Raspberry Cheesecake - Vegetarian - Back to Basics 31
The first time I had a vegetarian point out to me that a cold set cheesecake was not vegetarian I was surprised, of course it is, it has no meat in it! Well, sometimes that is true, and sometimes it is not so true. Gelatine, which most jellies and cold set desserts are set with is made of animal products, usually the skins, ligaments, tendons, the bits that are high in collagen. Gelatine is the thing we are trying to get out of our bones when we make stock as it gives a melting quality, a jelli-ness, which is why it is used to make jelly, and mousse, and blancmange and cold set cheesecakes. I don’t have an issue with eating this myself, it is good for arthritis and for lots of things, but I must admit, the jel-it-in, which is made of carob and seaweed, is nicer in a delicate dessert as there is no strong gelatiney flavour to mask. It is more temperamental to use, it imparts a different texture, which is more blancmangey, and you must have everything set up or you will be eating it out of the mixing bowl, but that said, with a bit of practice, well worth developing a relationship with.
So raspberry cheesecake, ready? Here we go then.
200g sweet biscuits, crushed, I used a scotch finger
125g melted butter
1 tablespoon water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 satchets jel-it-in
400ml pouring cream
230g caster sugar
250g full fat cream cheese
raspberries and blueberries
1 cup raspberry jelly from the blog next door
Line the base of a springform cake tin with baking paper, crush the biscuits, mix with the melted butter and one tablespoon of water, press into base of springform tin with a fork. Pop that into the freezer to set while we make our cheesecake filling.
In a medium pot combine the water, vanilla, jel-it-in, cream and caster sugar, turn the heat on low, stirring often, bring to a boil, boil to slow count of 20, turn heat off. Okay, got your skates on? We need to move really fast for this bit, I didn’t move fast enough and it started to set on me, that is okay, still turned out fabulous, but together we can make this perfect!
Right, into the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk the cream cheese until it is soft and all broken up, like this -
Tip in half the hot cream mixture, beating, beating, now stop!
Quick, quick, scrape the edges into the centre, put the whisk back down, whisk whisk while pouring in the rest of the cream mixture. Quick now, it is starting to set, pour it onto the base, scraping it all out as you go! See? I wasn’t quite quick enough, mine started to set as it went in, never mind, we will cover that with jelly.
Right, back into the freezer for at least an hour before we put the jelly layer on.
After an hour make your jelly as per the blog next door, tear some raspberries in half and scatter with blueberries over the top of the cheesecake,
Let the hot jelly sit for a couple of minutes to cool and then pour over the top. Back into the freezer for an hour to set, then you can move it to the fridge.
Lovely! The texture is definitely different with this setting agent to the gelatine I grew up with, but I think that the cleaner flavour more than makes up for any change in texture. Vegetarians of the world, enjoy!