Vegan Salty Crunchy Almond Cheesecake in a Jar
When the “desserts in jars” phenomenon took off it was only a matter of time that niches would evolve – such as Kris Holechek Peters’ Vegan Desserts in Jars. Whenever we have brought you a dessert in a jar, you all seem to love them, so it was high time we posted something for the vegans among us. Leafing thought her book I came across this Salty Crunchy Almond Cheesecake and it was the first one I had to make. The title just grabbed me. I am a sucker for the sweet/salty thing and if chocolate is involved it is a slam-dunk. Combine that with a no-bake approach and pretzels…okay, I wont keep you any longer from heading to the kitchen. Also check out the Over The Rainbow Cakes and the Peach Melba Cobbler.
Excerpted with permission. Vegan Desserts in Jars: Adorably Delicious Pies, Cakes, Puddings, and Much Moreby Kris Holechek Peters. Published by Ulysses Press 2013.
Salty/sweet is a popular flavor combination these days, and who can blame anyone for seeking it out? This no-bake treat is the perfect combination of crunchy, salty pretzels, a thin layer of chocolate, and creamy, almond-scented cheesecake.
- ½ cup non-dairy chocolate chips or other chopped non-dairy chocolate
- 1 tablespoon non-dairy margarine or coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons non-dairy milk of choice
- 3 cups crumbled salted pretzels
- 1 recipe Chocolate Ganache (above)
- 1 (12.3-ounce) package silken tofu
- 1 (8-ounce) package non-dairy cream cheese
- 2∕3 cup evaporated cane sugar
- ½ teaspoon cornstarch
- ½ to 1 teaspoon almond extract
- Almond slivers or chocolate-covered pretzels, for garnish
- For the Ganache: To make it in the microwave: Combine all of the ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high power in 10-second increments, stirring between each one, until the chocolate is melted and you can incorporate the other ingredients. It’s important to stir even if it doesn’t look like it needs it—chocolate burns easily.
- To make it on the stovetop: In a double boiler or a heatproof bowl suspended over a pot with about 2 inches of simmering water in it, over medium heat, combine all of the ingredients and stir constantly until smooth. Be mindful that there is space between the bowl and the water; you want the hot steam to do the melting. (This makes ½ cup).
- For the Cheesecake: Divide the pretzels among 6 half-pint canning jars. Divide the ganache and drizzle over the top of the pretzel layers. Do your best to make an even layer, as this will create a barrier and help keep the pretzels crunchy. Refrigerate the jars.
- In a food processor, place the tofu, cream cheese, sugar, cornstarch, and almond extract and process to combine. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed until the mixture is creamy and uniform. Taste and add more almond extract as needed, depending on strength. If you’re not serving the cheesecakes the same day, keep in mind that the extract will intensify as they sit.
- Divide the almond cream among the jars, cover, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. Garnish with almonds or chocolate-covered pretzels before serving.