Tahini Cheesecake with Chewy Brownie Crust

What a wonderful combination!  Who can resist a rich, decadent, chewy fudge brownie topped with a nutty creamy cheesecake.  This is not one of my quick, easy desserts; it takes some doing but not a great deal of skill, other than folding the brownie dry ingredients into the meringue.  Well worth the trouble.

First make the brownies.  Heat oven to 350 degrees; grease 8×8″ pan.  In a medium size bowl, combine:

  • 1/2 cup aquafaba (bean water)*
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

Whip the aquafaba and cream of tartar to stiff peaks and then continue whipping for several more minutes.  Slowly beat in the monk fruit powder and then the date sugar and continue beating for 2-3 more minutes.

  • 3/4 teaspoon monk fruit powder
  • 1/3 cup date sugar

Sift:

  • 3/4 cup carob powder (or cocoa if you can use it)
  • 1/2 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/4 cup tapioca flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • dash of salt

Pour into the meringue.  Add on top of the dry ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup avocado oil
  • 3 tablespoons hemp milk (or soy or rice milk) [If you use almond butter in the cheesecake, you could use almond milk here]
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Using a folding mix technique (using a spatula, bring the meringue from the bottom middle out to the edge in a sweeping motion; turn the bowl 1/4 of the bowl and repeat until the mixture is well mixed) mix the dry and wet ingredients into the meringue.  It will deflate somewhat.  Pour into the baking dish and spread out in an even layer.  Bake 12-15 minutes, remove from oven and top with the cheesecake mixture.

For the cheesecake mixture, combine in your food processor:

  • 12 ounces non-dairy cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup tahini (or nut butter if you can have one)
  • 1/2 cup agave nectar (or 1 teaspoon monk fruit powder, or 1/2 cup date sugar)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (optional)

Blend until smooth.  Pour over brownie in an even layer.  Return to oven and bake an additional 25-40 minutes depending on your oven.  If you have some sugar free chocolate or carob chips, you can sprinkle them on top of the cheesecake mixture before baking.  Turn off oven and open door and let cool for a half hour before removing from the oven.  Cool on draft-free counter for an hour before placing in the refrigerator.  This will keep the cheesecake layer from splitting.  Serve ice-cold, if you can keep your family from eating them sooner!

*Aquafaba is the liquid you drain from a can of beans and usually discard.  It is a great substitute for eggs.  Usually used is garbanzo bean liquid.

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