Chocolate Cheesecake (dairy-free, gluten-free, egg-free, sugar-free, vegan)

I’ve been making a dairy-free and gluten-free cheesecake for years; the issue has always been how to get rid of the eggs that are essential to setting the cheesecake since its so similar to custard.  I think I’ve finally found the answer – a combination of aquafaba and xanthan gum in the mix.  This one turned out very rich and decadent, smooth and creamy with a soft, crumbly chocolate crust.  The recipe makes 4 small cheesecakes or 1 8″ cake.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Crust:  In a food processor or bowl with hand mixer combine:

  • 1/2 cup vegan margarine such as Earth Balance
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons aquafaba
  • 1/2 cup date or coconut sugar

Process or mix until well blended.  Add:

  • 1 cup gluten-free all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Dash of sea salt

Mix or process until combined.  Batter will be very thick and sandy.  Press into the bottom of an 8″ springform pan or 4 individual springform pans.

Cheesecake:  Melt over a double boiler:

  • 1 tablespoon vegan margarine
  • 5 ounces 100% chocolate (unsweetened baking chocolate)

Set aside once melted and let cool slightly. Mix in a medium bowl:

  • 3/4 pound softened non-dairy cream cheese

Beat until smooth.  Gradually beat in chocolate mixture.  Add:

  • 1/2 cup thick non-dairy milk such as hemp or soy
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix until smooth.  Add while mixing:

  • 1 cup date or coconut sugar, 1/4 cup at a time

Be sure to scrap down the sides of the bowl as you mix in the ingredients.  Add:

  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose gluten-free flour
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum

Mix until combined.  Set aside.  Beat in a separate bowl (with clean beaters):

  • 6 tablespoons aquafaba
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

Beat until stiff peaks form.  Fold into the chocolate mixture.  Pour into springform pan(s). Bake in middle of oven for 30 minutes (for one 8″) or 20 minutes (for 4 small).  Reduce heat to 325 degrees and bake an additional 30 minutes (for one 8″) or 20 minutes (for 4 small), or until there is just a slight jiggle in the middle of the cheesecakes.  Turn off oven and crack open the door and leave the cheesecakes in the oven to cool for 1 hour.  Remove from oven and let sit on the counter for another 30 minutes.  Remove side(s) of springform pan(s).  Put in the refrigerator and cool until totally cold (about 4 hours).  Remove bottoms of springform pan(s).

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