I am excited to share this recipe with you, which started as a challenge given to me by a chef friend. I posted the lemon blueberry cheesecake recipe I made a few weeks ago on my Facebook timeline and she said to me, “Make a vegetarian cheesecake, Razel!” I asked her what has she got in mind and she said, “Pumpkin, chia seeds and berry compote.” Challenged accepted!
I am not new to pumpkin as a dessert as I love pumpkin pie. Berry compote is easy and will go well with most desserts as a topping. Now, chia seeds, not much idea on how to incorporate them into baking. Thank goodness for the internet. I searched and found lots of tips on how to use chia seeds. Turns out, they can be used as substitute for eggs and butter. A level tablespoon of chia seeds soaked in quarter cup water ( will turn into chia gel) is equivalent to one large egg. I was amused and really interested to know how my cheesecake would taste if I use chia gel instead of real eggs. Tell you what, my son’s first reaction when he had a spoonful of the cheesecake was “it was a bit egg-y”. I didn’t tell him there was not a single trace of egg in the cheesecake.
This is a treat both vegetarians and non-vegetarians will enjoy. First time I have baked something vegan and I liked it. I roasted some Kent pumpkin, pureed them and added a bit of honey for some sweetness. I used my favourite baked cheesecake recipe, substituting regular cream cheese, sour cream and eggs with soy cream cheese, soy sour cream and chia gel. Cheesecake really turned out good. It was almost like pumpkin pie but with a cheesecake texture. The berry compote drizzled on top made this dessert all the more delightful.
For the crust
- 200g sweet plain biscuits
- 100g butter, melted
For the filling
- 250g soy cream cheese, room temperature
- 3/4 cup chia gel ( equivalent to 3 eggs)
- 1/2 cup soy sour cream
- 1/2 cup caster sugar
- 1/2 piece Kent pumpkin, cut into roasting size (about 3 cm)
- 1 tablespoon honey
For the berry compote
- 60g unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 cups mixed berries (frozen is okay)
- Preheat oven to 200C degrees.
- Place biscuits in a food processor and process until they resemble fine crumbs. Add butter and process until well combined.
- Press mixture into the base and sides of a greased 20cm springform pan. Chill in the fridge while roasting pumpkins.
- Place pumpkin in single layer on baking sheet lined with baking paper.
- Roast pumpkin for 35-40 minutes, or until golden and tender. Cool for 10 minutes. Lower oven temperature to 180C degrees.
- Place roasted pumpkin in food processor. Add the honey and process until pureed. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk cream cheese and sugar with electric beaters until smooth. Add chia gel, a quarter of a cup at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Beat in pureed pumpkin until just combined.
- Stir in soy sour cream.
- Pour into prepared biscuit base.
- Bake for 1 hour. Remove from oven. Cover loosely with aluminum foil and bake for further 20 minutes.
- Turn off oven, cool cheesecake in oven with door ajar, until at room temperature.
- Chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours before serving.
- To make the berry compote, melt butter in a small saucepan. Add lemon juice and sugar, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Add the berries and stir gently for 2-3 minutes. Cool to room temperature.
- To serve, drizzle a slice of cheesecake with berry compote.