Delightfully creamy in texture and rich in flavour, this “cheese”cake is free of dairy, gluten and soy. The main ingredients are a blend of coconut cream and cashew, making this dessert decadent. After prepping, some waiting time is required but it is well worth it!
Although there are some decent dairy-free cheesecakes now available in grocery stores, it’s displeasing to find that many of them contain an excess of refined sugar or unnatural ingredients we can’t even pronounce.
This recipe is fairly easy to make. If you are short on uninterrupted time, the recipe’s steps can be divided into smaller tasks. Let the raw cashews soak overnight in the fridge or pour boiling water on them and let them soak for 30 minutes to an hour.
As for dates, I recommend using pit-less Medjool dates, however Deglet Noor dates are also a good choice if Medjool dates are unavailable or too costly.
While dates are high in natural sugar, they are high in fibre and in potassium. According to livestrong.com “Dates are rich in minerals; vitamins B, C and K; and phenolic compounds. Dates can boost your energy, ward off infection, improve your digestion and keep your bones strong.” A good excuse to make this recipe, right?
Raspberry-Lemon Vegan Cheesecake
Easy Prep Time: 20 minutes Setting/Freezing Time: 4 – 5 hours, PLUS defrost (some patience is required, but it is well worth it!) Serves : 6 – 8 Author: Milk & Marigolds (Adapted from The Minimalist Baker)
A food processor
A high speed blender
A baking tin or dish (approx. 6 x 10 inches & 2 inches or more deep) or a cupcake baking tray
1/2 cup unsalted almonds
3/4 cup unsalted pecans
1 cup of pitted medjool dates
Pinch of sea salt or pink Himalayan salt
1 teaspoon of pure cocoa powder
1 cup of raw cashews (prior to soaking)
1/3 cup maple syrup
zest from1 lemon
1 lemon, juiced
1 1/4 cups of coconut cream (scooped off the top of 1 to 2 full-fat large cans)
3/4 cup fresh raspberries or blueberries
half of the lemon zest gratings
1 heaping teaspoon of maple syrup (optional)
1. Begin by soaking the cashews. You will need to soak them overnight in the fridge or you can pour boiling water over them and wait 30 minutes to an hour. I also suggest soaking the dates for 30 minutes to help soften them if they are dry.
2. While waiting, place the cans of coconut milk in the fridge for a few hours to help firm up the fat. This makes scooping the fatty, white part of the coconut milk easier to do.
3. In the meantime, you can get started on the crust for the cheesecake. You will need a 6 x 10 Inch baking pan with a depth of 2 inches or more. Alternatively, you can use a cupcake baking tray. Mix and place the almonds, pecans, salt and cocoa in the food processor and process until a meal forms or process even less for a chunkier crust. Do NOT over-process or an unwanted butter will form.
4. Put the ‘meal’ aside and then process the dates into small chunks. Mix the meal and processed dates together to create the crust.
5. Lay out strips of parchment paper in the baking tin/dish so that removing the cakes will be easier. Evenly press the crust mixture onto the bottom of the pan/dish. Then place the incrusted dish in the freezer for a couple hours to harden.
6. Mash your raspberries and mix with maple syrup or other sweetener if desired. Set aside as the topping.
7. Once the cashews are ready, drain and rinse them. Put the drained/rinsed cashews in a high speed blender along with the coconut cream (only use the white part), maple syrup, half the lemon zest and all the lemon juice. Blend until smooth but careful not to over-blend (you don’t want to heat it). Pour the smooth mixture on top of the set cold crust.
8. Place the dessert back in the freezer for about 3 – 4 hours.
9. Take the cheesecake out of the freezer and defrost in the refrigerator for a few hours. . Cut the dessert into portions while it is still somewhat frozen. I find that once divided into portions and left in the fridge for a few days, that the dessert is even tastier and resembles the texture and flavour of cheesecake. Serve and place leftovers back in the fridge for up to a week or freeze. While some willpower and patience is certainly needed in its wait time, it is well worth it!
Milk & Marigolds © Copyright 2015