For anyone who has never tried them, raw vegan desserts (despite their reputation) are really tasty. Think of them as desserts that are often chilled, rather than baked, and rely heavily on natural ingredients (like dates, nuts and fruits) which are used cleverly to create something really delicious. Since discovering them I’ve tasted some wonderful raw desserts. There was one in particular (leftover in the kitchen after a fashion event at work) that I tried and died over, I think I ate 4 in one go. Since then I’ve been experimenting with my own recipes – see also my raw blackberry coconut slice.
I love the use of nuts and natural ingredients and the unique flavours and textures they create. Also the sit in the ‘dessert’ category so I’m predisposed to love them.
The first time I made this raw cheesecake it was a bit of experiment for me, it was the first time I’d ever used cashews to create a creamy flavour and texture. Firstly, this recipe is not hard (despite appearances) and the flavours are so lovely! I have to admit even I was pleasantly surprised at the result: it worked! It’s yummy!
Obviously it is different to a proper traditional cheesecake, they really only share a colour, a shape and a tendency to have a creamy sort of base. I love classic cheesecakes, don’t get me wrong, but there is something quite special about this. You’ll just have to make it to understand 😉 It’s kind of like a parfait and a cheesecake had a baby.
The first time I made it I popped it in the freezer and stupidly didn’t realise that if it wasn’t flat it would look ridiculous when ready with a real slope – and lo and behold I ended up with a very uneven cake. So make sure it sets flat!
Some recipe notes:
- You can use fresh or frozen raspberries
- Make sure to soak the cashews for a decent amount of time as per step 1
- you don’t have a spring-form pan, use a cake tin lined with waxed paper
- You can substitute the almonds in the crust with walnuts or pecans
- The cake will last in your freezer for 2 – 3 weeks!
The recipe is originally adapted from My New Roots.
- 3/4 cup almonds
- 3/4 cup desiccated coconut
- 3/4 cup medjool dates (about 7-8 dates)
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 2 & 3/4 cups raw cashews
- 1/2 cup raw coconut oil
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 vanilla bean (or vanilla extract)
- 3/4 cup coconut cream
- 1 cup raspberries
Soak the cashews for the filling for 5 hours or overnight.
Line a 22cm spring-form pan with baking paper. Set aside.
To make the crust, place the almonds, coconut and dates in a food processor with sea salt and pulse to combine until they are to your desired consistency (don't go toooo smooth). Test the crust by spooning out a small amount of mixture and rolling it in your hands. If the ingredients hold together, your crust is perfect. If it is too dry add a few drops of water (I generally always do this).
Press this crust into the bottom of the prepared tin, making sure that the edges are well packed and that the base is relatively even throughout. Thoroughly rinse and dry food processor.
To make the filling, firstly, drain the cashew nuts.
Warm the coconut oil and maple syrup in a small saucepan on low heat until liquid. Whisk to combine.
In the food processor / a powerful blender, add in all filling ingredients (except raspberries) and blend on high until very smooth (this may take a couple of minutes).
Pour about 2/3 of the mixture out onto the crust and smooth with a spatula. Add the raspberries to the remaining filling and blend on high until smooth. Pour onto the first layer of filling. Place flat in freezer until solid (2 hours should do it).
To serve, remove from freezer 20 minutes prior to eating. Run a smooth, sharp knife under hot water and cut into slices. Store in freezer.