Some people cannot digest lactose, which is a sugar found in milk. To enjoy a slice of cheesecake but avoid uncomfortable symptoms of lactose intolerance, these people should eat lactose-free cheesecake. This type of cheesecake is usually made with lactose free ingredients, like soy or vegetable-based alternatives. Eggs, sugar, and other ingredients are blended with the cream cheese substitute, and the mixture is usually poured into a graham cracker crust and baked. This lactose-free desert can be eaten plain or topped with fresh fruit.
Lactose intolerance is sometimes known as hypolactasia or lactase deficiency. It refers to a medical condition in which a person is unable to produce an enzyme known as lactase. The lack of this enzyme makes it very difficult to digest lactose, a sugar present in milk and milk-based products, including cream cheese. If a person who is lactose intolerant ingests something containing lactose, he will often develop uncomfortable symptoms, including nausea and stomach cramps.
Cream cheese is one of the main ingredients in cheesecake, and since it is made with milk, eating regular cheesecake can cause uncomfortable gastrointestinal problems in lactose-intolerant people. Lactose-free cheesecake, however, is usually safe to eat. Non-dairy cream cheese is usually available in large supermarkets next to the regular cream cheese. It is usually made from soy or vegetable oils. When it is cooked into lactose-free foods, such as lactose-free cheesecake, most people are unable to recognize a difference.
Other ingredients are also needed to make lactose-free cheesecake. Sugar and eggs are usually whipped with the non-dairy cream cheese substitute, for example. Non-dairy sour cream or cultured sour cream, which contains less lactose than other milk products, may also be used, along with other flavorings, like vanilla.
The crust for a lactose-free cheesecake is usually made from crushed graham crackers. These can be purchased already prepared, but some people may prefer to make their own. A small amount of sugar is also typically added to help sweeten the crust. Margarine is then melted and mixed in with the graham cracker crumbs and sugar. This mixture is then pressed into a pan and baked for a few minutes.
Once the crust is done cooking, the lactose-free cheesecake batter is poured into it. The whole cake is then baked in an oven. Cheesecake is usually done cooking when the edges have turned a golden color and the middle is set, or no longer soupy. Lactose-free toppings can be added, including fresh fruit or lactose-free chocolate.