I searched around the web for a few recipes, and by far the best looking one was raw double chocolate cherry cheesecake. The slice in the picture looks delicious. I really want to make this particular recipe one day, but on this occasion I was making one for Kev, who is not really a chocolate fan.
So I used this as a very loose guide for making a berry cheesecake recipe. All recipes I found called for coconut oil to help the filling set, and all asked for 3 cups of cashews. I used just a little over 3 cups - there were only a small number of nuts left out of the 400 grams after measuring 3 cups, so I just threw them in as well. I used a home made date honey for sweetener, but agave syrup would be fine too. I was surprised at the number of recipes for 'Vegan raw cheesecake' that called for bee honey. On what planet is bee honey considered vegan?
Raw Berry Cheesecake
For the Base
- 100 grams raw macadamia nuts
- 100 grams of raw almonds
- 1 cup of chopped pitted dates
- 1/2 a cup of coconut
- A small amount of extra coconut for lining the tin
- 400 grams of cashew nuts (soaked for at least 4 hours)
- 3/4 a cup of date honey (see recipe below)
- 1/2 a cup of lemon juice (approximately 2 small lemons)
- Rind of 2 lemons
- 3/4 cup of coconut oil
- Seeds from 1 vanilla bean
- 1/3 a cup of fresh apple juice
- 200 grams of berries. I used blueberries and strawberries.
- 1 tsp of lemon juice
- Either 1/4 a cup of date honey or a handful of dates
- In a blender or food processor, chop the nuts. A good blender helps here, since my blender was pretty crap, I used a magic bullet to grind the nuts instead.
- Add the chopped dates and the 1/2 cup of coconut to the blender, and blend till it all comes together into a paste.
- Sprinkle a little coconut into the bottom of your cheesecake pan to help stop the base sticking, then press the base mix into the pan. Smooth flat with the back of a spoon.
- Put in the fridge to set till your filling is ready.
- Drain the soaked cashews.
- In the blender or food processer, puree all the ingredients for the filling till all are combined into a smooth paste. The mix will give a consistancy a little like ricotta cheese.
- Pour the filling mix into the cheescake pan over your prepared base.
- Tap the pan gently on the bench to force out any air bubbles and help smooth the top of the filling out.
- Top the filling with either plastic wrap or baking paper and put the pan into the freezer to set.
- Cut serving slices from the frozen cake and let the slices thaw for an hour or so before serving.
- Puree the blueberries, lemon juice and date honey till smooth.
- Spoon a little over each cheesecake slice just before serving.
The cake is rich in nuts so I served it in smaller slices. 5 servers used just under a quarter of the cake. The beauty of it is though, it should keep really well in the freezer for several months so you can keep a tasty healthy dessert on easy hand. The sauce can also be kept in the freezer.
I don't believe this dessert could be classed as sugar free as I have seen some other raw cheesecake recipes claim - there are still sweeteners used that will have an affect on blood sugar. There is however less sugar than used in a traditional cheesecake, and the sugars are from a lower GI source. So a piece of cake from this recipe would be a better option for a diabetic friendly dessert than a cheesy sugar filled piece of regular cheesecake.
The cheesecake pan I used to make this was smaller than I would have liked, so I ended up with a little filling left over. I stirred some mashed blueberries through this and pushed it into a small heart shaped cake pan I had, so ended up with a small cheese cake with no base. I served this as a kind of pate with a plate of sliced fruit for afternoon tea one day. It was basically like a sweet cheese and went really well with the cut fruit even with dry water crackers.
How I make date honey/date syrup:
- 1 cup of pitted dates, preferably medjool
- 2 cups of water
- 1 tbsp of lemon juice
- Chop the dates into small pieces.
- Place all ingredients into a blender and process. Start out at slow speed and gradually work up to full power to puree the dates as finely as possible.
- Pour the mix into a storage bottle. The mix should happily keep for 2-3 weeks.
- If your blender has not been able to get the dates as fine as you would like (as my blender was not), then push the syrup through a sieve to get the larger bits out before use.
I'd like to get one that matches my new mixer. A beautiful red Kitchen Aid mixer that my mother gave me for Christmas. Best. Present. Ever!!!!
What ever blender I buy needs to be a quiet one - I discovered our beagle is terrified of the noise the one I have made, and it took us an hour to coax her out of her hiding place when I first started blending for this recipe. Kev had to take her to the park while I finished the rest.
Can anyone recommend a good quality, affordable, quiet blender?
Happy new year everyone!