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OCTOBER 17, 2008 11:42 PM

Cheesecake II
Lemon Cheesecake Beyond Belief.
I won't mince words. This is the best vegan cheesecake I've ever tasted, bar none. It is better than the cheesecake at The Chicago Diner. It is better than the cheesecake at Karyn's Cooked. It lasts for about two days when one eats it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I've baked it three times in the past month.
Cheesecake III
Gilding the Lily with Homemade Strawberry Preserves.
The first time I made it, I was a bit shy about serving it naked. So I dressed it with some organic strawberry preserves. It was divine. At two o'clock in the morning, however, once our guests had vacated the premises (along with my sense of propriety) I ate a wedge (almost six inches across) all by itself. There is no need to put anything on this cheesecake but your bare, greedy hands.

The Joy of Vegan Baking
It just isn't kind to dangle this in front of a person without providing the means for prompt gratification. So, on the condition that you promise to purchase Colleen Patrick-Goudreau's The Joy of Vegan Baking, I'll oblige. Any cookbook that sustains a perfect five star rating across 100+ reader reviews is well worth your $13.57 (even in a recession).
Cheesecake IV
Lemon Cheesecake (Recipe Slightly Modified to Reflect Best Results)

For the crust: Graham Crackers; some Mi-Del Ginger Snaps; 1/4 cup sugar; 5 T. Earth Balance. Process crackers, snaps, and sugar to a fine crumb; add Earth Balance and pulse; press into a lightly oiled 9-inch spring-form pan and bake at 350 for ten minutes until golden.

For the cheesecake: 4 1/2 t. Ener-G Egg Replacer; 6 T. water; 24 oz. non-dairy cream cheese (at room temperature); 1 c. granulated sugar; 1/2 t. vanilla; 4-6 T. lemon juice (the recipe suggests 2 T., but I like a strong lemon flavor, so I doubled it and left the pulp in as well); 2 T. lemon zest (again, I doubled it from 1 T.); fresh strawberries for serving (optional).

What To Do: Preheat oven to 350. Using electric hand mixer in a large bowl, whip egg replacer and water together until thick and creamy. Beat in cream cheese until creamy (about 30 seconds--don't go longer!). Beat in sugar, vanilla, lemon juice, and lemon zest (beat until smooth, but don't overbeat--this will cause cracking on the surface during baking). Pour batter into crust and smooth top. Bake until center barely jiggles when pan is tapped, 50-55 minutes. It is fine if it puffs up a bit and turns golden brown; it will settle as it cools. Cool completely in pan on rack for at least one hour; refrigerate for at least two hours (but preferably 24 hours) before serving.

Warning: People feel very strongly about this dessert. I slipped a slice into Senator Obama's back pocket just as the 3rd debate was drawing to a close. The ensuing scene was deeply disturbing. Bake at your own risk.