Would You Eat a Cheesecake Made Without the Cheese?

By the Way Bakery’s skill at making classic desserts for those with dietary restrictions continues for the High Holidays.

It’s a bit of an oxymoron, a cheesecake without cheese. Typically a whole lot of cream cheese (or other dairy, like ricotta in the case of an Italian cheesecake) goes into this restaurant dessert staple. So then, is it possible to make a good-tasting cheesecake that’s dairy-free?

Helene Godin, owner of dairy-free/gluten-free/kosher By the Way Bakery, with two county locations and two in Manhattan, has a habit of surprising with traditional baked goods made expertly — without using traditional ingredients.

On her Rosh Hashanah menu for example, the new marble cheesecake will please even the most ardent classic cheesecake fans. Instead of cream cheese, it’s made with a non-GMO soy-based cream cheese substitute. Belgian chocolate, French cocoa powder, sugar, and eggs also go into the smooth creation with a thick chocolate cookie crust.  

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“All the credit goes to baker Samantha Clementson,” says Godin. “She took the lead when a supplier dropped off a sample of a new brand of cream cheese substitute. Working with Kathy Dumas, our head baker, experimenting with different flavors and different crusts, we knew we were onto something when the samples disappeared before we could finish writing up our R&D notes.”

Sour cherry coffee cake 

Other notable items on the High Holiday menu are oat challah, chocolate hazelnut torte, sour cherry coffee cake, spiral-shaped lemon poppy swirl, an apple cake made with York, Golden, and Rome apples, and a honey cake, a moist petite loaf cake with walnuts throughout.

Godin is about more than just work and takes a break from all the baking to celebrate the high holidays. 

“My family always goes to my mother’s house for Rosh Hashanah and the breakfast. I’m in charge of dessert, of course.”

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By the Way Bakery
574 Warburton Ave, Hastings-on-Hudson

Upper West Side
2442 Broadway, New York, NY 

Upper East Side
1236 Lexington Ave, New York

19 E Putnam Ave, Greenwich


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