You would think I’ve got a thing for cheesecakes given this is the second one I’m posting in a space of a week but trust me, the two cakes could not be more different! My Souffle Cheesecake with Sour Cherry Sauce was made before starting my raw food diet and today’s effort is a raw version of cheesecake. I’d always been curious about raw cheesecakes so when the Sweet Adventures Blog Hop came around again, it made sense to give it a go while I’m eating raw.
This month’s hop is hosted by the lovely Nic from Dining With a Stud and it’s appropriately themed ‘Tropical Paradise’ to celebrate our glorious summer and the abundance of delicious fruit bestowed upon us at this time of the year. I happened to be very well stocked with various tropical fruit this weekend (I used mango, banana and lime for my topping), so I got on with the business of making a raw tropical cheesecake. Can a cheesecake be made without cooking? Without cheese? Sigh…
Actually I was pleasantly surprised by how good some raw desserts can be. I made Raw Chocolate & Walnut Brownies last week which was pretty darn good and certainly delivered a hefty chocolate hit which I desperately needed. I hoped that a raw cheesecake would be equally tasty.
Most raw cakes and cheesecakes are nut based and while you can use anything from macadamias to almonds, I decided to follow the example of most recipes and used cashews. Cashews do have its own distinctive flavour but it’s surprisingly subtle when mixed in with other ingredients, unlike walnuts and peanuts. The nutty cheesecake mixture was promising and by the time I layered everything together, the whole thing pretty much resembled a regular cheesecake.
An amusing thing about raw desserts is that most need to spend time in the freezer to set but due to its low water content, it never really freezes and everything stays in place nicely. As for how this cheesecake tasted?b It wasn’t bad at all! The nut cheesecake filling is quite dense so it benefits greatly from having a nice layer of fruit on top to balance things out. The base isn’t crunchy but that could be remedied by using some activated buckwheat (memo for next time) in the ‘dough’.
All in all, not a bad rendition of cheesecake. It’ll keep me happy for the next couple of weeks while I slog it out with raw foods :)
- 1 cup pecans
- ½ cup dates
- 1 cup dessicated coconut
- 2 cups cashews, soaked for 2 hours
- ⅓ cup raw honey
- Juice of 1 medium lemon
- extract of 1 vanilla pod
- 1 mango or 1 cup frozen mango
- 1 small ripe banana
- ½ lime squeezed and zest retained
- In a food processor or Thermomix, blend the dates, coconut and pecans together until resembling fine crumbs (Speed 6 for 10 seconds).
- Place dough crumbs into a 18cm cake pan and compact with a flat spoon or similar utensil. Place aside.
- Rinse TMX bowl or food processor bowl and place soaked cashews inside. Blitz on Speed 9 f(high) or a few seconds until soft and buttery. Add honey, lemon juice and vanilla and mix on Speed 4 for a few seconds until combined.
- Scoop cheesecake mixture onto base and smooth out.
- Rinse TMX bowl again and place mango, banana and lime juice & zest inside. Blitz on Speed 3 for a few seconds until smooth.
- Cover cheesecake layer with fruit layer, cover with plastic wrap and place in freezer for two hours or overnight.
- Remove cheesecake from freezer an hour before serving, or slice desired portion and return remainder to freezer to consume as desired.