That's exactly what happened when I entered the Cathay Pacific Dessert competition. The premise is that they were looking for an Asian Fusion dessert to add to their menu...I thought long and hard and came up with ginger tofu cheesecake. Excellent idea in my mind, but it certainly was not a spectacular idea to to the judges. You know what really threw me in for a loop? The fact that one of the finalist was a lime ginger cheesecake. Really? really? I was mad for a good couple hours that night. In the end, my creative use of tofu wasn't appreciated. Hrmp. At least by not winning, I can share my recipe with the public.
The great thing about this recipe is the flexibility of it. If you want a lighter cheesecake, you have to use silken tofu and low fat cream cheese, but for a more traditional cheesecake, regular cream cheese and drained silken tofu is required.
Ginger Tofu Cheesecake
- 1 cup Graham cracker, crushed
- 2 TBSP butter, melted
- 1 TBSP sugar
- pinch of salt
- 1 LB Silken tofu
- For Lighter/creamy version: 12 oz light cream cheese & 4 oz regular cream cheese, room temperature
- For Traditional version: 16 oz regular cream cheese, room temperature
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 TBSP lemon juice
- 6 TBSP of ginger juice
- 2.5 TBSP grated ginger
- 3 eggs, room temperature
- 3 TBSP flour
- 1/4 cup crystallized ginger, chopped finely (optional--for an extra zing)
- In a 8.5 or 9 inch spring form pan, line base with parchment paper.
- Crush graham crackers in food processor.
- Melt butter.
- Combine crackers, butter, and sugar
- Press into 8.5 or 9 inch spring form pan.
- Bake at 375°F for 10 to 12 minutes until golden brown.
- Grease the side of the pan.
- Drain and beat the tofu until smooth. (If traditional version, leave tofu in a dish with a plate over it for an hour and pour the liquid. Then beat tofu until smooth)
- Beat the cream cheese and sugar until smooth.
- Add tofu and mix until combined.
- Add vanilla, lemon juice, ginger juice, grated ginger. Mix and taste. Adjust flavors as necessary if ginger isn't intense enough.
- Beat in eggs one at a time. Mix well.
- Sift flour and fold. Fold in crystallized ginger if using.
- Pour filling over crust.
- Bake at 350°F for 50 to 60 minutes or until filling is set and slightly jiggly when pan is moved.
- Turn off heat and allow it cool in oven for 60 minutes.
- Remove from oven and run knife along outside edge of cheesecake.
- Cool to room temp, cover lightly with foil, move to refrigerator, and allow it to sit for 24 hours.