Robin Robertson ~ Valentine’s Day is a great way to brighten up an otherwise gloomy February. Even if you’re not into all the hearts and flowers, you’ve got to admit that, if nothing else, it’s a great excuse to eat chocolate!
At my house Valentine’s Day chocolate will take the form of this decadent, dairy-free Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake. I especially like making this cheesecake with fresh cherries, but you can use strawberries or raspberries instead, if you prefer (or even red pepper jelly, if you dare!) This cheesecake is simple to make and has been scaled down to bake in a small 7-inch springform pan, making it ideal to serve after a romantic dinner for two. Don’t worry, there will still be a lot of leftovers — the cake is very rich and only a small piece at a time is needed to satisfy.
If you don’t have time to make this dessert, I’ve got you covered with a quick and easy dessert idea that is sophisticated and delicious enough to serve on Valentine’s Day …
Simply scoop vegan vanilla ice cream into pretty dessert dishes or barware such as martini or wine glasses. Drizzle with your favorite liqueur (I like Frangelico) and garnish with fresh sliced strawberries or a few raspberries or pitted fresh cherries. If you’re not a liqueur lover, just drizzle on some chocolate sauce or other dessert sauce and garnish with red berries.
Here’s my recipe for Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake. It’s from my latest book, Party Vegan.
Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake
This decadent dessert is irresistibly delicious and a perfect ending to a special meal. The recipe is from Party Vegan by Robin Robertson © 2010 John Wiley and Sons. This recipe makes one small cheesecake or two to three individual-sized cheesecakes.
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Melt the vegan butter in a small saucepan and set aside. Lightly grease the bottom and sides of a 7-inch springform pan and set aside.
2. Place the cookie crumbs in the prepared pan and drizzle in as much of the melted vegan butter as needed to moisten the crumbs, mixing with a fork to combine. Press the crumb mixture into bottom and sides of pan, and set aside.
3. Melt the chocolate in a double-boiler or microwave and keep warm.
4. In a food processor, combine the cream cheese, sugar, soy milk, and vanilla, and blend until smooth. Add the chocolate and blend until smooth. Scrape the batter into the prepared crust and spread it evenly. Bake until firm, about 40 minutes.
5. Turn off the oven and let the cake remain in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove the cake from the oven and cool on a wire rack. Refrigerate several hours to chill completely.
6. When ready to serve, place the cherry jam in a small bowl and stir briskly until smooth. Spread the jam thinly over the top of the cheesecake. Arrange the fresh cherries on top around the outer edge and sprinkle the toasted almonds in the center. Top with chocolate curls, if using.
Makes 6 servings
Robin Robertson is a widely published vegan cookbook author with approximately 20 titles. A few of her most recent cookbooks include Party Vegan, Vegan on the Cheap, and Vegan Unplugged (co-authored with her husband, Jon Robertson). For more information on Robin and her books, visit her website, Global Vegan Kitchen. For more recipes, visit Robin's blog, Vegan Planet.