Couple of nights ago, I posted a photo on facebook and had many of you guessing what I was making.
There were a lot of guesses from ice cream, yoghurt, Tau fu fa, to Panna Cotta with Peanut Butter Brittle (hahaha this is really not quite as fancy as that) and even Tapai (fermented rice, as google says). But the expert baker Wendy guessed it correctly as soon as she arrived on that particular thread. That’s right, I was making cheesecakes in jars! I got the idea from the days of surfing Pinterest (sad to say I’ve abandoned it for a while, got a bit too busy), and there are so many things you can make in a jar! Salads, particularly, piqued my interest too. Though looking through my food album I realised I haven’t made a dessert for quite a while. So here it is!
These are no ordinary cheesecakes, by the way, as you know I’m always looking for healthier option when it comes to my cooking. A while ago I came across a recipe for Tofu Cheesecake, courtesy of the YouTube food sensation cookingwithdog (go have a look, I’m sure you’ll get hooked too) and decided I had to try it. Instead of keeping it plain, I went with some strawberry compote for garnish, and I think they look quite beautiful, what do you think?
So there you go, this isn’t my original creation but it is indeed my own interpretation of a healthy(ish) dessert.
Tofu Cheesecake with Strawberry Compote in Jars (makes 6 or 5 very generous portions)
100g Marie Biscuits (you can choose to use more if you prefer more base) I also happened to use the Chocolate flavour ones, which matches the strawberry compote.
70g Butter, melted
250g Philadelphia Cream Cheese (you can use light cream cheese if you wish)
200g Soft Tofu (pressed with a heavy dish on top to get rid of excess water)
100ml Thickened cream (more if needed)
1/4 Cup Caster Sugar
1 squeeze of Lemon Juice
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 packet of gelatine (enough amount to firm up 500ml water, so check your packet’s instructions)
1 punnet of Stawberries (saving a few for ganish)
1/4 cup Sugar
General squeeze of Lemon
To make the the biscuit base, crush the biscuit in a ziplock bag by hand initially, then with a rolling pin. Add melted butter and shake to combine.
To make the filling, add everything into a blender, pulse initially, then blend well. You might need a bit more cream if your mixture is too thick. You want it to be slightly runny.
Sprinkle gelatine in a bowl of hot water and mix with a fork until dissolved and add into the blender. Blend for another 10-20 seconds until combined.
To assemble, spoon the biscuit mixture into jars, and lightly press with the spoon (or if you have long fingers, then by hand), pour the mixture equally into jars. Lightly tap out the air bubbles and flatten the top. Then chill in fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight.
To make the strawberry compote, simply boil everything in a saucepan until the mixture is syrupy and strawberries are soft. Set aside and let cool before using. You can either pour it on top of the cheesecake after a few hours, or just pour in before serving.
Does the fact that it contains tofu confuse you? Well, if you are well-versed to tau fu fa, you will be able to accept this cheesecake easily. It’s definitely lighter (in taste) than ordinary cheesecake, but the texture remains the same. You’ll be able to taste the cream cheese, though with a very mild soy aftertaste. Frank is not a big fan of Tofu but he was really surprised how good this tasted.
As for me, I absolutely love the combination with the strawberries and the biscuit base. Think I’ll be trying different flavour profile next time, and perhaps add my favourite cheesecake ingredient: Rose water. You can definitely use different garnishes like blueberries, mango, passionfruit, the possibilities are endless.
So, would you be game enough to try this? I dare you!