I have been obsessed with raw puddings, including cheesecakes, for ages. I used to love normal cheesecake but it is not something I have been able to eat in a long time now. Since making this though I can’t stop thinking of different varieties of this raw version that I absolutely have to try haha!
I first dabbled with ‘cashew cheese’ when I went to a “Cheese and Wine” evening with the girls. I bought along a cashew and pesto cream ‘cheese’ and a vegan organic red wine and both went down well. My cream ‘cheese’ was delicious but the oil from the pesto rose to the surface making it look awful and a bit messy to eat. I was put off for a while then I tried again and learnt from my mistakes and have had much more success since!
Creating cream ‘cheese’ from nuts is actually very easy. Soak cashew nuts over night in water, drain and then blend with fresh water until you reach the desired consistency. Mix with nutritional yeast, lemon, black pepper etc for a savoury cheese or mix with maple syrup, lemon, vanilla etc for sweet! Add less water for a firm cheesecake filling or more water to create a cream consistency and even more water to create a milk!
You can use macadamia nuts as an alternative to cashew nuts, to be honest I find both to be as expensive as each other in the UK supermarkets so I mix and match depending on what is on offer.
I topped the cheesecake with a home made chia seed strawberry jam and some fresh strawberries as a garnish. I will definitely make this jam again for other recipes or even just to spread on toast. It was so easy and completely eliminates all the fuss of normal jam making.
Just to note – I pretty much do all my measurements in cups these days rather than weight, I have estimated the weight where relevant for you as well, I hope this helps!
Serves 12 or 6….. or 2! Ok probably shouldn’t really be 2!
For the Base –
1.5 cups/ 275g Raw Walnuts or nut of choice such as hazelnut or almond
5-6 Medjool Dates (add more to taste)
For the Filling –
3 Cups/375g Cashew Nuts (soaked overnight)
1/2 Cup (6 tblspn) Lemon Juice
3/4 Cup Agave Syrup
1/2 Cup Coconut Oil
1 tspn Vanilla Essence
For the Jam Topping –
1 Cup Strawberries
1 tbspn Chia Seeds
6 Strawberries cut in half as garnish
NB: I used a 20cm springform cake tin to make this cheesecake, you can use any round dish!
To make the base blend the walnuts and dates together in a blender until you reach a moist crumb texture. Press this into the bottom of your cake tin or cheesecake dish. Put in the fridge whilst you prepare the rest.
To make the filling blend the ingredients together, add a splash of water if needs be. This took a while in my blender to get it really creamy!! Just keep going and don’t be tempted to add too much water!
Pour the filling into the cake tin over the base, smooth out and put in the fridge over night or put in the freezer for at least an hour.
To make the chia jam, mash the strawberries with a splash of water until pureed (or stick them in a blender) then stir in the chia seeds and leave for 15-20 minutes for the seeds to expand.
Once the filling has set pour over the jam and spread into a thin even layer, place strawberry halves around the edge and keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
I have shared this over at the Virtual Vegan Linky Potluck. Click here to see more wonderful vegan recipes!