Spring Cheesecake Parfaits
Graham Cracker Streusel:
9 Rectangle Graham Crackers (1 Sleeve)
6 Tablespoons Non-Dairy Margarine, Melted
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
1 1/2 Pounds Chopped Rhubarb, Divided
1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
1/2 Cup Orange Juice
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Ginger
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Cardamom
White Chocolate Cheesecake Mousse:
1/4 Cup Vegan "Creamer"
2 8-Ounce Packages Vegan "Cream Cheese"
2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract*
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 - 1 Pound Fresh Strawberries, Hulled and Diced
*I used my homemade white chocolate, which is what gave it those lovely vanilla bean specks. If you opt for the store-bought alternative, you may wish to use vanilla bean paste or 1 whole vanilla bean, split and scraped, for the same visual effect.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or a silpat; set aside.
Break up the graham crackers and toss the pieces into your food processor. Pulse until mostly broken down, with a few larger chunks remaining. Add in the melted margarine, cinnamon, and salt, and pulse to combine. Spread out the resulting crumbs into small clumps on your prepared baking sheet. Bake for 10 - 15 minutes, stirring once halfway through, until golden brown. Let cool.
Meanwhile, you can get the compote started. Set a medium saucepan on the stove over moderate heat, and mix together 1 pound of the rhubarb along with the remaining ingredients. Bring the mixture up to a simmer, and let the rhubarb stew for 10 - 15 minutes, until broken down and jammy. Add in the remaining measure of rhubarb, and simmer for an additional 5 - 10 minutes, just until tender. This will give the compote a nice variety of textures. Let cool and chill thoroughly before using.
Finally, for the cheesecake portion, place the chunks of chips of white chocolate in a microwave-safe dish, and pour the "creamer" on top. Microwave for 1 - 2 minutes at 30 second intervals, stirring thoroughly between each heating. White chocolate can be stubborn about melting, so be patient and keep a close eye on the mixture so that it doesn't burn. Once it's burnt, there's no fixing it.
Place the "cream cheese," vanilla extract, and salt in your (washed and dried) food processor, and blend to combine. Pour in the melted white chocolate, and thoroughly puree, until completely smooth and all ingredients are incorporated. If it seems to loose to pipe, chill for 30 minutes before proceeding.
To assemble your parfaits, find 6 - 8 matching glasses, and start with a spoonful or two of the streusel at the bottom. Top that with a good layer of the compote, and then pipe or spoon over a layer of the cheesecake mousse. Cover that with an even layer of diced strawberries, and if desired, finish with one final dollop of mousse. Garnish with halved strawberries and mint leaves for extra flair. Serve chilled.
Makes 6 - 8 Parfaits
©Hannah Kaminsky http://www.bittersweetblog.com