Friday, June 30, 2023


As a child, I was not very adventurous when it came to new things, flavours, or textures. I quite liked remaining in my familiar territory when it came to food, even desserts. A good statement to that is the fact that I had my first cheesecake in my mid-twenties.
A lot of adventurousness, at least when it comes to food, comes from our surroundings, from the people that influence us that early in the childhood, and that can manifest as being closed off or disinterested in new items. At that point, a little wholesome and healthy encouragement goes a long way.
As I grew older, I also grew more confident when it came to new flavours and textures, especially because I could create what I wanted to try. That is one of many reasons why I shall always encourage people to learn to cook and bake; if for no other reason, then simply for one's own enjoyment and happiness.
This little cheesecake is a texture dream come true. A wonderful crossover between a chocolate truffle and a rich mousse. The coffee amount is not great, but it is simply brilliant in combination with dark chocolate and plenty of plant-based double cream. You can use less espresso powder if you wish, of course, but I personally find it adds a wonderful undertone of that delightful coffee bitterness as you take a bite.
It is simply a marvellous little cheesecake, perfect on its own, and perfect for a cup of doppio espresso.

For the base
125 grams vegan vanilla biscuit crumbs
60 grams vegan block butter, melted
50 grams soy milk
30 millilitres maple syrup
2 teaspoons espresso powder
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
For the cheesecake batter
100 grams vegan cream cheese, preferably at room temperature
30 millilitres maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
10 grams unsweetened cocoa powder
100 grams dark chocolate (75%)
200 millilitres plant based double cream
For the chocolate topping
60 grams dark chocolate (75%)
15 millilitres plant based double cream

To make the cheesecake base, pour the melted butter into a medium bowl, add in the maple syrup, soy milk, vanilla, and the espresso powder, and mix briefly. If your butter was on the warmer side, the coffee might start to melt in, if not, it will simply give the base somewhat of a speckled look, which is fine. Add in the biscuit crumbs, and mix with a spatula or a wooden spoon until a very soft, pliable dough forms.
Depending on your biscuits, you might need to add another splash of milk, as the base needs to be quite soft, and not dry. Once a base forms, take a small cake ring (12 cm in diameter) and place it on a cake platter. Line it with a sheet of acetate or baking parchment, and add in the base mixture. Press it in and pull it up the sides, making a well in the centre. Set aside.

To make the cheesecake, melt the dark chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave, and set it aside to cool. Place the vegan cream cheese into a medium bowl, add in the maple syrup, cocoa powder, and vanilla, and gently mix with a spatula or a spoon until combined. When the chocolate is around room temperature and ready, add it to the cream cheese in a very thin stream or in small increments, so it does not melt.
Mix gently until folded through. It does not have to be folded perfectly. Take a large bowl, pour in the plant double cream, and whip it until medium peaks form. Add in the chocolate and cream cheese, and mix on the highest speed for only a few seconds, until very firm peaks form.
Take the lined platter and add the chocolate cheesecake batter by the spoonful, and then smooth it all out nicely. Place the platter into the refrigerator for at least 8 hours, or until chilled nicely.
When ready to serve, melt the chocolate and plant based cream over low heat, and let it cool down slightly. Pour it over the top and let it drip down the sides, or decorate as desired. Let the chocolate set, and serve. Yields 8 servings.