing sugar from the cookies.

Recipe for cheesecake!!!!

1. 8 oz cream cheese, cut into chunks [one package. GET FULL-FAT. DON'T GET LOW FAT!!! This isn't because full-fat cream cheese is healthy or anything; it's just because I'm not sure how fat-free cream cheese melts/reacts with my other ingredients...so I suppose you could get fat-free cream cheese if you want.]

2. 10 oz squeezed firm tofu [or 20 oz if you want the tofu taste to be prevalent. By "squeezed", I mean, try get rid of as much of the water as possible. I did this by literally squeezing the tofu, which incidentally mashed the tofu so it was easier to blend.]

3. Blueberry, or 2 tbsp cocoa powder, or whatever flavouring.

4. At least half a cup of orange juice. [Or lemon juice. An acidic juice. The orange juice actually left a tiny bit of orangey taste... although that could've just been my imagination]

5. Around 4 tsp of corn starch [add more if you feel like it. I'm not quite sure how much I had, since I initially had 2 tsp, then during the blending, I added more.

6. 1 cup of confectioner's sugar! [YES!! More if you feel like it.]

Healthy Crust!
1. 2 cups of Grape-Nuts

2. Honey or sugar water [However much you want; if you want a crunchy-tooth-breaking crust, don't use that much water, but if you want a soft crust, add more water until it looks damp!]

Stuff to do!
1. Pulse and shake cereal and sugar/honey/water mixture until you get fine pieces.

2. Press into a 11-inch pan if you want the crust to just fill the bottom. Alternatively, press into a 9-inch pan if you want crust on the sides. I used a 7.5-inch pan and had a lot of crust leftover [hence the mini cheesecakes that my sister studded with sprinkles...]

3. Bake at 350F for 5 minutes. You do NOT need to preheat your oven. That is a waste of heat.

4. Stick everything in the Filling list in a blender, and blend! After a few minutes on Low, you should have something that is uniformly blended and has the consistency of American pudding. If not, make it more pudding-ish, by adding corn starch and/or orange juice. I know "consistency of American pudding" is really hard to define, but it shouldn't be like cookie dough. It also shouldn't be like cake batter. It's more... elegant and poofy than those. Actually, it's sort of gelatinous.

5. Taste it. If it tastes good, cool. If it doesn't taste sour enough, add more orange juice!

6. Pour onto crust and smooth it out.

7. Stick that cheesecake into the oven at 350F for 25 minutes. Leave it in there for another 25 minutes; why not? Use up the remaining heat!!

8. In the meantime, eat the cheesecake filling remaining in the blender. No eggs! No 90% fat! Yay!

9. Take cheesecake out, and let it cool. There really shouldn't be any browning...a tiny bit on the edges is okay, though.

10. When cheesecake is COLD COLD COLD, put it in the fridge/freezer/outside - whatever you prefer.

11. In 12 hours, take out the cheesecake and wipe off the condensation at the top, using a paper towel. Do not use a tissue. I'm not sure why the cheesecakes condensed... I think it's due to the tofu, actually, or perhaps the blueberries [high water content!]. Either way, although it makes the cheesecakes look a bit weird, it's just water after all.

12. These cheesecakes taste good for at least 3-4 days. In the freezer, they last much longer [well...duh.]

13. The cheesecake is actually relatively healthy...

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