Vegan Gingerbread Cheesecake and a L. C. Finns Extract Giveaway!
When L. C. Finns contacted me and asked if I would like to try their line of flavor extracts I was excited. I looked on their website and discovered that they make all of their extracts small batch by hand, and they are made with real ingredients! Heck yes I wanted to try them. And even better, they are located very close to where I live! I am always up for supporting local companies, especially ones like this one that use real stuff in their products.
Another thing that caught my eye was the flavors that they make. Of course there was the vanilla extract, but they also have coffee, cardamom, anise, hibiscus, cinnamon, and ginger. I don't think I have ever seen these flavors in natural form elsewhere. When the box arrived I could not wait to open it. I immediately had to smell them. They smelled amazing. The beautiful aromas making my nose happy. And, they were all full sized bottles, how generous! I was very grateful to receive such a gift.
I had to test them out in a few recipes, my Vegan Mocha Pumpkin Bread, and my Vegan Hazelnut Cardamom Chocolate Chunk Cookies. They contributed lovely flavors to both! I decided that I needed to create something even more spectacular with them, so I made a Vegan Gingerbread Cheesecake! About 10 years ago, I had made a gingerbread cheesecake for Christmas, and it was so good. I have never attempted to veganize it until now.
I was excited about this. I could use four of the flavor extracts in it, the vanilla, the cinnamon, the ginger and the anise. I made little vegan gingerbread cookies, then used those as the base of the cheesecake, then made a luscious cheesecake filling from coconut milk flavored with the same aromatic ingredients. This was going to be sooo good!
The extracts added a special little aromatic note to the cake, it was beautiful! Are you intrigued yet about these lovely extracts? Well, guess what? L. C. Finns was kind enough to let me do a giveaway of their products. One lucky winner will get a set of all seven extracts! So, scroll to the bottom of the page to enter (US residents only please)! Or, if you would like, you can purchase the extracts for yourself L. C. Finns website HERE. These would be perfect for Christmas presents or Christmas baking.
Vegan Gingerbread Cheesecake
Makes one 6 inch cake
1 cup crushed vegan gingerbread cookies (recipe follows)
1 1/2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
1 cup gingerbread crumbs
2 15 oz cans full fat coconut milk
2/3 cup maple syrup
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 tsp each L.C. Finns cinnamon, ginger, vanilla and anise extracts
2 tsp cinnamon
1 Tbsp ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cloves
1 1/2 cups coconut butter (not oil), warmed to liquid
Preheat the oven to 375F degrees. To make the crust, place the 2 cups gingerbread cookies in a food processor, and process until crumbs. Add the coconut oil, and pulse until it is well incorporated. Press the crust into the bottom of a 6 inch round deep springform cake pan. Place in the oven and bake for about 10 minutes until it is browning a little and set. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.
Meanwhile, to make the filling, combine all ingredients but the coconut butter, in a high speed blender or food processor and blend until smooth. With the motor running, add the coconut butter and process a minute more (if it starts to get lumpy at all during the process it is just the fat separating because it is 2 different temperatures. Just continue to blend until it is smooth, and it will get warm so it will just have to chill longer). Pour the filling over the prepared crust, and place in the freezer to set for about 4 hours. Decorate with extra gingerbread cookies.
Mini Vegan Gingerbread Cookies
Makes about 50 mini cookies
1 Tbsp ground flax seed
3 Tbsp filtered water
2 1/4 cups gluten free all purpose flour
1/3 cup coconut sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup melted coconut oil
1 tsp each L.C. Finns cinnamon, ginger, vanilla and anise extracts
In a small bowl, whisk together the flax seed and water and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, baking soda, and sea salt.
Whisk in the remaining ingredients, and the flax mixture until smooth. Scoop dough onto a piece of parchment, and sort of flatten with your hands. Place in the freezer for about 30-45 minutes, or until it is more firm and rollable.
Pre-heat the oven to 350F When ready to roll, flour a rolling pin, and roll the dough out 1/8 inch thick on a sheet of parchment. Cut into small shapes with a cookie cutter and place on two parchment lined baking sheets. Re-roll any scraps and cut them out as well (if at any time it gets too warm and sticky, place back in the freezer for 5-10 min).
Place cookies in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes until set, a little crispy, and starting to brown at the edges. Let cool completely. You will need to crush up 2 cups for the recipe, but reserve the rest for decorating or eating.