Say cheese.. *click*

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There are those little things that we all love and that might be taken away from us eventually.. if we are lucky enough those things are really small and we forget about them or find a substitute. If those things are big, we suffer a little more.
Now, I am not quite sure whether my thing is big or small.. something in between maybe, cause I find substitutes for one thing or the other, but some things I seem not be able to replace. Alright, I am talking in riddles.. It is almost two years ago, when my doctor told me I should cut on milk.. I am still not quite sure whether goat milk is ok, but I am trying to avoid dairy as much as I can. I was devastated.. what am I going to eat?? I ate a whole jar of yoghurt every day and had more than one bowl of icecream whenever I could.. Icecream was my life!!!! I was dying inside.. I always said, I loved the guy who invented icecream.. now, where should my love go? I strolled through the supermarket aisles, almost crying at the sight of my favorite yoghurts, my beloved icecream and my kinder chocolate, which always helped me through bad times. It was a very sad supermarket visit. I ended up with two jars of soy yoghurt, one soy milk and a very dark chocolate from Ritter Sport (my favorite dark chocolate until today). Well.. it was worth a try.
It didn’t take too long until I got used to the soy products and eventually I even found very yummy soy vanilla ice cream, which can definitely keep up with the regular one.. it is just super, super expensive, so really only a treat when I deserve it 😉 If I go a little cheaper, there is always the option of sherbet.. also very yummy and refreshing. It does not work for my favorite iced coffee (I love to have one on a hot summer day.. coffee with soymilk and some vanilla ice cream on top.. heaven!!!), but sherbet is great with fruit salad or some candy inside 🙂 I could talk about icecream like the shrimp guy in “Forrest Gump” 😉
So, like I said, for some things you can find substitutes (I am still looking for the Kinder chocolate substitute.. oh my.. that one really is missing in my life 😦 ) and when I flipped through a vegan baking book some time ago, I was surprised to find a cheesecake. Somehow I didn’t want to believe that a vegan cheesecake could really taste like a “normal” one. How do you replace the curd cheese? I have always been a great fan of cheesecake, so it is not easy to convince me in that matter.
What I remembered from the book was that they used regular soy yoghurt. For me that was a little questionable, because curd cheese is very thick, while yoghurt is more liquid. Sure, the recipe stated that you should drain the yoghurt over night, but that I even used to do with the cheese… the cake is more dense then and doesn’t collapse that much (a problem you always face with cheesecakes). Well.. there is only one way to find out whether this method really works with yoghurt: trying!
This week I had some leftover yoghurt and wanted to finally make a vegan cheesecake. I found several options, but the chocolate coconut cheesecake on veganpassion.blogspot.de really convinced me. If you are interested in vegan baking and cooking, check this site out. It is really great and there are more cheesecake variations.. I don’t even know why I chose that one. Maybe because I still didn’t trust the vegan cheesecake idea and thought that the coconut flavor might help a little.. well, I am convinced now and will try the plain cheesecake next time I have some yoghurt left 😉

Chocolate Coconut Cheesecake
(http://veganpassion.blogspot.de/)

for the chocolate batter:
150 g flour
2-3 tbsp cocoa
70 g sugar
20 ml vegetable oil
120 ml water
50 g apple sauce
1 tbsp vinegar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1. in a bowl mix flour, cocoa, sugar, and baking soda
2. slowly add vanilla extract, vegetable oil, water, apple sauce, and vinegar
3. mix until well combined
4. if you want it even more chocolatey, add some grated chocolate or chocolate chips
5. pour batter into a 16cm / 6inch diameter pan

for the cheese batter:

500 g drained yoghurt
120 g margarine
some salt
110 g sugar
lemon zest of 1/2 lemon
60 g desiccated coconut
1 package vanilla pudding
120 ml soy milk

1. in a small bowl mix the vanilla pudding powder with a little of the soy yoghurt and set aside
2. in another bowl beat margarine and sugar until fluffy
3. add the yoghurt, pudding, salt, lemon zest, coconut, and soy milk
4. mix until well combined
5. pour batter on top of the chocolate layer
6. bake for approx. 60 minutes at 160°C / 320°F

I did not have enough yoghurt to make the whole batch, so I reduced the amounts of the ingredients accordingly and used muffin pans instead of one big pan. The baking time was basically the same though, so I am not quite sure, whether you will need to leave the bigger cake in the oven for a little while longer. Take it out when you see that the cheese layer has a golden color.

I have to admit that, despite my doubts, this vegan cheesecake recipe is really yummy.. It comes very close to a “normal” one and will sure serve as another substitute to make me happy 🙂 Because.. when I was a kid I always heard people saying cheese makes happy. Every time somebody was in a good mood or making jokes and laughing all the time, somebody said: “He had too much cheese for breakfast”  Why? I don’t know. Maybe this is a Polish thing, cause I never heard people saying it in Germany. On the other hand.. when we are supposed to smile for a photo, what is it we are asked to say?? Exactly.. therefore.. say Cheeeeeese 🙂

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