A vegan dessert that has convinced even me it is possible to replace cheesecake. Although not cheese-y in the slightest, this is a soft, creamy and fruity dessert sure to fill that cheesecake gap in your life!
OK… Let’s be honest…It can’t really be a cheesecake without cheese. So I’ve named it ‘cheesecake’ as I just couldn’t think of a more apt name for this creamy, fruity, delightful dessert. The filling is soft and light, which surprisingly comes from cashew nuts, coconut milk and coconut oil. Sometimes I think coconut can be an over-used flavour in dairy-free baking, however I loved it paired with blueberries. It is certainly a favour combination I would like to try with other things – pancakes or french toast perhaps?!
One thing that really attracted me to this recipe was that it used what I would call proper ingredients – sometimes I find that dairy-free and vegan recipes can have all sorts of weird ingredients in them and you have no idea what they are or where to buy them from. The creaminess in this ‘cheesecake’ comes from cashew nuts and coconut milk; together, when blended, they produce the most delightful, soft and creamy textured thick paste (sounds delightful, I know, but bear with me), which when chilled has almost the same texture as cream cheese. And because cashew nuts have such a gentle flavour, it leaves room for the coconut and blueberries to stand out.
The other thing I have to admit is that I cheated slightly for the aesthetics of the dessert. This is very unlike me, but I have to admit I added a few drops of purple food colouring into the mix. Perhaps we have different varieties of blueberries here; whereas the blueberries from the original recipe turned the ‘cheesecake’ a brilliant hue of violet, mine turned it a distinct shade of grey… So I cheated and added a tiny bit of food colouring. Let’s be honest – it’s hardly the worst crime in the world and aesthetics of a dessert are important!
As someone who has not eaten a real cheesecake for a very long time, this ‘cheesecake’ was delicious. It really hit the spot for a sweet creamy dessert, and the buttery biscuit base reminded me of the childhood cheesecakes my mum used to make. The dessert was also surprisingly easy and didn’t require baking. Really, apart from melting butter, this was more of an assembly job! The base is frozen, and, once chilled, the blended mixture is poured on top, and then the ‘cheesecake’ is frozen. Thawed thoroughly before eating, it looses any frozen texture and tastes deliciously like a chilled dessert. It may not be a real cheesecake, but it certainly came close!
Makes one small 12cm cheesecake, serving 4-5 people. Takes 30 minutes plus freezing time.
Adapted from http://www.bloglovin.com/blogs/call-me-cupcake-1032170?post=4237206311&group=0&frame_type=a&context=post_page&context_ids=&blog=1032170&frame=1&click=0&user=0&viewer=true
- Cheesecake Base:
- 6 Hobnob biscuits (approx. 80g)
- 25g dairy free butter
- 2 heaped tsp golden caster sugar
- Cheesecake Filling:
- 100g raw, unsalted cashew nuts
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 3 tbsp coconut oil, melted
- 6 tbsp coconut milk
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 80g blueberries, washed and dried
- Optional – 2 to 3 drops of purple food colouring
- 80g blueberries, washed and dried
- Zest of 1/2 lemon
- 1/2 tbsp shredded coconut
- Soak the cashew nuts in cold water, ideally overnight, or with hot water for 2 hours.
- Meanwhile, make the base. Melt the butter and set aside. In a small food bag, bash the biscuits until they are in small pieces with lots of crumbs.
- Tip the broken biscuits and the caster sugar into the melted butter, and mix thoroughly.
- Line a 12cm loose bottomed tin with grease proof paper. Tip the buttery biscuits into the tin and, using a spoon, press it firmly into the bottom of the tin. There should be no gaps between the biscuit crumbs and it should be pushed all the way to the edges of the tin.
- Pop the tin with the base into the freezer whilst you make the filling.
- Drain the cashew nuts and tip into a blender with all the other filling ingredients. Blend until as smooth as possible, it will take a few minutes.
- Pour the filling onto the base, and put back in the freezer for at least 4 hours. When ready to eat, remove from the freezer and leave to thaw for 20 – 25 minutes. Sprinkle the toppings all over the top of the cheesecake. Run a sharp knife under hot water, slice the cheesecake and serve.