I believe I got the concept for the tofu cheesecake from somewhere, but it is pretty unique and very good tasting. It is lemon flavored with enough honey added to balance the tanginess of the citrus and you cannot taste the soybeans. Once the cheesecake is baked and refrigerated for an hour, its texture is slightly less firm than cheesecake made with cream cheese, but it has little saturated fat.
There was a tofu shop around the corner from the bakery named Mu Tofu which was operated by a married couple named Yoshi and Becky. “Mu” is the name of a Zen Buddhist koan or riddle asking the question “What is the sound of one hand clapping?” Yoshi had a lot of boiled, ground soybeans left over from the process of making tofu, which he called okara. I thought that this moist, oily, nutritious food substance had potential uses in baking, and I soon was adding it to some baked goods, as well as buying his tofu to make tofu cheesecakes. We became good friends with Yoshi and Becky and they invited Randy and me to their home for dinner at times.
1-3/4 lbs. soft tofu (2 14oz. pkgs.) 1 cup oatmeal, ground
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons grated lemon peel 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup safflower or sunflower oil 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon honey 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract 1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt 6 dates, ground
2 tablespoons arrowroot powder 6 tablespoons safflower or
or cornstarch sunflower oil
1 tablespoon cold water
- For the crust, grind the oatmeal in a food processor until it is a coarse meal and place in a bowl. Mix in the whole wheat flour, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger.
- Grind the dates in the food processor, adding 1-1/2 teaspoons flour or oatmeal to prevent clumping, and add to dry ingredients.
- Add the oil to the mixture gradually and toss in with a fork. Add the water and toss with a fork. Evenly press the crust material into a lightly oiled 9” round cake pan.
- For the filling, blend the tofu in a food processor until smooth and creamy and place in a bowl. Add the lemon juice, lemon peel, oil, honey, vanilla, salt, and arrowroot powder and mix with a whisk.
- Pre-heat the oven to 350o Pour the filling into the crust. Bake for 65-70 minutes until filling has set and top of filling is light tan or golden in color. Remove pan from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Place in the refrigerator to chill 1-2 hours. Serves 16.