“Every heart has its own skeletons.” – Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina
There are two kinds of vegans in the world.
Those who like Daiya cheese, and those who – don’t.
If you like Daiya cheese you will definitely love their cheezecakes – New York Style (plain), Chocolate, Strawberry, Key Lime, and limited edition Pumpkin Spice. If this is the kind of vegan you are, run, don’t walk, to your nearest Daiya retailer and get your cheezecake groove on.
It’s a different story if you are one of those other vegans – one of those that think Daiya has an oddly sour or sweet aftertaste. (Sometimes I wonder why some vegans taste this and others don’t – is it similar to the cilantro thing, which some people perceive as tasting like soap?)
If you’re an other vegan, you probably won’t like any of the flavored cheezecakes. I know, I’m an other vegan too and I tried, I really tried. Especially the Key Lime – I really wanted to like that one! But couldn’t.
However … HOWEVER … I do have a trick that will turn the New York Style Cheezecake into a treat!
I discovered it at Bay Naturals at Myrtle Beach, SC. I just couldn’t figure out why I was loving the Daiya cheese quesadilla when I usually hate Daiya cheese and then it hit me – the mango salsa! The sweet/sour taste of the mango salsa both masked and complemented the sweet/sour aftertaste of the Daiya. It was genius!
And the same applies to the cheezecake. No, I’m not suggesting you use mango salsa. But you must have topping to make this cheezecake work! I’m not talking about a little bit of healthy fresh fruit – heck, if you’re eating cheesecake, even vegan cheezecake, now is not the time to be thinking about healthy! You need a sweet-tart, syrupy fruit topping made for ice cream. Cherry is ideal here! (Blueberry is also good). You will not believe how suddenly scrumptious this cheezecake becomes! Even my omnivore friends like it with the cherry topping!
And here’s another little trick for you – this makes for a really easy Halloween dessert. Simply serve the white cheezecake on black plates, then drizzle the blood red cherry topping over the slice, letting some of the topping run down the sides and form little puddles. Eerie and elegant.
(You can also try strawberry or raspberry topping; but they will be a little pinker, not as blood-red. Serve via candlelight and no one will notice.)
A few final details about the Daiya – The texture is rich and creamy, and the gluten-free crust delicious. The cheezecake comes frozen, so it must be thawed in the refrigerator for 5-6 hours (I do overnight). Daiya then suggests cutting the cheezecake into slices and letting it thaw at room temperature an additional 20-30 minutes. I have to admit I don’t usually do that – I just slice and serve!
Nutritionally – ehh, do we need to talk about nutrition when it’s cheezecake? We all know even vegan cheezecake is an indulgent dessert, not a health food. Let’s just say it’s healthier for you than “real” cheezecake, with a bit less fat, zero cholesterol (as opposed to 69 mg), and more calcium (15% compared to 6%). And best of all, no animals were harmed.