Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Chutney-Topped Tofu Curry Cheesecake

Do NOT let yourself be put off this dish just because the name has the word "tofu" in it. If you like curry, you will love this. If you hate tofu, it doesn't matter because you won't taste any! The flavor is immense, and there is a perfect balance between the curry cheesecake and the delicious ginger mango chutney that is slathered over the top of it. I had to force myself to stop eating it, to be honest, but only because there were other people at the table who wanted some. I cannot emphasize the word "force" enough in that sentence,though! Heidi and Ben did a fabulous job with this appetizer.

Chutney-Topped Tofu Curry Cheesecake

1 cup unsalted raw cashews, finely ground
1 8-oz. package regular or tofu cream cheese (Heidi used Tofutti brand)
1 8-oz. package silken tofu
1 tbsp. cornstarch
1 tbsp. curry powder
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 cup mango chutney

Preheat the oven to 400 F. Lightly oil the inside of a 7-inch spring-form pan. Spread the ground cashews over the bottom of the pan and use your hands to press them into an even layer. Place the pan in the oven until cashew crust is lightly toasted, about 5 minutes. Be careful not to burn the nuts. Remove from oven and set aside.

In a food processor or using a hand mixer, process or beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the tofu, cornstarch, curry powder, salt, and cayenne, and blend until smooth. Pour the mixture evenly into the prepared pan. Cover with aluminum foil, making several holes in the foil for steam to escape. Place a trivet, rack, or a small heatproof bowl in the bottom of a 6-quart slow cooker. Pour an inch of boiling water into the bottom of the cooker. Place the foil-covered spring-form pan on top of the trivet, cover, and cook on Low for 4 hours.

Take the pan out of the cooker, remove the foil, and let it stand until cool. Once cool, cover and refrigerate for at least several hours or overnight. Let cool completely before removing the pan.

To serve, remove the sides of the pan, using a knife to loosen it if necessary. Spread the top of the cheesecake with the chutney and serve with crackers. We used Hazelnut Nut Thins, but the curry cheesecake is so strongly flavored that it probably does not matter too much what you serve this with.

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