Saturday, February 11, 2012

When it sees cake, the hungry lion in my tum tum goes “RAW!”

Yesterday I tried my hand at a vegan dessert: cheesecake.

But what about the cream? Cream cheese???

Nope.

Drum roll, please.


*imaginary crowd obliges with a drum roll*

Photo sourced from internet


Cashews: those tasty little critters are more versatile than you might think...

A slice of The Raw Cheesecake, pictured above under the terrible lighting that is down-lights at night as I couldn’t be bothered taking another photo the next day. So I’m lazy. Sue me. 


Also, I obviously can't use a knife properly and my food processor isn't all that impressive. But you get the idea.


I was really apprehensive when I started making this… I thought "surely this isn’t going to work", but my worries were unfounded – the end result was spectacular! It felt like velvet on the tongue and the taste buds around the various papillae most certainly approved. Over-consumption of this cake can be justified by “it’s healthy!…er” which is not a quality many cheesecakes around the place can boast.  

Food like this makes me wonder why people continue to bother with some of the traditional stodgy and artery-clogging foods that are so prevalent in today’s society. I suppose it ultimately comes down to cost. It wouldn’t be feasible for me to make desserts like this all the time with good quality food, and in particular nuts, being as expensive as it is. For some reason John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ has popped up a few times over the last couple of days when I’ve had my mp3 player on shuffle and I really do wish the human race could, as a collective, imagine: imagine that there are no countries; imagine that there is no greed or hunger; imagine that all the people share the world. But such topics are probably best left for another day. So without any further ado, I present….  


Raw Cheesecake (adapted from My New Roots)

Ingredients:

Crust:
½ cup raw almonds
½ cup soft dates
¼ tsp salt

Filling:
1 ½ cups raw cashews, soaked overnight
Juice of 2 lemons
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup raw coconut oil
1/3 cup raw honey (or agave)
1 cup frozen blueberries, thawed

Directions:

1. Place the almonds, dates and salt in a food processor and pulse until the crust has reached your desired consistency. The way to test whether or not the crust is ready or not is to scoop out a tiny bit of the mixture and roll it in your hands – if it sticks together, then it’s perfect. If it crumbles, try adding some more dates.

2. Scoop put the crust mixture and press it into a 7” spring-form pan so that it is relatively even throughout the whole base and the edges are well-packed.

3. Thoroughly rinse the food processor and in it, place all the filling ingredients except the blueberries (make sure the food processor is a powerful one!).  Blend on high until a very smooth consistency is achieved… unless you like chunky cheesecakes, in which case you are more than entitled to blend it for a shorter period of time.  

4. Pour approximately two-thirds of the filling mixture out onto the crust use a spatula to smooth it out. Add the blueberries to the filling remaining in the food processor and blend. Pour the blueberry layer over the first layer and smooth it out with a spatula.

5. Place the cheesecake in the freezer until it is solid. Take it out to thaw for about half an hour before serving and return any leftovers *cough* back in the freezer.

Unfortunately this recipe doesn't really lend itself to using fresh produce from the garden (apart from the honey!) but I believe that there are quite a few raw cheesecake recipes out there, some of which may even manage to incorporate a veggie or two... I’m extremely keen to try some different variations of this spectacular dessert so I’ll keep you posted!

Aha, geddit?! “Posted”… ‘cause it’s a blog.

Hmm time I shut up methinks.

- Matilda

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