Right, so this is a recipe that I have to say I am pretty proud of. It seems like forever that I have been working away in my little kitchen trying to master the art of making raw cheesecakes! I’m not sure that I can actually call myself a pro just yet, but I think I’ve definitely made vast improvements and have finally managed to make something that I’m happy with. Raw cheesecakes are something that I think can be slightly hit and miss sometimes and are definitely not the simplest things to make. Don’t get me wrong, nearly all of the ones that I’ve tasted have been pretty yummy.. but there have definitely been some that have really stood out to me and others that weren’t really anything special.
I think there are two main factors that for me really determine how good a raw cheesecake is which are: texture and flavour. Personally, I think that the texture of the cake needs to be pretty smooth and slightly creamy. I also like it to be quite firm.. but not too firm.. but definitely not soggy. Now, in terms of the flavour, as the cakes are often predominately made of cashews, it’s quite easy to build up flavours as cashews have quite a mild flavour. I love really intense, zingy flavours, but also subtle more sweet and delicate ones like this vanilla recipe. It’s taken a whole lot of trial and error (and staying up to ridiculous hours in the morning with my food processor) to finally be able to create something that I think kinda’ tastes like a real cheesecake. I actually gave some to my mum to give to a friend at work and she really liked it AND didn’t even know it was raw, vegan or refined sugar free! I used to go on about this quite a lot, but one of the main reasons that I love making these kinds of desserts are to show people that you can still enjoy these kinds of treats without lots of sugars and highly processed ingredients.. and they still taste delicious!
Like I said earlier, I’m obsessed with really fruity and vibrant flavours, so wanted to add this berry coulis to create a nice contrast against the main cheesecake filling. It really couldn’t be more simple: just some mixed berries and a little honey, but it tastes really delicious and works so well against the subtle sweetness of the vanilla. Plus, I think it adds that little extra finishing touch and makes it look that little bit prettier! I think these would be a great thing to serve if you wanted to impress your guests with something that little bit more special for afternoon tea and would definitely make for a gorgeous addition to a table spread! Plus, you’re able to satisfy that sweet tooth with a whole host of natural and plant based ingredients at the same time.. not just your average cheesecake eh?
Raw vanilla cheesecakes with berry coulis
- Yield: 4
- 1/2 cup oats
- 1/2 cup wallnuts
- 7 dates
- Tbsp coconut oil
- Pinch of sea salt
- Tbsp cacao powder
- 1 cup cashews soaked in hot water for 30 minutes
- 1/2 cup coconut milk (canned)
- 3 Tbsp coconut oil
- 3 Tbsp brown rice syrup
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- Dash of vanilla extract- or to taste
- Hand full of raspberries
- Hand full of blackberries
- Heaped tsp honey (or to taste)
- To create the base, add the wallnuts to your food processor and pulse these for a few seconds to break them down into smaller pieces.
- Add the rest of the base ingredients and blend until everything starts to stick together in a crumbly mixture.
- Pour the mix into the base of a baking dish and firmly press down to flatten. Place this into the freezer whilst you make the filling.
- In a food processor or high speed blender, combine the soaked cashews, coconut milk, lemon, syrup, coconut oil and vanilla and blend everything until really smooth and creamy. Taste the mixture to ensure that you’re happy with it’s flavour and texture, then pour over the top of the base. If you’re dish is slightly too big, I like to fold some tin foil to create a wall to stop the cheesecake filling flowing off the end of the base.
- Leave this in the freezer for a few hours/overnight to set.
- Once the cheesecakes have set and the filling is firm, cut them into slices.
- For the berry coulis, heat the berries in a saucepan along with the honey until they form a gooey, slightly liquid mixture. Once this has reduced slightly, allow to cool then spoon some of the berry mix onto each cheesecake and decorate with fresh fruit.