This cheesecake is my May calendar recipe. It's a funny one, a tofu cheesecake that isn't vegan. It is full of protein; the tofu is backed up by ricotta and eggs. And it's sweetened with honey rather than white sugar (though there's no doubt some of that in the biscuit base).
I made a few substitutes for convenience - I didn't have the full quantity of almonds so supplemented them with cashews, I likewise topped my quarter-cup of honey up with maple syrup, and I used canned rather than fresh passionfruit. All of this worked out just fine. The use of a food processor for both layers made construction awfully easy, yet the major revelation was the baking technique. There's a water bath, but you don't put the cheesecake in it. Instead the water sits in a tray in the bottom of the oven, creating humidity. I have never seen such a serene cheesecake, smooth and barely coloured by the heat, gently pulling away from the sides of the tin all on its own.
The recipe includes the kind of sour accents I like - a gingernut base, limes in the filling and passionfruit on top. The more unusual ingredients still assert themselves effectively - there are overtones of tofu and honey (even at a half-quantity of the latter), while the tofu and ricotta team up to create a light and velvety texture I have not previously experienced in a baked cheesecake.
(original recipe on the Woolworths website)
155g packet gluten-free gingernut biscuits
250g silken tofu
finely grated rind and juice of 2 limes
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup honey
170g can passionfruit pulp
Line a springform tin with baking paper.
In a food processor, grind together the gingernuts and almonds; transfer these crumbs to a bowl. Melt the butter and pour it into the crumbs, mixing thoroughly. Press the mixture into the base of the springform tin, smoothing it out with the back of a spoon. Refrigerate.
Preheat an oven to 140°C. Fill a deep baking tray at least half-way with water and place it on the bottom shelf of the oven.
Clean out the food processor, then use it to blend together the ricotta, drained tofu, lime rind and juice, vanilla, eggs and honey. Keep blending, occasionally pausing to push down anything unmixed on the walls of the container, until the filling is smooth.
Retrieve the base from the fridge and pour over the filling. Bake the cheesecake for 1 hour, it should be smooth, just barely golden and pulling away from the tin at the edges, and a bit wobbly in the middle. Turn the oven off but keep the cheesecake in there for a further hour. Next, let the cheesecake come to room temperature on a bench and finally, cover it and refrigerate it overnight.
Pour the passionfruit over the cheesecake before serving.