This post was created in partnership with The Body Shop Portugal.
Hey everyone! It’s Rita here. Faster than we’d expected, the time has come when Santa Clauses, bright lights and shimmering stars start popping up in every corner. Christmas arrived extra early to our house this year, when we were delivered a festive little jute bag from The Body Shop, filled with a few goodies from their new Peppermint Candy Cane collection. From the whole lot of their products that we’ve worked with, these are, by far, my ultimate favourite. In case you haven’t been keeping up with this partnership of ours, so far we’ve created 4 recipes inspired by products from The Body Shop: an Anti-Inflammatory Ginger & Turmeric Syrup, a Coffee & Pear Coffee Cake, a Vegan Mango Cashew “Yogurt” and Almond and Oat Milks. This new collection could not smell any fresher: just a tiny whiff and you’ll be getting all the Christmas feels from the delicious peppermint scent. The whole collection is vegan, apart from the body butters (which contain beeswax), and there are far more products than the ones pictured here.
I love this time of the year. I always make extra time to create desserts and I fit in as many ‘Home Alone’ movie sessions in my schedule than I probably should. I specifically hoped to pair a very special recipe with this Christmas product package and here it is: a Vegan Mint & Chocolate “Cheesecake”. It tastes just like After Eight mints! I was crazy for those, up until we became vegan and started cutting out every animal product. This just goes to show how veganism is not at all restrictive… You don’t have to force yourself to forget you enjoyed certain foods, you can simply recreate the textures and flavours using plant-based ingredients! Between us both, and both at home and on our travels, we’ve tried, tasted and recreated treats and concoctions that would surely trick any meat-eater!
This “cheesecake”, just like the many other vegan “cheesecakes” we’ve shared, is perfectly creamy after being thawed for 20 minutes. Even though this is a high-calorie dessert (do not kid yourselves… this is a bomb!), it is very light and easily digestible. We find this to be a very important aspect of any recipe that might find it’s way into some of the most abundant and excessive meals of the year. Christmas is not about keeping it light! If you cut this “cheesecake” into little cube-like, bite-size slices, every member of the family can have a taste and it’ll act like a palate cleanser, since it’s so fresh. Give it a go! We’re certain you’ll like it. :)
Vegan Mint & Chocolate “Cheesecake”
>4 hours soaking + 20 minutes prepping + 8 hours freezing | serves 16 slices
350 gr. medjoul dates, pitted
1 cup | 150 gr. raw almonds
1 cup | 130 gr. sunflower seeds
1/4 cup | 20 gr. raw cacao powder
1 pinch of fine himalayan salt
MINT CASHEW CREAM
3 cups | 400 gr. raw cashews, soaked overnight (or for a minimum of 4 hours)
1 cup | 250 ml. coconut milk (from a tin)
3/4 cup | 180 ml. rice malt syrup
1/2 cup | 125 ml. coconut oil, melted
25 gr. fresh spinach leaves
2 tsp peppermint extract
1/2 cup | 125 ml. melted coconut oil, room temperature
1/3 cup | 30 gr. raw cacao powder
1/4 cup | 60 ml. maple 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, sunflower seeds and salt to your food processor or high speed blender and process for about 30 seconds or until they turn into a fine meal.
With the motor running, add the pitted dates one by one until they're perfectly combined and the meal turns sticky.
Add the cacao powder and pulse to combine. If the mixture is too dry, add a few more pitted medjoul dates.
Evenly scatter the mixture into a pan and press it down firmly.
MINT CASHEW CREAM
Rinse and drain the soaked cashews.
Combine the cashews, coconut milk and rice malt syrup in the food processor/blender and process for a couple of minutes, stopping a few times to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Process until the cashews turn into a smooth paste.
With the motor running on a medium setting, pour in the melted coconut oil.
Process at the highest speed for a few minutes until you get a rich, creamy mixture. Be patient and blend until the cashew cream is completely silky.
Add the spinach leaves and blend until completely blended into the cream.
Add the peppemint extract and blend again to combine.
Pour the cream into the pan.
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.
Combine all of the ingredients in a small mixing bowl and mix with a fork until completely smooth.
Pour the chocolate shell onto the “cheesecake” (or onto each individual slice) and sprinkle some raw cacao nibs on top.
PS- The "cheesecake" will hold in the freezer for 6 weeks. You can slice it and freeze the slices separately. This way, you can have a slice of cake whenever you want!