I don’t do normal particularly well – especially when it comes to recipes. I always have to go slightly left of centre, or right, whatever, but rarely straight down the middle. I make pies with beetroot or purple carrots, I make ice cream with avocados, I make sandwiches with fruit.
So when we chose ‘Nuts’ as the Sweet Adventures Blog Hop theme for July my mind started ticking away. Baklava did occur to me, as it had for our ‘Layers‘ theme in March, but the same thing that put me off of it then – namely the enormous amount of honey that gets poured over the top – put me off this month as well.
Now I recon we’ll get plenty of macaron entries, perhaps a dacquoise or two, maybe a frangipane tart and most definitely some decadent peanut butter deliciousness. But again, almost all of those desserts require copious amounts of sugar and butter, and after a couple months of way too many indulgences my pants are decidedly tighter than this time last year – another option had to be found.
I love a good Orange & Almond cake, but that’s been done round these parts, and ever since I made the Vegan Chai Buttercream with hazelnuts I had been wanting to try my hand at a version of cashew cream. This amazing [if I do say so myself] ‘cheesecake’ was the result.
An expected touch of caramel from using dates instead of sugar to sweeten the cake. A crunchy crumbly crust with quinoa flour and cocoa powder. Coconut oil to hold it all together and a smidgen of chocolate to top it off. Not a hint of tofu in sight and as an added bonus I discovered a great blog while researching recipes – yum!
RJ, while asking me what was in the cake and giving me a suspicious sideways glance, polished off a whole slice in about a minute flat. I’m trying to resist another piece due to a rapidly approaching Sunday evening yoga class. I have a feeling this cake will not last very long in our fridge.
Whenever I make these crazy dairy free/soy free/sugar free creations and they turn out well I always think about my sister-in-law. My brother is pretty much everything-free these days and as a result, L and Ms G are subjected to his pantry and refrigerator options. Last week was L’s big 3-0, and so this Vegan Vanilla & Chocolate Cashew Cheesecake is for her. Hey L – maybe I’ll make another one when we come to visit!
If you haven’t already, don’t forget to enter my Baker’s Secret giveaway over here. Open until Thursday, there are some great pans and accessories to be won!
Vegan Vanilla & Chocolate Cashew Cheesecake
Adapted from My New Roots
- 2 c raw organic cashews, soaked overnight
- 1/2 c chopped dates [5-6 large]
- 1/3 c coconut oil, melted
- 1/3 c lemon juice
- 2 tsp vanilla extract or 1 tsp vanilla bean paste or seeds from 1 vanilla bean
- 1/4 c almond milk or water
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1 Tbsp cocoa powder + 1 tsp water
- 1 quantity Quinoa Chocolate Pie Crust
Prepare pie crust in an 8″ [20 cm] tin with the sides lined with baking [parchment] paper.
Drain and rinse cashews. Puree all ingredients except cocoa until smooth. Scoop out 1/3 c filling to mix through cocoa and extra water.
Spread vanilla filling into prepared crust, dollop chocolate filling over top and spread evenly with an off-set knife.
Freeze for 1 hour or refrigerate for 2 hours to chill through and set. Dust with cocoa powder, cut and serve. Store in refrigerator.
Rinse cashews and cover with filtered water, soak 6-8 hours – I leave mine overnight.
Prepare crust in an 8″ [20 cm] tin with a removable base. Springform works well for this but you can also use a pie plate. Line sides of pan with baking [parchment paper]. If making Quinoa Chocolate Pie Crust, bake and let cool while you prepare the filling.
Remove pits from dates and chop roughly. Drain and rinse soaked cashews until water runs clear, they will be very soft. Blend half the soaked cashews with the lemon juice, coconut oil and dates until very smooth. Add remaining soaked cashews, vanilla, salt and almond milk or water and blend again until very, very smooth*.
Scoop out 1/3 c of the filling to stir through the cocoa powder and extra water*. Spoon vanilla filling into the prepared pie crust and smooth top with an off-set spatula. Dollop bits of the chocolate filling over top, swirl with the tip of the spatula then smooth.
Freeze for 1 hour or refrigerate for 2 hours to chill through and set. Remove sides of pan, peel baking paper off sides. Dust with cocoa powder. Run a sharp knife under warm water to cut. Serves 8-12 if you can be bothered sharing.
Store in refrigerator.
- I started with an immersion blender but swapped to a small food processor half way through and blended the filling in two batches. If you have a food processor go for that first. If you have a vita-mix I am very jealous.
- If you just want vanilla don’t bother with the chocolate bit on top, it does add another fun layer though.
This post is part of the July Sweet Adventures Blog Hop – Nuts about Sweets – hosted by Nic from Dining with a Stud.
Make sure to check out all the other wonderful Nutty creations that have been linked-up below!