Project Just Desserts: Veganizing Top Chef! Week eight: VEGAN Mini Sweet Potato Cheesecakes with Puffin Potato Chip Crust and Vanilla Sugar! »
Episode eight of Top Chef: Just Desserts was another two-dish winner, so guest chef Alexandra Jamieson chose Mascarpone Cheesecake with Cap’n Crunch and Tarragon Sugar over a pink pavlova with grapefruit curd and meringue. Considering the devil of a time episode five’s red hot macaron gave Vegan Dad, we completely understand her decision. Her choice has nothing to do with the quality of her veganized dessert, however—she was insanely creative, making these adorable little vegan cheesecakes with Kettle Chips and sweet potatoes that your Vegansaurus could eat alllll day.
Unfortunately, due to technical difficulties, we are only able to show you one small photo of Alex’s lovely little finished cakies. Please accept our humblest apologies, and try to make do with this image of the original dessert instead. While this isn’t the first time we’ve been without proper pictures of the final vegan product, we do hope it will be the last. We hope you don’t let this cloud your judgment of our wonderful chef’s creation! Our apologies made, let’s get cooking.
Mascarpone Cheesecake with Cap’N Crunch and Tarragon Sugar becomes
Vegan Mini Sweet Potato Cheesecakes with Puffin Potato Chip Crust and Vanilla Sugar!
Yield: 1 dozen
1½ cup Barbara’s Puffin Cereal
1 cup Kettle Sea Salt Potato Chips
4 Tbsp. unbleached white flour
1 Tbsp. organic sugar
½ cup Earth Balance, melted
Sweet Potato Cheesecake
½ cup Tofutti cream cheese
zest of one lemon
⅓ cup sweet potato puree
⅓ cup organic sugar
1 vanilla bean
2 tsp. organic sugar
Combine the cereal, potato chips, flour, and sugar in a food processor fitted with an S-blade. Pulse about 15 times until the ingredients become a sandy mixture.
Stir in melted Earth Balance to combine.
Press 1 Tbs. of the mixture into silicon or metal molds and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Bake at 325 for 15 minutes, remove from oven, and cool completely.
Sweet potato filling
Combine the cream cheese, lemon zest, sweet potato puree, sugar and salt in a food processor fitted with an S-blade. Process until totally smooth. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Split open the vanilla bean and scrape out the black seeds. Combine the vanilla seeds and organic sugar in a spice grinder and grind until powdery.
To assemble, remove the cooked tart crusts from their molds and top with 2 to 3 tsps. of filling. Sprinkle on a few pinches of vanilla sugar and serve.
That sounds delicious, pals! Much better than boring old extra-creamy mascarpone, which as we know is part of a creepy government plot to get us all to buy more cheese. We are on to you, and the next time we want baby cheesecakes we are making them with sweet potatoes and tofutti. You can find more of Alexandra Jamieson’s excellent recipes online at Nutrition for Empowered Women, and soon at Week in a Weekend! Her books include The Great American Detox Diet and Living Vegan For Dummies, and Vegan Cooking For Dummies will be released on November 20! Thank you so much, Alex!
Remember to let us know if you try out any of the recipes in our Project Just Desserts series; we would love to see your dishes. Wednesday is the ninth and penultimate episode, so do come back!