Saturday, January 1, 2011

Raw vegan cheesecake with berry sauce topping

I got my fiance a slice of raw cheesecake from TOFWD while we were in the city on boxing day because it was listed as no added sugar. He loved it so much I thought I would have a crack at making one at home.This would also be the first time I have made an attempt at a raw food dessert (unless fruit salad counts...)

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
For the filling
  • 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
For the topping
  • 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

  1. 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.
  2. Add the chopped dates and the 1/2 cup of coconut to the blender, and blend till it all comes together into a paste.
  3. 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.
  4. Put in the fridge to set till your filling is ready.
  1. Drain the soaked cashews.
  2. 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.
  3. Pour the filling mix into the cheescake pan over your prepared base.
  4. Tap the pan gently on the bench to force out any air bubbles and help smooth the top of the filling out.
  5. Top the filling with either plastic wrap or baking paper and put the pan into the freezer to set.
  6. Cut serving slices from the frozen cake and let the slices thaw for an hour or so before serving.
  1. Puree the blueberries, lemon juice and date honey till smooth.
  2. 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
  1. Chop the dates into small pieces.
  2. 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.
  3. Pour the mix into a storage bottle. The mix should happily keep for 2-3 weeks.
  4. 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!!!!

Kitchen Aid will probably prove too expensive though.

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!


    1. Looks awesome and I love the sound of the date honey, it's such great weather for raw desserts too.

      Can't help with the quiet blender though, ours is super noisy/

    2. That cheesecake looks amazing - my food processor is also lacking in any power but still very noisy - I think I need a new one too because I just can't even attempt these desserts with the lack of power - but would love to

      I am also commenting to let you know that I have given you an award for all your yummy food at

    3. Thank you for the award and kind words, I really appreciate it :-)

      Your great food and warmth of your blog posts made gourmet green giraffe one of the blogs that inspired me to take up blogging myself :-)