Vegan Speculoos Cheesecake
Goodbye cookie plate and hello speculoos cheesecake: Let's be honest, you can't tempt vegans with speculoos cookies these days. They have been the only vegan option on Germany's cookie plates for far too long. So it's high time for a little rebranding. No sooner said than done! And what better way to rebrand the cookies than with a vegan cheesecake?
The speculoos spice
Surprising but true: not a single speculoos cookie was harmed in making this cake. No, not magic, but the new speculoos spice from Lebensbaum. The brand was recently even awarded the German Sustainability Award in the coffee, tea and spice sector. Anyone following our blog for a while is likely to have already seen one or two of the company's spices. The high quality and intense taste of the 100% natural organic spices impress us every time. So much so that one of their spices even made a small cameo in our last Advent calendar. But enough raving, time for the facts! Did you know, for example, that cardamom is one of the world's oldest and most expensive spices? We weren't aware of this before, but of course, we are all the happier that it has made it into the speculoos spice mix. It is joined by cinnamon, cloves, ginger and, of course, high-quality bourbon vanilla. For the latter, the flowers of the vanilla orchid are pollinated by hand in Madagascar. The pods we all know grow from fertilized flowers. Hard to believe!
The cheesecake base
Now that we've introduced you to our new friend in detail, it's high time to turn our attention to his field of application, aka the recipe. The base consists of a speculoos shortcrust pastry. We knead vegan margarine with flour, sugar, speculoos spice and baking powder to make it. The dough is then spread evenly over the base of a springform pan and pressed down. You can prick it several times with a fork to ensure that it bakes evenly.
The cheesecake cream
The cream on the base consists of vegan margarine, yogurt and spices. We also use our favorite secret ingredient to make the cream firm after baking: vegan custard powder (note: not every powder is vegan, so be sure to check the ingredients list). The custard powder is mixed in advance with a little plant-based milk (for this we like to use soy milk), as the starch it contains dissolves best in cold liquid. Pro tip: It's best not to use oat milk when mixing pudding; otherwise, the pudding may not be set properly. But back to our custard: the starch in the custard powder provides the necessary cohesion, and the margarine becomes firm again after baking and provides a little extra stability. That's why you must leave the cake to cool well after baking. But before you can even put your cake in the oven, we need to make the speculoos swirl. To do this, we color part of the cream with baking cocoa and flavor it with speculoos spice. Place the dark dough in dots on the cream in the springform pan and fold in with the end of a fork to create a beautiful pattern.
Vegan Speculoos Cheesecake
For the base:
- 300 g (2.5 cups) flour
- 80 g (0.33 cup) sugar
- 1 tbsp speculoos spice (e.g. from Lebensbaum)
- 1.5 tsp baking powder
- 1 pinch of salt
- 180 g (1.5 sticks) vegan margarine
For the cheesecake cream:
- 150 g (1.33 sticks) vegan margarine
- 74 g (2.5 oz) vegan vanilla custard powder
- 60 (0.25 cup) ml soy milk
- 800 g (3.33 cups) vegan yogurt
- 50 g (0.25 cups) brown sugar
- 0.25 lemon (zest)
- 1 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tsp speculoos spice (e.g. from Lebensbaum)
- vegan margarine for greasing
Preheat the oven to 180 °C / 355 °F (convection heat). Line a springform pan with baking paper and grease with vegan margarine. For the base, mix the flour, sugar, speculoos spice, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Then, add the vegan margarine in thumb-sized pieces and knead together. Then, crumble the dough into the springform pan and press down to create an even base. Prick the base several times with a fork.
For the vegan cheesecake cream, first melt the margarine in a small pan. Leave the melted margarine to cool until it is only lukewarm.
Tip: To reduce the cooling time, only heat the margarine gently until about two-thirds has melted. Remove the pan from the heat and stir the margarine until the last third has melted.
Stir the custard powder into the soy milk in a small bowl until all the lumps have dissolved in the liquid.
Place the vegan yogurt in a large bowl and mix with sugar, lemon zest, custard mixture and softened margarine (lukewarm).
Place 150 g (5.25 oz) of the cheesecake cream in a separate bowl and mix with baking cocoa and speculoos spice.
Pour the light cheesecake cream onto the base of the springform pan. Spoon the dark cream onto the cake in dots. Using the back of a fork, swirl the light and dark cream together to create a pretty pattern.
Bake the cake for 60 minutes at 180 °C / 355 °F (convection heat). Leave the cake to cool completely for a few hours or overnight before eating.