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Saturday, 2 January 2021

Vegan Caramel Brownie Cheesecake

This delicious caramel brownie cheesecake features a thick and chewy brownie base, a no-bake caramel cheesecake filling with chunks of baked brownie inside, topped with a drizzle of chocolate ganache. 100% vegan, easy to make and FULL of flavour!

If you love cheesecake, this recipe will soon become your go-to.

I love to play around with flavours, and create something unusual. One of my most popular recipes over on Instagram + Pinterest is my 'No-Bake Millionaires Cheesecake' and I know exactly why, it's silky smooth, full of flavour and the texture is divine!!

I wanted to take some inspiration from that dessert and create a brownie version. 
Brownies have become one of my favourite sweet treats over Christmas time, so I knew I just had to make it into a cheesecake. I decided to create a vegan chewy brownie base which is so easy to make and come out perfectly each time, topped with a no-bake cheesecake which has lots of caramel sauce inside. To add more brownie goodness to this cheesecake, I broke up chunks of baked brownie and pressed it into the cheesecake filling before chilling. It worked perfectly. I couldn't NOT have a topping on this cheesecake. I was originally going to go for a dusting of cocoa powder but opted for a chocolate ganache which compliments the richness of the brownie perfectly. 

Where do I find coconut cream?
  • Coconut cream is the thick white cream which comes from a can of coconut milk.
  • Chill a can of full-fat coconut milk in the refrigerator overnight. This will make the milk fat separate and solidify on top. 
  • Use a spoon to skim the solidified coconut cream from the top of the can and place into a bowl.
  • A tip would be to chill the can, and when you come to open it, turn it upside down and open it that way. This means the water should be at the top, so all you need to do is pour that away and all of the cream will be at the bottom. Its much easier that way. 


Looking for more vegan cheesecakes? Look no further:

Find my recipe for VEGAN CARAMEL SAUCE here.


Baking time: 30 minutes
Chilling time: Overnight
Level: Medium

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Ingredients for the brownie base

  • 2 tablespoons of flaxseed + 4 tablespoons of water
  • 70g of dairy-free butter/margarine
  • 80g of caster sugar
  • 80g of light brown sugar
  • 50g of cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 100g of self-raising flour
Ingredients for the filling
  • 200g of cashew nuts (soaked overnight and drained)
  • 300g of coconut cream (see above for more details)
  • 2 tablespoons of caramel sauce (I use Natures Charm Caramel sauce)
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • Pinch of sea salt
Ingredients for the chocolate ganache
  • 50g of dairy-free dark chocolate
  • 70g of dairy-free cream (coconut cream or a vegan double cream, eg Elmea plant-based)
+
  • Seasalt
  • Diary-free whipping cream (I use Elmalea Plant-based)
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Method (brownie base)
1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees c fan, and line the base of a 8-inch springform / push up cake tin with grease-proof paper and any sized square or round cake tin with greaseproof paper.
This tin will make a brownie which you'll break apart to go in the filling. It doesn't matter about the size.

2. Make the flax eggs. 
Add 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed into a small bowl and add in 4 tablespoons of water. Stir to combine then set aside to thicken. This will take around 10 minutes.

3. In a large mixing bowl, add in the dairy-free butter/margarine and both sugars. Whisk to combine until light in colour.

4. Add in the cocoa powder, baking powder and flour. Mix until a thick brownie batter.

5. Spoon 3/4 of the batter into the lined round cake tin, and the remaining batter into the square cake tin, making sure to get them both as flat as possible. 
Smooth out with the back of a spoon or offset spatula.

6. Place the tins into the middle of the oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

7. When the brownie is ready, remove both tins from the oven and allow to cool.
Leave the brownie in the cake tin

Method (filling)
1. Drain the cashew nuts from the water and place them into a food processor/blender along with the coconut cream, caramel sauce, vanilla extract and salt.

2. Whizz up on high for around 5 minutes until smooth. Add a splash of water if needed.
I use a 'Kitchenaid Powerplus blender'. It's best to use a high-speed blender if possible as the mixture is quite thick, and you want it as smooth as possible.
You might need to stop the mixer and scrape down the sides a few times.

3. Spread a thin layer of caramel sauce over the base, then pour over the cheesecake filling, swirl in some caramel sauce (optional) and press chunks of brownie into the filling. Level with a spoon and pop back into the freezer to set.
Allow the cheesecake to set fully.
This will take around 4-6 hours (I leave mine to set overnight).

Store in a sealed container in the freezer and defrost fully before serving.

Method (chocolate ganache)
1. Place the dairy-free cream into a medium-sized saucepan, and heat on medium until it comes to a low boil.

2. Place the dairy-free chocolate into a heatproof bowl and pour over the hot cream.
Allow to sit for a few minutes then stir together.
The cream will melt the chocolate.

3. Add the ganache to a piping bag with the tip snipped off or with a small round piping tip and pipe a zig-zag over the top of the cheesecake. 

Finish with a drizzle of more caramel sauce, crumble over some brownie chunks and some whipped cream stars around the edge (optional).

Store in a sealed container in the fridge or freezer.
To serve this cheesecake, remove from the freezer and allow to defrost fully before serving.
I usually remove mine from the freezer and let it sit out at room temperature for a few hours.


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