Monday, December 13, 2010

Birthday Baking: Kristine 11/24

Erin and I are working on the same movie production and even for the same department.  We are however, on different sides of town.  There are a couple people that work in our department with dietary restrictions. Kristine, who we have known for a few years now,  does not eat dairy or gluten. She also tried to stay away from processed sugars but come on, it's her birthday!

With a lot of people developing food allergies, there are more and more tasty foods and recipes available.  We decided to go with a Gluten Free, Dairy Free Cheesecake.  Dairy free cheesecake??  Yes it can be done, with Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese.  Tofutti makes all kinds of dairy free products, we personally like the Tofutti Cuties ice cream sandwiches.  We also used Dairy Free Margarine and Gluten Free Graham Crackers.

Erin complied a few recipes. The gluten free graham cracker crust recipe came from It called for the Kinnikinnick brand graham crackers. Also, 1/2 cup of butter but since butter contains dairy, we chose the Earth Balance butter substitute. This was just the beginning of unfamiliar ingredients. The crackers looked like and felt like card board. After crumbling them up though, the consistency wasn't such a big deal. The butter though was a lot of oil. There probably should have been less of it for this use.

We baked the crust like you would a normal cheese cake and it came out not as stiff as regular crust would The vegan butter was a lot more moist that a regular crust mixture.  It came out looking like a cookie though.

The filling looked exactly like regular cheese cake.  The recipe is from Vegweb. We adjusted this recipe as well since Kristine is not a vegan and we were just avoiding the dairy, we used real eggs. We added the raspberry puree like we did for the cheesecakes on Mother's Day.

It seems that this recipe was for a regular pie pan and not a springform pan because the cheesecake mixture did not get anywhere close to filling the pan. We'll double it if there's a next time.
So, it turned out that we own a cheap-o spring form pan. I believe it was purchased at Target many moons ago. A tip for baking cheesecakes is to use a water bath. We've never done this because it seems a bit excessive as we've always been happy with the way our cakes come out. We didn't do it this time and it was a good thing too as it would have destroyed the cake in our cheap-o pan that isn't liquid tight. We learned this as the excess oil leaked out of the pan and onto the bottom of our oven. Oops!

The crust ended up coming out a little bit hard, cracker like.  We are not sure if that has to do with the oils (or the leakage of it) or the lack of gluten. Kristine said she was very happy with it, so it was perfect for the occasion.

Everyone (regular foodies as well,) enjoyed the cheesecake. We were a bit surprised that everyone wanted to try it but even happier that everyone liked it. This is the only creation that Sara hasn't been able to taste because it was all gone.  

Lessons learned:  Dairy free cheesecake is pretty tasty.  We'll use a pan under all pies and treats that call for a lot of oil or fluids.  Raspberries are always a yummy addition, and double this recipe if you have a spring form pan.

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