Hey everyone! This is Rita here. This recipe (and any other vegan '"cheesecake" recipes I may post on the blog sometime in the future — edit: like this delicious Roasted Almond & Salted Caramel "Cheesecake"!) has quite the backstory to it. As André has let everyone know in this post, the sweet stuff is my downfall. I admit it, I am a hardcore sweet tooth. So when we cut back all the refined sugars and processed sweets from our diet, I really had to come up with healthy options so as to not fall into the temptation of munching a whole pack of store-bought cookies.
In the search for yummy vegan treats I could make at home, all I could see was inspiring cashew-based vegan "cheesecakes" everywhere, such as Blendlove's or Pana Chocolate's (omg yum!) and I thought to myself, I NEED these in my life! I started experimenting with flavour combinations and different ingredients until I perfected the recipe for a cashew cream base to which I could add whatever flavour I felt like on that specific day. My friends and family were the judges of all of these experimentations and they all seemed to love these vegan "cheesecakes". Back then I worked as the graphic designer for Village Underground Lisboa (still do, but now I work from home). When they opened the café Cafetaria Village I started selling these daily along with a few other raw vegan treats. I couldn't have asked for a better reaction from the customers, everyone LOVED the "cheesecakes"! Business went so well that they were even featured in a number of portuguese magazines. One day the lovely Isabel Silva (Portuguese TV Host) dropped by to film a clip about Village Underground and she was kind enough to ask me for a recipe that she could present live on national television. You can watch the clip here, up from minute 7:30.
Anyway, life had other plans and meanwhile we've moved from Lisbon to the Algarve. But every now and then a friend, family member or acquaintance gives us a shout out and asks us if I'm still making my "cheesecakes". The answer is OF COURSE I am! Because these are creamy, delicious, healthy, and they hold in the freezer for 6 weeks. We always have at least one flavour of these "cheesecakes" in the freezer already sliced and ready to go. So whenever we throw a dinner party for friends, we've got dinner covered. The best part is that these are so good for you, you could even have a slice for breakfast! I truly hope you enjoy.
Lemon & Raspberry "Cheesecake"
+4 hours soaking + 30 minutes prepping + 8 hours freezing | serves 12
1 cup | 170 gr. | 10 medjoul dates, pits removed
2 cups | 300 gr. almonds
1 cup | 120 gr. fresh raspberries
LEMON CASHEW CREAM
3 cups | 400 gr. raw cashews, soaked overnight (or for a minimum of 4 hours)
1/2 cup | 125 ml. melted coconut oil
1/2 cup | 125 ml. chilled coconut cream (the white, thick cream at the top of a chilled can of coconut milk)
3/4 cup | 180 ml. rice malt syrup
1 cup | 250 ml. freshly squeezed lemon juice
seeds of 1 vanilla bean
zest of 1 lemon
1 cup | 120 gr. fresh raspberries, mashed with a fork
1 tsp lemon juice
2 tbsp rice malt syrup
STEP BY STEP
Start by gathering, preparing and measuring all of the ingredients. This will improve your dynamic in the kitchen.
- Add the almonds and pitted dates to your food processor/blender and process for about 30 seconds, until they turn into a sticky, fine meal.
- Line a springform cheesecake pan with parchment paper, pour in the mixture and press it down firmly.
- Lay the fresh raspberries all over the base of the "cheesecake".
LEMON CASHEW CREAM
- Rinse and drain the soaked cashews.
- Add them to the food processor/blender and process for a few minutes, stopping a few times to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Process until the cashews turn into a smooth paste.
- Add the rest of the ingredients (except for the lemon zest) and process at the highest speed for a few minutes until you get a rich, creamy mixture.
- Slowly fold in the lemon zest.
- Pour the cream into the cheesecake pan and make sure you cover every single raspberry.
- Gently shake the pan a little to even out the surface and remove any air bubbles that might be trapped in the cream.
- Place the "cheesecake" in the freezer for at least 8 hours so it sets completely.
- In a small saucepan over low heat, combine the mashed raspberries with the lemon juice and rice malt syrup.
- Allow the mixture to heat up gently until it turns into a combined syrup.
- Remove from heat and strain the mixture through a fine-mesh colander, in order to separate the seeds from the pulp.
- Allow to cool in the fridge while the "cheesecake" sets in the freezer.
- Remove "cheesecake" from the freezer about half an hour before serving.
- Slice into 12 servings, pour raspberry sauce over each slice and serve.
PS- The "cheesecake" will hold in the freezer for 6 weeks. You can slice it, pour the sauce over and freeze the slices separately. This way, you can have a slice of cake whenever you want, just allow the slices to thaw out for 20 minutes before serving.
WE HOPE YOU ENJOY!
We're new at this recipe-writing deal. Let us know what you think we could improve in the comment section! xo