Right, as much as I love to get creative in the kitchen and make lots of beautiful raw desserts, this is probably going to be the last cake for a little while now as Charley’s Health is going to take a slightly more savoury turn for the next month or so. Apologies if you’re a fan of sweet treats; there will still be a few sweet breakfast-y options, but no more desserts.. well for now anyway (we’ll see how long this lasts!)
Seeing as this will be the last one for a while, it only seemed appropriate that it was something pretty extravagant and this certainly is that. I love berries, raspberries in particular and I use them in nearly all of my photographs and lots of my breakfast recipes. After attending a recent event with Seasonal Berries, I’ve been inspired to use berries in basically everything and I mean, the colour alone of this is reason enough to put raspberries in a cake, right?! I know the weather isn’t exactly getting warmer (we did in fact have snow the other day) but, it has been getting brighter, which is really making me want to create lots of vibrantly coloured and fresh flavoured foods and this just ticks all of those boxes. I cant wait to make this in the Summer and serve it to guests at dinner parties- I’ve never actually hosted a dinner party, but I would really like to! This cake is rich, creamy, sweet, indulgent, vibrant, fruity, zesty.. oh and, it has some veggies in it! Not a lot, but some is better than not at all right?
The base is a sweet and nutty combination of walnuts, oats, dates and something that I don’t use very often (but definitely should): pistachio nuts. These have a gorgeous flavour and add beautiful speckles of green throughout the base layer which also really offsets the vibrant pink cheesecake. Don’t get me wrong, this is still a treat and not something to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner; but the base alone is packed full of vitamins, healthy fats and plant protein and made from all natural whole foods. I do try and limit my cake consumption in general, but if you’re going to eat it, surely it’s better that it’s made from an abundance of nutrient dense ingredients?
For the creamy raspberry layer, I’ve used cashews in place of what would typically be cream cheese. If you’re new to making raw desserts, then this probably sounds rather bizarre, but soaked cashews blend into an amazing creamy consistency and have a pretty neutral flavour, so work brilliantly for a cheesecake. I previously mentioned that there were veggies in here.. well that would be beetroot! This works so well in desserts due to it’s subtle sweet flavour and also enhances the incredible pink colour from the berries- which you can see for yourself! I’m just so in love with this colour! Is it just me or does food taste better when it’s pink?
My cake looks pretty thick here because the only cake tins that I had were either an absolutely giant one or a pretty small one.. so I opted for the smaller one. If you used a medium sized tin, the layers would be a little thinner, as my cheesecake base was rather thick, but I don’t mind that- it’s completely up to you! You will need to make sure that your cake tin has a loose bottom so that you can easily remove the cheesecake.
1 cup wallnuts
1 tbsp coconut oil
1/2 cup dates (you don’t have to use medjool dates for this_
Handful of pistachio nuts (about 25)
1/2 cup gluten free oats
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups cashews soaked for a few hours
1 1/2 cups raspberries
1/2 a beetroot
Juice from half a lemon & 1 pinch of lemon zest
2 tbsp coconut oil
3 tbsp maple syrup
A dash of vanilla extract (about a cap full- or 1 tsp of vanilla powder)
1. Add the walnuts and oats into a food processor and pulse these for a few seconds to break them down slightly. Add in the pistachios and repeat.
2. Put the remaining base ingredients into the food processor and blend everything together until it creates a crumbly and slightly sticky mix. Transfer this into your cake tin and firmly press down to create a smooth base. Leave this in the freezer to set.
3. For the filling, drain the cashews and add them into the food processor or high speed blender along with the maple syrup, lemon zest and juice, vanilla and a splash of water and blend until it starts to form a creamy consistency. Add more water if needed.
4. Next, add in the raspberries, coconut oil and grate in the beetroot and continue to blend until completely smooth and creamy. I usually add a little more water at this point to help everything blend. You’re aiming for a slightly thick, yoghurt like texture.
5. Pour this onto the base and return to the freezer for a few hours, or overnight to set. You can garnish the cake before or after it’s set- my favourite things to use are coconut chips, pomegranate seeds and some crushed pistachios. Allow the cake to thaw a little before slicing and serving.