I’m still recovering from the gigantic feast that was Thanksgiving over at Somer’s house. You can get the (long) list of delicious plant-based dishes here. Other than at the buffet at Bellagio in Vegas, I’ve never before seen so much food.
So even though I’m giving my digestive system a much-needed break, I’m still thinking about the macadamia nut brie, the mashed potatoes with mushroom gravy, the rolls, the sweet potatoes, the mini cashew-rice loaves…and…the dessert table. Yes, dessert had it’s own table. In fact, it spilled over onto two tables. There was a beautiful raspberry pie, two pumpkin pies and an incredible chocolate peanut butter tart from Amanda at Good Clean Food.
There were also my contributions, including the one pictured above. A big spoon and I could have made quick solo work of the whole thing, but I was compelled to share because that is what Thanksgiving is all about. Please make this recipe. It is outstanding and it comes from the creative mind of Gabby at Veggie Nook. Don’t let the humble name – No-Bake Pumpkin Mousse Cake – fool you. It’s special. And cuz it was a holiday I made it extra special and topped it with coconut creme.
I also made two apple pies; recipes based on a walnut-crusted pie from the pages of the November 2012 Cooking Light magazine. I added dried, tart cherries to one of them just for fun.
I also brought along a hazelnut pumpkin cheesecake with a chocolate-hazelnut topping. The recipe is a mish-mash of several cheesecake recipes – and I’ve included it below. This turned out to be a big hit with the kids, I think because of the chocolate on top.
1 recipe Hazelnut Shortbread, cooled (keep shortbread in springform pan)
1 1/2 cups vegan cream cheese
1/2 cup sweet tofu ricotta (recipe follows)
2 tbsp. egg replacer powder + 6 tbsp. water, whisk and set aside
3/4 cup maple sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup unsweetened pumpkin puree
1/4 cup vegan semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 tbsp. coconut oil
1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup hazelnuts, toasted, skins mostly removed and chopped
1 1.15 oz. packet Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut Butter Blend
Preheat oven to 300F.
Place cream cheese and ricotta in a large bowl. Beat until smooth. (I don’t have a hand-mixer so I mixed mine in my Vitamix blender). Add the maple sugar, vanilla, egg replacer mixture, cinnamon, allspice and salt. Beat until very smooth. Stir in the pumpkin puree.
Pour the batter over the top of the cooled shortbread. Bake for 1 hour or until the center of the cheesecake barely moves when touched. Remove from oven and run a knife around the edge. Cool on a wire rack then cover and chill for at least 8 hours or overnight.
Remove the cheesecake from the pan and place on a plate (if you’re really skilled, remove the bottom part of the pan, too.) In a small saucepan melt the chocolate chips, the nut butter and coconut oil. Pour over the cheesecake and chill ‘cake again until the chocolate sets.
If you’re still with me, it must mean you’d like the recipe for sweet tofu ricotta. Here ’tis:
Sweet Tofu Ricotta
Makes more than you need for the cheesecake
1 14 oz. package firm tofu, drained and pressed
1 -2 tbsp. agave nectar
1/2 tbsp. white miso
1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar or fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp. nutritional yeast
1 tbsp. almond milk
1/4 cup cashews, finely ground
In a large bowl, combine the agave nectar, miso, vinegar, nutritional yeast, salt and almond milk. Crumble the tofu into the bowl and add the cashews. Stir until everything is well-combined. Use immediately or store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.