This easy egg free cheesecake recipe came about while planning a wedding menu. I tend to design my menu’s with the person I’m cooking for, tossing ideas too and fro until we reach a final decision. For one couple cheesecake was their ‘must have’ dessert, but endlessly worried because a couple of guests couldn’t have eggs and thought that cheesecake automatically included them. They naturally wanted them to enjoy everything on offer and so I assured them it was possible to have egg free cheesecake.
Hmmmm. I’d never actually made an egg-free cheesecake at this point, so having said it would be no problem I set off to do a bit of research and testing.
Mercifully I discovered that there are lots of cheesecake recipes out there, even egg free cheesecakes, so I didn’t see any point in totally reinventing the wheel. I looked at a couple, tweaked and modified them, and finally came up with a winning formula. I tried and tested different combinations of flavours and ingredients until settling on this quick and simple, hugely adaptable recipe that makes the perfect base for a whole host of flavours and toppings, depending on what you fancy and what is in season.
Cooking for large parties and buffets demands a degree of simplicity, especially as the dish has to appeal to up to 150 people!! My tip then is to keep things simple; go with maybe two or three flavourings such as, strawberry and vanilla, apple and blackberry compote, vanilla with blackcurrant and cinnamon compote, rhubarb and ginger. You could also give it a little kick by pairing with booze; a nice complimentary liqueur enhances whichever fruit you have used…raspberry and Framboise, or as with my last variation Morello cherry and Kirsch, finished with stemmed fresh cherries it almost created a sort of ‘black forest’ cheesecake. You can even try adding fragrant petals such as orange blossom or rose as a flavouring or decoration. If a fruit version doesn’t tempt the taste buds how about chocolate and vanilla, with some salted caramel swirled into it and decorated with chocolate dipped strawberries?….Really the list is endless. Once you begin to think about it tis easy to get carried away!!
You could also experiment with the biscuit base. Digestives are the common choice, but how about substituting with ginger biscuits, a rhubarb cheesecake mixture, decorated with a sprinkle of rose petals, or perhaps crunchy butter biscuits, almond ratafias…..as long as they have a good crunch they should work ok.
Egg-free cheesecake recipe (makes one large party size 28cm cheesecake…or two smaller cheesecakes)
300g crunchy biscuits…degestives are the conventional choice…but experiment)
150g very lightly salted butter…I use Calon Wen
700g cream cheese
150g icing sugar
300ml double cream or creme fraiche
1 jar of Morello cherries (drained…reserving a tablespoon of the juice)
1 tablespoon Kirsch
fresh cherries or rose petals to decorate
(NB: In the picture above I used 350g chopped strawberries, 1 generous teaspoon good quality vanilla extract and finished it with strawberries dipped in caster sugar.)
Grease a loose bottomed 28cm cake tin or flan tin (or two 15cm) and line with a circle of non-stick baking parchment.
Put the biscuits into a large clean bag and crush with a rolling pin…try not to trap any air in the bag or it will explode and there will be crumbs everywhere! Make sure there are no large bits, you want fine crumbs but not powder. Tip into a bowl
Melt the butter in a small pan then pour over the crumbs in the bowl. Mix well then press into the cake tin to make a tight even layer. refrigerate for about an hour or so.
In a clean bowl whisk together the cream cheese, cream, sugar and liquids (vanilla, alcohol, cherry juice or whatever liquid you are using). With a large spoon or plastic spatula fold in the fruit or other ingredients gently swirling into the cheese mixture. Be careful not to break the fruit up and over mix, you really need a light hand.
Spoon the mixture over the biscuit base and smooth the top. Place in the fridge again for at least a couple of hours.
To serve loosen the cake tin base and gently ease out. Carefully remove the baking parchment and slide out on to a serving plate. Decorate with a sprinkling of petals….or fresh fruit