Even if you are not interested in healthy desserts, even if you are not vegan, even if you think cheesecakes are fine the way they are, you have just got to try raw vegan, healthy cheesecakes! Don’t let those labels put you off. This style of cheesecake is quite remarkable. Our raw lemon cheesecake and raw chocolate cheesecakes have been a sell-out success at the cafe. There are countless flavoursome variations, but here is my latest with lime and coconut.
Raw, vegan cheesecakes are made by blending soaked cashew nuts (for that creamy, buttery flavour) with fruit, coconut oil (which usefully sets at cool temperatures) and agave syrup (a natural, plant-based sweetener) although there are, of course, many variations. The best, extra virgin, cold pressed, organic coconut oil has a really beautiful coconut flavour and fragrance, so that is what I have used here as I wanted maximum coconuttiness. I realise that it is expensive, but it is extremely good for you and goes surprisingly far. You can buy a cheaper, flavourless coconut oil which is really useful for cheesecakes which won’t go with a coconut flavour.
Let me know how you get on, Liz x
You will need either a round, springform cake tin lined with baking parchment or, for ease, a silicone one. A fridge or freezer with a flat space to set the cake in, a fairly strong food processor with a blade attachment and…
For the base:
- 85g Pitted Dates
- 180g Whole Almonds
- 3 tbsp Coconut Oil
- a pinch of Salt
For the topping:
- 420g Cashew Nuts (soaked overnight or for a couple of hours at least)
- 150g Coconut Oil
- 150g Agave Syrup
- the juice of 6 Limes (grate the zest off all 6 and set to one side)
- a handful or 2 of Frozen Peas (for colour)
- Desiccated Coconut to sprinkle on top
Put all of the base ingredients into a food processor and pulse until you have a mixture resembling a buttery, biscuit crumb base. Scrape out into the bottom of your cake tin with a spatular and press down firmly and evenly.
Then put all of the topping ingredients into the food processor (except the desiccated coconut and lime zest) and blend until completely smooth. You will have to stop the machine a few times and scrape the sides down into the mixture. You may also need to add a couple of tablespoons of cool water to the mixture to help it blend, depending on how long your cashews soaked and how juicy your limes are. This can take up to 10 minutes if your machine is as weak as mine!
Mix half of the lime zest into the creamy topping with the spatular, then scoop and pour the mixture on top of the base. Spread evenly, sprinkle with the remaining lime zest and some desiccated coconut. Cover carefully with cling film and set the cheesecake in the fridge (for 4 hours) or freezer (for 1 hour, or you can leave it in the freezer and defrost it when you want it). When it has set, it should come out of the cake tin very easily. Obviously, don’t try to take it out until it has completely set! It keeps well in the fridge for up to a week.