Experiment: Dairy free cheesecake

I think I’ve written previously that the one food I’ve missed most since going dairy free is cheesecake. That topped with fruit is the perfect dessert. In fact, it was a contender to replace traditional cake when I get married. But that is not to be.

In my quest to find substitutes for dairy, I came across this recipe from Daiya.

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I used an organic graham cracker crust, 9 inches, from Whole Foods instead of rummaging around for my spring form pan. Aside from that minor alteration, I followed the recipe to the tee.

After letting it set for five hours, I cut in. The texture was spot on. As expected, the crust was great. But the taste of the filling…I don’t really know what to think. The recipe uses Daiya’s dairy free cream cheese style spread, which I’ve used on bagels before and like well enough. In the cheesecake, the predominant flavor is of the spread. I expected that, but I was hoping that the lemon juice, vanilla, and sugar would mellow it. They didn’t.

I read through the comments on the site of the recipe and a few people suggest adding sugar to help cut the spread taste. I haven’t decided whether I want to go through all of the work again to make it if it doesn’t make it significantly better. Mixing it all wasn’t hard, but getting the coconut butter the right consistency was frustrating. Perhaps it not being in the right state affected the taste, but I can’t imagine it would be too strong a factor.

Has anybody else made a dairy free cheesecake? Any tips?

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Review: Daiya Mushroom and Roasted Garlic Pizza (dairy & gluten & soy free)

I want to start this blog post off saying first, I am not being sponsored by Daiya to write this blog, and second, I don’t intend to fill my blog with product reviews. I will occasionally write about products I come across/use that I think might be helpful for others to know about . Alright, so yesterday I made my monthly trek to Whole Foods to stock up on my dairy free foods. I say trek because it’s a 20-25 minute drive each way, and I say stock up because I usually buy between 12-16 yogurts in one go, plus multiples of the other things that are only carried at WF. While I was shopping for some strawberry ice cream bars, I turned to see one of the greatest sights someone who is allergic to dairy can see: dairy-free pizza by a trusted brand. I’ve been using Daiya cheese products for a few months now (mostly the cream cheese spread–heaven!), but I had never seen the pizzas before. I grabbed the mushroom and roasted garlic flavor, as well as the fire-roasted vegetable flavor, without even looking to see how much they were. I had to try them.

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Before I get into the full review, I want to tell you if you’re going to look for these for yourself, they are likely going to be a bit spendy. I paid about $10 each for mine. If you’re used to buying specialty diet friendly food, you know that it’s common for them to be a bit pricier than the “conventional” items. That’s never sat well with me, being charged more for a condition that I had no say in, but I get that there is money that goes into product development and there’s a smaller consumer base for the products. It’s all good. I get to eat pizza and yogurt and milk and cream cheese without being doubled over in pain, wishing for death (if you’ve read my blog about food allergies, you know I’m not exaggerating).

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Last night, I decided I needed to try one of the pizzas. I set my oven to 475 degrees like the instructions said (my first thought was that I don’t think I’ve ever set my oven that high), and waited. It went in, and I waited again.

Frozen

Frozen

Baked

Baked

The range for baking times is 10 to 15 minutes. I took it out after 10, but I think I should have left it in for a bit more. Maybe 12 or 13 minutes. It wasn’t cold anywhere, but I think the crust could have used a bit more time. Besides that, I really enjoyed the pizza. The crust is gluten-free, which I don’t personally have to worry about, but it’s nice if I decide to share with my GF friend. It’s also a better GF taste than I’ve had before. It’s a thin crust (obviously because it’s GF), and I tend to like my crusts thicker and doughier, but it really was pretty good. The sauce was well spiced and not overbearing. The mushrooms and garlic were great. And the cheese, well it was pretty good too. It’s a blend of Daiya’s mozzarella and a bit of their cheddar, and I think I wouldn’t have added the cheddar. But then again, it may need the cheddar balance. It was good enough that I’m looking forward to the veggie pizza in the next week, probably.

I have to say, though, the best thing about this pizza was the lack of worry. It is so awesome to be able to bite into a piece of pizza without scraping off the cheese first or worrying that I didn’t get it all. I could just eat and enjoy. For that, the pizza was worth every penny.